The United States produced a stunning display of offensive fireworks and defensive dominance to humble Canada 50-7 in the Gold Medal game of the 2011 IFAF Senior World Championship and defend the world title won in Japan in 2007.
Incredibly USA scored 21 points and Canada registered seven inside the last 1-minute 51 of the first half and the defending champion rarely looked likely to lose its grip on the world crown at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, Austria.
USA began efficiently as quarterback Cody Hawkins moved the chains on an important third down completion, a Henry Harris run also earned a first down and they battled to the Canada one. From there Nate Kmic broke the plain as he was tackled and USA opened a 7-0 lead with 7.42 to play in the first quarter.
Canada might have hit straight back but the usually safe hands of Scott Valberg dropped a long pass into US territory. Both teams exchanged punts before Canada pressed to tie the contest.
Valberg held on to move the ball to the US 35-yard mark and quarterback Mike Faulds then went to him in the end zone. Corner DeWayne Lewis broke up the pass thinking he had an interception but was ruled out of bounds.
To open the second quarter Faulds targeted Shamawd Chambers and Matt Walter carried to the 10 and Faulds thought he had made it to the one-yard mark. But the ball was frustratingly ruled to have been fumbled through the end zone for a touchback.
USA were merciless in reply. Matt Bassuener broke free up the middle to race clear 23 yards for a touchdown behind blocks of Nick Rossi and Luke Summers and score for a 14-0 lead.
Daniel Caralano and Charles Bay hunted down Faulds in backfield for a loss, Bay came up with a sack and rather than risk USA coming back at them with the advantage strong field position Canada took a deliberate safety and opted to kick clear having given up two more points.
The plan backfired as Ricardo Lenhart returned the free kick to the Canada 32 and a Harris run put the ball back into the red zone. Hawkins scrambled out to the left from seven yards for a commanding 23-0 lead with 1:51 to play
Canada punted and the ruthless Americans scored again as Joe Sturdivant collected a pass lofted over the secondary by Hawkins for a 27-yard touchdown with 40 seconds on the clock.
Canada looked assured of going into the locker room with a foothold as David Stevens took a 19-yard pass from Faulds in for a touchdown, but incredibly USA scored again. A squib kick aimed at preventing the US from gaining significant return yards hit the first player in its path and was recovered at the Canada 38. From there Hawkins dropped a pass into the end zone for Lenhart to score and bring up a breathtaking 37-7 halftime score.
USA safety Jordan Lake intercepted Faulds on the first drive of the second half to take possession at Canada's 13 and on the next play, Kmic increased the lead to 43-7 on the ground.
The rivals traded punts then Lake came up with his second interception near midfield and three plays later on first and goal at the five, Harris took the handoff for another touchdown and USA led by 43 points.
Chambers, David Stevens and Alexandre Poirier moved the ball successfully downfield, but Michel-Pierre Pontibrand came up marginally short on a fourth down rush for Canada at the USA 7-yard mark.
Donnie Marshall, now under center for Canada, guided the persistent silver medalists downfield to take four shots at the end zone as time ran out on them scoring a second consolation touchdown.
USA game MVP RB Henry Harris
Canada game MVP DB Sammy Okpro
Canada (3-1) vs. Team USA (4-0)
Date: Jul 16, 2011
Stadium: Ernst Happel Stadion
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
Canada......... 0 7 0 0 - 7
USA............ 7 30 13 0 - 50
07:42 USA - Nate Kmic 2 yd run (Greggy Berkshire kick)
12 plays, 77 yards, TOP 4:18, CAN 0 - USA 7
05:54 USA - Matt Bassuener 23 yd run (Greggy Berkshire kick)
9 plays, 80 yards, TOP 3:49, CAN 0 - USA 14
03:32 USA - Team USA safety
CAN 0 - USA 16
01:51 USA - Cody Hawkins 7 yd run (Greggy Berkshire kick)
4 plays, 32 yards, TOP 1:32, CAN 0 - USA 23
00:40 USA - Joe Sturdivant 27 yd pass from Cody Hawkins (Greggy Berkshire kick)
2 plays, 33 yards, TOP 0:34, CAN 0 - USA 30
00:06 CAN - David Stevens 19 yd pass from Michael Faulds (Lirim Hajrullahu kick)
4 plays, 53 yards, TOP 0:27, CAN 7 - USA 30
00:00 USA - Ricardo Lenhart 38 yd pass from Cody Hawkins (Greggy Berkshire kick)
1 play, 38 yards, TOP 0:03, CAN 7 - USA 37
11:02 USA - Nate Kmic 13 yd run (Greggy Berkshire kick failed)
1 play, 13 yards, TOP 0:05, CAN 7 - USA 43
02:57 USA - Henry Harris 5 yd run (Greggy Berkshire kick)
5 plays, 46 yards, TOP 2:36, CAN 7 - USA 50
Canada vs. USA ststs