Rushing, passing, and kick returnsÅ\the United States players went max from its debut game in the IFAF World Championships, showing the fans at the rainy Kawasaki Stadium what they are capable of.
The homeland of American football overwhelmed Korea, also a first-timer of the tourney, in any aspect on the gridiron with a 77-0 rout in Pool 2 action on Tuesday night.
``I was pleased with the focus of our team at the beginning of the game,'' Team USA head coach John Mackovic said after the game. ``We didn't know exactly what we were expecting. We were uncertain how we'd be in this first game.''
The abusive game by the U.S., however, began at the very first play. Kickoff returner Bobby Awrey exhibited a spectacular touchdown with just nine seconds entering the contest.
``There was a lot of adrenaline,'' Awrey said. ``The middle wedge did a great job blowing up a hole. I then went to the outside and got great blocks downfield. As players, we were real excited to come here and play the first game. We are very pleased with the result of the game.''
The flashy play by Awrey ignited the mighty U.S. team, which eventually ended up scoring touchdowns after touchdowns throughout the game.
The U.S.'s 77 points is the second highest points scored by a team to Mexico, which had 89 points against Finland 89-0 in a June 27, 1999, game in the 1st World Championship.
Running back Wendell Johnson had the most conspicuous numbers, racking up 82 yards in rushing, followed by Kyle Kasperbauer with 55 yards and a TD.
Former Texas Christian University quarterback Jeff Ballard started the game. Ballards, who was an NFL Draft prospect in April, completed four passes out of five, throwing for 58 yards and a TD. Backup and former Arizona signal-caller Adam Austin came in afterwards instead of Ballard.
``We showed our surprising speed tonight,'' Mackovic said. ``We have not showed that kind of speed before tonight.''
Meanwhile, it was too tough a test for Korea, which lost to Germany 32-2 on Sunday.
At the post-game news conference, the coach and players could not do anything but mourning.
``We were honored to play against the motherland of the sport, the United States,'' Korea head coach Katsuji Ibaraki said. ``We wanted to go out there and try what we can do. But once the game started, unlike in our game against Germany, they were by far superior to us in any aspects of the game including the offense, defense and even kicking game, not only in the physical ability.''
After all, Team USA held one of the biggest routs in history of the World Championships in its initial game.
But it doesn't put its guards off yet. The next game against Germany on Thursday will be a battle for advancing to the final, and it won't be as easy as Tuesday's game.
Awrey said that his team doesn't underestimate Germany, whose players have experience and size.
``It will be a very difficult challenge for us,'' Awrey said. ``We will definitely have our hands full in preparing for this game.''