IFAF Under-19 World Championship fifth- and seventh-place contests kick off Friday, July 6, at Burger Stadium in Austin, Texas.
Here is a look at those games:
Both of these teams are looking for their first points of the tournament. Panama has been held to 96 total yards of offense, while Sweden has gained 181 yards in its first two games. With both offenses still looking to find a rhythm, field position and turnovers will be critical.
For Sweden, the key is getting the ball into the hands of 6-foot, 213-pound playmaker Oscar Nevermann, who is listed as a wide receiver but also lines up at running back and even takes direct snaps at times. Nevermann has 261 yards of total offense in the first two games, including returns.
Panama likely will look to establish some stability in the running game. That was the most consistent part of its offense against Austria. Joel Doiny, Reynaldo Acune and Ernesto Calvo all gained positive yards against Austria. Against American Samoa, Panama often was overpowered at the line, resulting in minus-46 yards in the rushing column.
Sweden lost to No. 2 seed Canada, 43-0
Panama lost to No. 5 seed Austria, 40-0
Sweden lost to No. 6 France, 41-0
Panama lost to No. 8 American Samoa, 51-0
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Sweden Along with Nevermann, Sweden needs to get its passing game going behind quarterbacks Kevin Dillman and Christopher Gui. The duo is 14-of-38 passing with four interceptions. Defensively, Anton Bengtsson leads Sweden with 18 tackles and a pass breakup from his defensive back position.
Panama Panama’s defense can give its offense a break by forcing some early three-and-outs to provide good field position. Led by linebackers Alejandro Boyd (17 tackles, 1 ½ for loss) and Xavier Ramos (13 tackles, two sacks), the defense has spent a lot of time on the field, which drains energy with three games in seven days.
Both teams are looking to go home with a winning record for the tournament. American Samoa has shown toughness along with quick, agile linemen who have impressed opponents. France isn’t afraid to mix it up in the trenches, either, which likely is where this game will be decided.
Samoa’s offense got rolling against Panama to the tune of 606 yards, showing the ability to run and pass. The defense dominated as well, holding Panama to 8 yards of total offense. It won’t be as easy against France.
France also got rolling early and never stopped in the win over Sweden, outgaining their European rivals, 303-98. France pounds away at the running game, eating the clock and keeping its defense fresh. Even in the loss to Japan, France held the ball for 10 minutes longer.
American Samoa lost to the No. 1 seed United States, 27-6.
France lost to No. 3 seed Japan, 27-6.
American Samoa defeated No. 4 Panama, 51-0
France defeated No. 6 Sweden, 41-0
PLAYERS TO WATCH
American Samoa Samoa averaged nearly 10 yards per carry against Panama, led by Bruce Scanlan (six carries, 121 yards, two TDs). Ietiaia Manu (13 carries, 132 yards) also has produced. QBs Ben Langford and Fagalilo Oa have been successful enough through the air (16-of-41, 259 yards, one TD) to keep defensive backs off the line of scrimmage. Samoa’s defense swarms to the football, with 13 different players recording at least one tackle for loss – including five for Vincent Simanu.
France Nicolas Khandar (17 carries, 110 yards, three TDs) and QB Mathias Soler (25 carries, 89 yards) lead France’s option running game. Asnnel Robo added 100 yards on four carries against Panama. Soler and Joachim Torelli likely will need to throw enough to keep Samoa honest. France has just 34 passing yards in two games. Carl Tembo (14 tackles, one for loss, one interception) has led the defense.