Game Previews: Sunday, July 12

0712 Game Capsule photo - Australia

By Mike Preston


The following are 2015 IFAF World Championship game previews for Sunday, July 12. All three games will be played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, adjacent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio:


MATCHUP: South Korea vs. Brazil

GAME TIME: 12 p.m. ET


ESPN Brazil




PREVIOUS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MEETINGS: First World Championship meeting between the two nations.

HEAD COACHES: South Korea – Sun-Il Beak; Brazil – Danilo Muller Ribeiro


1999 – Did not participate

2003 – Did not participate

2007 – Fifth place

Group stages: L 32-2 vs. Germany; L 77-0 v. USA

Fifth Place Game: W 3-0 vs. France

2011 – Did not participate

2015 – Group stages: L 47-6 vs. Australia

Overall record: 1-3


2015 – Group stages: L 31-6 vs. France

Overall record: 0-1


Notes: South Korea linebacker Yeo Bong Do scored his nation’s first touchdown in IFAF World Championship history on Thursday with a 36-yard interception return in the first quarter to earn a 6-0 lead over Australia. He was named his team’s game MVP. … The pick-six was the fifth longest interception return in tournament history. … Although South Korea took fifth place at the 2007 tournament, the nation’s win came courtesy of a 3-0 success over France and a touchdown was not scored in two group stages defeats. … South Korea features four players who helped their nation claim fifth place in Japan in 2007, including two defensive backs in Sung Jin Choi and Soo Don Kim and one of their rushing threats, running back Bosung Kang. … Head coach Seong Il Baek returns to the IFAF World Championship for a second time having served as a defensive coach at his nation’s previous participation in Japan in 2007. … Running back Jeon Hong Duck had 19 rushing attempts, placing him joint fourth in that category in the IFAF World Championship records. … Quarterback Jeong Tae Seong will miss the rest of the tournament due to an injury suffered against Australia. … Brazil played for the first time at the IFAF World Championship on Thursday in a 31-6 defeat to France. … Quarterback Rhudson Fonseca scored the first touchdown in Brazil’s tournament history with a two-yard run in the fourth quarter. … Brazil beat Panama 26-14 in a qualifier for the right to be in Canton. … Brazil head coach Danilo Muller Ribeiro has playing experience in the United States where he lined up at linebacker for Santa Monica College in 1999. … Romulo Ramos led Brazil with 56 rushing yards against France. … Defensive lineman Bruno de Silva was named Brazil’s MVP of the loss to France, posting a sack and 1.5 tackles for a loss.

South Korea kicker / wide receiver Seung Jae Lee: “Australia was a lot tougher than we thought and they had a fast tempo offense and defense and made plays on special teams and I don’t think we were really ready for them.”

“We have nothing to lose now and we’re not going to get this opportunity again.  We will put our best effort in to get a win.”

“I was a kicker in high school and had scholarship offers so I didn’t want to get hurt by playing receiver, but I did play on scout teams and intramural teams in college and if I can line up at receiver for Korea, I will if it helps the team win.”

Brazil offensive coordinator Brian Guzman: “We have a solid offensive line with veteran players and really good athletes. That’s our most consistent unit – they’ve been together for some time. Overall, we’re a physical team. We may not be the fastest team in the tournament, but it’s a physical team that is passionate about this opportunity. It’s a team with a lot of heart.”

“This is the first time Brazil has taken part in an IFAF World Championship and it’s a dream come true for a generation of amateur football players in Brazil. This opportunity to come here and play football in Canton where pro football started, to play right next to the Hall of Fame, it’s just very, very exciting for us.”

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MATCHUP: France vs. Australia

GAME TIME: 3:30 p.m. ET


Australia: ESPN3 Australia




PREVIOUS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MEETINGS: First World Championship meeting between the two nations.

HEAD COACHES: France – Patrick Esume; Australia – John Leijten


1999 – Did not participate

2003 – Fourth place

Semi final: L 23-6 vs. Japan

Bronze medal game: L 37-7 vs. Germany

2007 – Sixth place

Group stages: L 48-0 vs. Japan; L 16-14 vs. Sweden

Fifth place game: L 3-0 vs. South Korea

2011 – Fifth place

Group stages: L 45-10 vs. Canada; L 35-10 vs. Japan;

W 24-16 vs. Austria

Seventh Place Game: L 21-17 vs. Germany

2015 – Group stages: W 31-6 vs. Brazil

Overall record: 2-8


1999 – Fifth place

Group stages: L 6-22 vs. Sweden; L 0-54 vs. Japan

Fifth Place Game: W 10-7 vs. Finland

2003 – Did not participate

2007 – Did not participate

2011 – Eighth place

Group stages: L 61-0 vs. USA; L 65-0 vs. Mexico; L 30-20 vs. Germany

Seventh Place Game: L 48-10 vs. Austria

2015 – Group stages: W 47-6 vs. South Korea

Overall record: 2-6


Notes: France head coach Patrick Esume and his opposite number John Leijten of Australia have both coached in NFL Europe and in Germany. Esume was on the staff of the Frankfurt Galaxy and Hamburg Sea Devils, while Leijten was with the Amsterdam Admirals. … Esume led the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes to a German Bowl title, while Leijten is currently the head coach of Germany’s Dresden Monarchs. … Two French players – wide receiver Guillaume Rioux and safety Sebastien Sejean – play under Leijten in Dresden and go up against their club team coach on Sunday. … Rioux, who was the MVP of France’s win over Brazil having caught 6 passes for 79 yards and 2 touchdowns, and returned 2 punts for 54 yards, will face Monarchs teammate wide receiver Damien Donaldson of Australia. … Anthony Dable scored on a 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to earn France six points and the perfect start against Brazil, which was the longest play in tournament history. … French teammate Anthony Couvin came up one yard short of that number with an 83-yard kickoff return. … France won its second game in IFAF World Championship history on Thursday, adding to a 24-16 win over in Austria, which had snapped a 7-game losing streak dating back to 2003. … Australia’s 47-6 win over South Korea was the nation’s first since a 1999 victory over Finland by 10 points to 7 that earned fifth place in Italy. … 31 points is the most France has scored in tournament history and Australia also set a personal best with 47 points. … Australia quarterback Jared Stegman set a new individual and team record for the most touchdowns thrown in a single game as his four strikes through the air in a 47-6 win over South Korea outshone the previous best of three touchdowns thrown by five players. … Australian running back Conor Foley’s 132 yards against South Korea set a second-best mark all-time, but were a full 100 yards short of the impressive record set by Lars Gustafsson of Sweden against Italy in 1999. Foley’s average 12 yards per game is the third best in history. … Australia’s Eddie Kocwa split the uprights six times, the joint-sixth best effort, but five extra points behind the 11-PAT performance of Craig Coffin of the United States against South Korea in 2007. … Damien Malloy of Australia all equaled the second-best performance in tournament history with three sacks, one shy of the record. … Among 12 players again wearing the colors of Australia on the world stage is Jason Aslimosky, who lined up for Australia at the inaugural IFAF World Championship in 1999.

France safety Sebastien Sejean: “I played in the World Championship in 2003 and in 2007, so I have a view of all the generations of the French national team and now we have a lot of talent, a good coach, and confidence, but we have to control our confidence. The guys need to concentrate and be disciplined. My goal is to make everyone believe that we can do it and win games here.”

“Every guy on this team has experience and if we focus on the details and we execute, we can win.  In the last game we did not have that discipline and we had too many penalties, but we know we have to put that right.”

Australia quarterback Jared Stegman: “Everyone has to keep their mind focused on the game and have their head in the huddle and looking at film.  We’ve seen what the French are coming out with and our players know what to look for. Our coach has instilled a lot of confidence in us because he know the other team’s coach and playing style and he knows they can be beaten.”

“We find great pride in scrapping to the end and we’re not scared of any opponent. There’s a small country pride in doing what we do well.  We are a tough, gritty, resilient team.”

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MATCHUP: United States vs. Japan

GAME TIME: 7 p.m. ET





PREVIOUS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MEETING: 2007 – Gold Medal game: USA 23 Japan 20 (2OT)

HEAD COACHES: United States – Dan Hawkins; Japan – Kiyoyuki Mori


1999 – Did not participate

2003 – Did not participate

2007 – Gold medal winners

Group stages: W 77-0 vs. Korea; W 33-7 vs. Germany

Gold Medal game: W 23-20 (2OT) vs. Japan

2011 – Gold media winners

Group stages: W 61-0 vs. Australia; W 48-7 vs. Germany;

W 17-7 vs. Mexico

Gold Medal game: W 50-7 vs. Canada

2015 – Group stages: W 30-6 vs. Mexico

Overall record: 8-0


1999 – Gold medal winners

Group stages: W 21-15 vs. Sweden; W 54-0 vs. Australia

Gold medal game: W 6-0 (OT) vs. Mexico

2003 – Gold medal winners

Semi finals: W 23-6 vs. France

Gold medal game: W 34-14 vs. Mexico

2007 – Silver medal winners

Group stages: W 48-0 vs. France; W 48-0 vs. Sweden

Gold media game: L 23-20 (2OT) vs. USA

2011 – Bronze medal winners

Group stages: W 24-6 vs. Austria; W 35-10 vs. France;

L 31-27 vs. Canada

Bronze medal game: W 17-14 vs. Mexico

2015 – Bye on July 9

Overall record: 10-2


Notes: Truly the meeting of the two powerhouses of international American football. … Japan won its first seven IFAF World Championship games, a record that was equaled by opponent the United States in the 2011 final and beaten on Thursday in the Americans’ opening win of the 2015 tournament. … Japan won the first two IFAF World Championships (1999 in Italy, 2003 in Germany), while USA won the next two (2007 in Japan, 2011 in Austria). … Japan’s first defeat in tournament play came in the 2007 Gold medal game in a loss to the United States. … The U.S. needed double overtime to see off the challenge of Japan in 2007 and win its first world title with a decisive 23-yard Craig Coffin field goal that sealed a 23-20 victory. … Japan’s only other loss within a 10-2 record came against Canada and was also a narrow defeat, 31-7 in the group stages. … Japan took the silver medal in 2007 and bronze in 2011 making it the only nation to have medaled at all four previous tournaments. … Japan coach Kiyoyuki Mori was a member of the offensive coaching staff in 2003, offensive coordinator in 2007 and head coach in 2011. … Japanese defensive lineman Yasuo Wakisaka will be the only player participating at the 2015 IFAF World Championship who boasts two goal medals in his collection. The veteran is also the only player to have plated at each of the four previous IFAF World Championships. … Japan returns a total of 15 players who were part of the 2011 tournament – the most of any country – including eight who played in the 2007 gold medal defeat to the United States…. The United States brings, relatively speaking, a rookie squad to the event, though wide receiver Kevin Cummings played for his country in the 2009 Under-19 World Championship in Canton. … United States quarterbacks coach Cody Hawkins was the 2011 starter under center for the Americans in Austria in 2011 and an All-Tournament pick. … In its opening game of the 2015 games on Thursday, July 9, USA set new team highs with 8 sacks in a single game and 18.5 tackles for a loss in a 30-6 win over Mexico. … Quarterback Dylan Favre set a new average yards completion per game high with a 29.3-yard mark against Mexico.

United States defensive lineman Tevin Davis, who posted 2.5 of the team’s record 8 sacks against Mexico Thursday, said: “For a strong pass rush, it has to do with all three defensive linemen along with the linebackers and defensive backs holding their coverage.  That allows us to go after the quarterback up front. And if it wasn’t for our other defensive end or our nose guard, I wouldn’t have gotten those sacks.”
“We look forward to playing Japan. It feels real good to have a game under our belt and know what we need to work on to be a better team.”

Japan assistant head coach Tsuyoshi Kawata: “We just have to do what we do best against the U.S.  We will make minor adjustments based on what we saw from their first game, but we will focus on what we do.  Quickness, speed and execution and the fact we are a well disciplined and focused team will be our strengths.”

“We didn’t play on Thursday, so now we get to go full speed for the first time and we have been waiting a long time for that.”


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