Brazil 28, South Korea 0
By Brad Bournival
CANTON, Ohio – Label the Brazilians a squad of fast learners.
A team that wasn’t founded until eight years ago, Brazil figured out how to win at the International Federation of American Football World Championship level in just its second game.
It came against South Korea on Sunday at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in a 28-0 win.
CLICK HERE: Final Box Score — Brazil 28, South Korea 0
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While Mother Nature wasn’t cooperating for most of the game, Brazil was all smiles following the shutout.
“It gives a lot of confidence to us,” wide receiver Heron Azevedo said. “We kept going back to our first half against France (a 31-6 loss). We weren’t quite performing. The game was bigger than we thought. In the second half, we calmed down, so we could kind of battle against them.
“That builds a little confidence for us and transferred to this game. The people in Brazil that are trying to build football, this win means a lot to them.”
The numbers show it as Brazil (1-1) dominated from whistle to whistle. Running back Bruno Santucci led all rushers with 108 yards on 8 carries and Romulo Ramus joined him with a 93-yard performance on 10 carries.
Quarterback Rodrigo Dantas was 8-18 for 84 yards and two touchdowns, while Rhudson Fonseca had a touchdown and 45 yards passing. Rodrigo Pons (5 catches, 60 yards, 2 touchdowns) and Azevedo (3, 38, 1) caused all sorts of matchup problems as well.
By the time it was over, South Korea (0-2) gave up 6.0 yards per play and 6.8 yards per carry – 237 yards on 35 carries.
Much of that had to do with center Dhiego Taylor, guards Rufo Neto and Hatila de Oliveira and tackles Anselmo Bauer and Lenin Caldeira, as the front line blew holes open all afternoon.
“They’ve worked for several years together,” Ramus said. “It’s very good when they can do their job because it makes it easier for us.”
The play that swung things came after Brazil’s only turnover. Down 18-0 midway through the third quarter, South Korea had the ball on Brazil’s 38 and was looking to cut into the lead.
But Macros da Rocha jumped the pass of Hoon Kim and returned it to the South Korea 19. Pons scored the second of his two touchdowns to seal things.
“Very simply, we lost control,” South Korea coach Seong-Il Beak said. “We had the chance to make it happen, but after the interception we lost total control.”
With six days to practice before its next game, South Korea will go back to the drawing board in an effort to figure out a way to score its first offensive touchdown in IFAF World Championship play.
“We’re not playing in unison,” running back Hong Duck Jeon said. “We need to play as one, but unfortunately it’s not happening. We need to practice more.”