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By Steve Doerschuk
CantonRep.com staff writer
Posted Jun 27, 2009 @ 11:37 PM
Last update Jun 28, 2009 @ 12:44 AM
CANTON — Everyone knows that stereotype about the French treating American visitors rudely, especially in Paris.
A curt “no no” here. A thumb of the nose there.
When the French came to Fawcett Stadium Friday night, it was bloody noses all around for the visitors, a rip-roaring rude awakening in Canton.
The United States deep-fried France 78-0 in a first-round IFAF Junior World Championship game. A festive crowd cheered when running back David Wilson charged onto the field carrying the stars and stripes, then filleted France’s defense.
Team USA consists of soon-to-be NCAA Division I freshmen. Wilson, a prized Virginia Tech recruit, rushed four times for 93 yards in the first quarter and would have had more if the end zone hadn’t kept stopping him. He scored four touchdowns in 2 1/2 quarters.
“He ran the wing-T in high school,” Team USA Head Coach Chuck Kyle said. “He had a week and a half to figure out how to be an I-formation tailback. Looks like he figured it out.”
The blocking was robust.
“All we’ve been doing is hitting each other for two weeks,” said Ohio State-bound center Jack Mewhort. “By the time we got here, everybody wanted to rip somebody’s head off.”
It was the nightcap of a four-game marathon whose combined attendance was 10,145.
Fawcett will fire back up for four more games on Wednesday, featuring a Mexico-USA battle at 7 p.m.
Three consolation games will be played next Saturday, followed by the championship game next Sunday.
France’s right tackle, 6-foot-3, 238-pound Vincent Valantin, is smaller than many at that position in local high school leagues. One of the wideouts, 5-foot-7 Mathieu Lapios, made 175-pound USA cornerback J.R. McConico look like a monster.
The French flirted with productive moments. One was a deep ball that floated toward a wide-open Lapios. McConico came out of nowhere to blow up the play.
France’s Abdeslam Allal leaped in celebration when a France punt rolled dead at the 1. One play later, after a simple handoff to Wilson, Team USA was at the 28.
Mismatches were everywhere. Cheers for big hits were frequent.
France defensive end Jordan Dable (6-1, 212) could as easily have burrowed through a redwood as gotten around USA offensive tackle Oday Oboushi (6-6, 300).
Through three quarters, Team USA led 460-32 in total yards, with Wilson running for 181.
The score could have hit 100. One would-be USA TD was erased by a ball fumbled through the end zone. An interception return for a TD was nixed by a penalty.
In the second half, Ohio State-bound linebacker Storm Klein was part of a group rush that sacked a France QB for a 17-yard loss.
It can’t be said Paris never saw football like this. It’s a short drive from Canton to the Paris in Stark County.
It was a long summer night for Team France. But ...
“I think they learned,” Klein said of the visitors. “I think they enjoyed themselves.”