Team USA Faces Off Against Canada

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A week after the start of the 2011 American Football World Championships in Austria started the last matchups games are set. The winners of the group stage will meet in the final with reigning champion USA and Canada fighting for the title. Mexico and Japan fight each other for the bronze medal.

After a disappointing group stage host Austria plays Australia in a battle for 7th place. European Champion Germany and last year's European Championship runner-up France meet in a clash for 5th place.

The USA had little problems in their first two games of the group stage, beating Australia (61-0) and Germany (48-7) in convincing fashion. Then the US team advanced as the winner of group A with a 17-7 victory over Mexico.

Thus far QB Cody Hawkins (Stockholm Mean Machines) and RB/WR Nate Kmic are America's most important players. Hawkins completed 47 of 67 passes for 623 yards with 3 touchdowns and an interception. Kmic, who holds the NCAA's All-Division rushing record with 8,074 rushing yards for Mount Union, gained 45 yards on 14 carries and caught 21 passes for 236 yards and a touchdown. Also in the mix are RB Henry Harris (15 carries for 123 yards and 2 TDs) and RB DaShawn Thomas (23 carries for 120 yards and 5 TDs). The defense of Team USA allowed only 416 total yards in all three games combined and caught three interceptions.

Canada started with a 45-10 victory over France, before beating Austria 36-14. In their last game in group B the Maple Leafs beat Japan in a close one, prevailing 31-27. In these three contests QB Michael Faulds completed 48 of 69 passes for 644 yards with 5 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. He also had 13 rushes for 72 yards and two scores.

RB Matt Walters gained 181 yards on 32 carries and scored 4 touchdowns. RB David Stevens had 25 rushes for 155 yards and 2 touchdowns. WR Shamwad Chambers caught 13 balls for 174 yards and 2 touchdowns. WR Scott Valberg hauled in 13 passes for 189 yards and a score.

Mexico started the tournament with a close 22-15 win over Germany, then crushing Australia 65-0 before losing to the US in a battle for first place. The Mexicans rely on RB Jose Reyes, who had 30 rushes for 191 yards and 2 touchdowns. QB Rodrigo Perez completed 32 of 49 passes for 402 yards and 2 scores.

WR Jose Antonio Alfonso caught 13 balls for 216 yards and a touchdown. WR Oscar Ruiz caught 12 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown. The Mexican defense is led by DT Mauricio Lopez. A member of the 2008 Oakland Raiders team Lopez had 5.5 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss in the group stage.

Japan made it to the bronze medal game by beating Austria 24-6 and France 35-10. They lost their final game in group B to Canada. One of the stars of the team is former NFL Europa stand-out WR Noriaki Kinoshita. He caught 2 balls for 60 yards, had 2 rushes for 27 yards and returned 4 kickoffs for 163 yards.

QB Tetsuo Takata completed 32 of 57 passes for 392 yards with 2 touchdowns and one interception. Three players share the load on the ground: RB Takuya Furutani (16 carries for 122 yards and 2 TDs), RB Tomokazu Sueyoshi (16 carries for 79 yards and 2 TDs) and RB Yasuhiro Maruta (21 carries for 75 yards and 4 TDs).

With Austria and Germany eliminated, none of the 13 active SWARCO Raiders players has a chance to win a championship. Still all players from The Oakland Raiders Austrian sister team and reigning Eurobowl and Austrian Bowl champion left their mark on the tournament.

For Austria RB Florian Grein had 37 rushes for 151 yards. WR Andreas Pröller caught 5 balls for 78 yards with a touchdown and WR Jakob Dieplinger had 9 catches for 173 yards and 2 touchdowns. LB Florian Hueter led his team with 13.5 tackles. LB Christoph Schilcher had 8 tackles. LB Michael Süß had 0.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles. DB Markus Krause had 7 tackles. DE Mario Rinner had 0.5 tackles. OT Michael Habetin and OL Norbert Baumgartner played on the offensive line.

Three SWARCO Raiders players played for Germany. WR/P Pascal Maier had to fight muscular problems, but managed to punt 9 times for 351 yards (39.0 yards average) with 3 punts inside the 20 and caught 4 balls for 71 yards. DE Robert Zernicke had 11 tackles, forced and recovered a fumble, had 2 quarterback hurries and 4 sacks. K Dennis Wiehberg kicked 3 field goals and 5 extra points.

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