Canada Advances to Finals at NFL GJC

Washington Commanders

Canada staved off two tough battles on Wednesday to earn the right to defend their titles at the NFL Global Junior Championships on Saturday. Both Japan and France pushed Canada in preliminary action, but in the end, the Canadian team’s running game was just too much. In Canada’s first game of the tournament against France, they scored on just the third play of their first possession to earn an early 7-0 lead. They would never surrender that lead. Anthony Woodson slammed it in from the one-yard line, after fellow running back Edem Nyamadi had scampered 24-yards on a Bruno Prud’homme screen pass. The score stayed that way until Woodson scored again late in the game on a 22-yard toss right to make it 14-0. He finished with 42 yards and two touchdowns on six attempts. Canada’s second game against Japan was a tougher affair. The Japanese crushed the French 28-0 in their opener and came into the game confident. Neither team manged to score on their opening possession, and then Canadian Kyle Smith intercepted a Japanese pass to give Canada great field position. Four plays later, Nyamdi ran it in from the two to give Canada a 7-0 lead with less than a minute and a half remaining in the first half. Japan rallied from the score quickly though, and marched to Canada’s 19-yard line on back-to-back plays of twenty-plus yards. A penalty forced Japan to try a field goal with just 0:01 remaining in the half, but Yoshytaka Imae’s 36-yard attempt came up short and Canada took the lead to the break. Despite a valiant effort in the second from the Japanese, they could not solve the Canadian defense. And when Canada got the ball back with just under three and a half minutes remaining in the game, they couldn’t stop their rushing attack either. Canada methodically ran over Japan nine consecutive times for 73-yards and more importantly, to eat the remaining clock. They mercifully took a knee on the Japanese seven-yard line to close out the game, and cement their place in the final. Canada will face the United States in the final on Saturday, February 3, at Lockhart Stadium. The Americans looked very convincing in the preliminaries beating Panama 27-0 in their first game, and Mexico 16-0 in their second. It is Canada’s third straight appearance in the NFL Global Junior Championship final. Something has to give. Neither the Canadian team, nor the American team have given up a point in the tournament. One will on Saturday afternoon, and that might be all it takes. You can catch the live webcast at the site on Saturday at 3…

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