CANCUN, MEXICO —
Mexico scored 21 points in the final 7:10 to erase a 31-13 deficit and claim a 34-31 win over the United States in the 33rd Aztec Bowl at Estadio Cancun 86 Saturday evening.
Frostburg State University senior tight end Roy Olson (Lexington Park, Md./Great Mills) was one of 42 NCAA Division III all stars selected to play in the game which was sponsored by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).
Olson, who caught 26 passes for 409 yards and four touchdowns for the Bobcats this past season, was used as a blocker for Team USA, which amassed 391 yards of offense, including 179 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.
"It was fun meeting a bunch of players from around the nation and playing for a team with a lot of talent at every position," said Olson, who is being evaluated by scouts from several NFL teams.
The United States overcame a record 180 yards in penalties but could not survive two fourth quarter turnovers.
The win was the first for Mexico in seven tries against the United States in this series that pits the top college players in Mexico against the top NCAA Division III players from the U.S.
Alfred’s versatile Jesse Raynor earned Team USA MVP honors as he rushed for one touchdown and converted one field goal and four PATs.
His 14 points tie for the second-most scored by a Team USA player in the Aztec Bowl. Raynor also handled all of the kickoff duties for the United States.
Raynor’s 30-yard field goal with 38 seconds left in the first quarter gave the United States a brief 3-0 lead but Mexico responded with two second quarter touchdowns to jump in front 13-3 after a missed PAT on the second score.
The United States closed the gap to 13-10 at the half as Hardin-Simmons receiver Joe Lemberg shook loose from a Mexico defender and hauled in a 16-yard scoring pass from Linfield’s Tyler Matthews.
The score was the first of four consecutive touchdowns for Team USA as it rolled out to a 31-13 lead on the strength of third-quarter touchdown runs by Wisconsin-Stout’s Luke Bundgaard, Raynor and Ferrum’s Moncrief Holmes.
The United States would not pick up another first down the rest of the way however as Mexico roared back in the fourth quarter.
Mexico pulled to 31-21 with 7:10 to go in the game on a 19-yard pass from Rodrigo Perez to Gustavo Tella and a successful two-point conversion.
On the ensuing U.S. possession, Mexico recovered a Bundgaard fumble and Perez hit Mario Nava for his second score of the game to cut the lead to 31-27 after a missed PAT with 5:44 to go.
Raynor fumbled on the next series and Perez hit Nava again with 4:21 to go to put Mexico up 34-31.
The United States turned the ball over on downs on the ensuing series and Mexico ran out the clock to end the game.
"When you turn the ball over twice in the fourth quarter you aren’t going to win many games," U.S. Head Coach Ron Schipper said following the game. "I hate to lose the way we lost but Mexico did a super job in the fourth quarter. We didn’t put them away."
Offensively, Matthews set Team USA records for completions, attempts and yards as he was 10 for 16 for 158 yards.
As a team, the U.S. threw for a record 212 yards, while its 391 yards of total offense is its second-highest total in the series.
Defensively, Rowan’s Domenic Tomeo set a team record with 12 total tackles for the United States. Williams’ Graham Goldwasser and Capital’s Ron Swearingin had eight apiece.
For further information on this release, contact:
Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532-2303