U.S. MEN'S FLAG FOOTBALL NATIONAL TEAM WINS GOLD AND U.S. WOMEN WIN SILVER AT THE WORLD GAMES 2022 IN BIRMINGHAM, ALA.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (July 14, 2022) – The 2022 U.S. Men’s and Women’s Flag Football National Teams each competed in Gold Medal Games Thursday night at The World Games 2022 in Birmingham, Ala. The U.S. Men defeated Italy, 46-36, while the Mexico Women’s National Team defeated the U.S. Women, 39-6.

U.S. National Teams are assembled and managed by USA Football, the sport’s national governing body and a member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee.

The World Games 2022 mark the first time that flag football is part of an international, multi-sport event. The World Games, supported by the International Olympic Committee, are held every four years and feature of 30 of the fastest-growing sports in the world. More than 3,500 athletes from approximately 100 countries are competing in Birmingham through July 17.

Below are Thursday’s Gold Medal Game recaps and U.S. Flag National Team rosters.

Thursday, July 14

U.S. Men’s Flag, The World Games 2022

United States 46, Italy 36 

The U.S. Men’s Flag National upended Italy 46-36 in an air show of a gold medal match as the sun set on Legion Field.

Italy opened the game with a seven-play scoring drive but failed to convert their extra point attempt for a 6-0 lead. The U.S. struck back with a beautiful deep pass from quarterback DARRELL “HOUSH” DOUCETTE (New Orleans, La.) to wide receiver BRUCE MAPP (Carrollton, Texas) for 42 yards. Mapp knew he had something special when Italy’s safety got too close to the line of scrimmage. “First play of the game, the safety came down, Housh trusted me and he let it go,” he said.

Doucette and Mapp connected again on the next play for a three-yard touchdown. A successful two-point conversion gave the U.S. an 8-6 lead, and both teams were off to the races.

The score was tied at 24 at halftime when both national teams paused to catch their breaths. The U.S. came out firing after the break, when Doucette completed a 45-yard touchdown pass to LAVAL DAVIS (Jacksonville, Fla.) on the first play of the second half. The 2-point conversion was successful. However, the U.S. had yet to stop Italy’s offense to that point. 

U.S. defensive back JAMES CALHOUN (Riverside, Calif.) ended the offensive fireworks show with an interception on Italy’s second drive of the second half. Calhoun’s timely turnover ended a stretch of ten consecutive scoring drives on the night.

“Our coaches made a great play call and my captain, FRANKIE SOLOMON (Dallas, Texas) just told me to trust my eyes.” Calhoun said. “Once I saw the curl route and the QB saw it, I jumped it and the rest is history.”

The U.S. offense continued to hum with Doucette’s hot hand on the wheel. The American quarterback finished the game with 10 completions on 12 attempts for 190 yards, four touchdowns, and an interception. He also used his legs to reach the end zone on a 14-yard rush. 

“We’ve watched Italy. We knew how high-powered their offense was. We knew they scored a lot of points, but we were confident that we could stop them,” Doucette said. “They came out and played a great game, but those 2-point conversions made up for some of those stops we couldn’t get. In the second half, we turned it on. The defense made a couple of stops and it was off from there.”

Italy had no answer for the U.S. offensive lineup when Doucette and fellow quarterback LADERRICK “PABLO” SMITH (Pompano Beach, Fla.) entered the game, especially on 2-point conversions. The U.S. dominated on conversions, completing five of their six attempts while stopping the Italian National Team on all six of its tries.

“At the end of the day, we just figured we’d have to win the game however we need to,” Doucette said. “No matter if it was me throwing, Pablo throwing, if it was me running, Pablo running, we just said, ‘Let’s play our hardest and play our best’ – and that’s what we did.”

“It’s so great for them. They’re two guys that can do similar things – it’s a crazy duo and a nightmare for defenses,” Mapp remarked on Doucette and Smith. “Then you’ve got to worry about our receivers. But those guys – Housh and Pablo – were great throughout the tournament.”

Mapp finished the game with five receptions for 70 yards, three touchdowns, and a successful 2-point conversion. Fellow wide receiver DAVID “BOBO” PRICE (Callahan, Fla.) added three receptions for 60 yards.

 

Thursday, July 14

U.S. Women’s Flag, The World Games 2022

Mexico 39, United States 6

The Mexican Women’s Flag National team did everything right in a rematch of the 2021 IFAF Women’s Flag World Championship title game in upsetting the United States for gold at The World Games, 39-6.

The United States got off to a trademark hot start, scoring on a deep pass from quarterback VANITA KROUCH (Carrollton, Texas) to wide receiver CRYSTAL DANIELS (Houston, Texas) which appeared to give the U.S the early lead. The play was wiped out due to a penalty, however, and the decisive early score along with it. Making matters worse, Krouch’s next pass was intercepted and returned 13 yards for a TD to give Mexico a quick 6-0 lead. Mexico would sack Krouch in the endzone on Team USA’s next possession, extending its lead to 8-0.

On its first possession of the contest, Mexico marched down the field in five quick plays, capping off the scoring drive with a short touchdown pass from quarterback DIANA FLORES to push the lead to 14-0. Following another scoreless drive by the Americans, Flores would pass for another TD pass to make the score 20-0 with 6:32 left in the first half.

Reeling from the early deficit, the Americans rallied for a solid drive of their own, trailing by a manageable 20 points. Krouch would complete passes to four different receivers in leading her squad to the Mexican seven-yard line, but her pass to the endzone was tipped by two receivers and intercepted. 

Mexico marched down the field again, with Flores overcoming three incompletions on the drive. She capped off the effort with a three-yard touchdown pass to get the score to 27-0, with the addition of a PAT.

Opening the second half in much the same fashion as they finished the first, Mexico would move downfield and score again in the opening minutes of the stanza, taking a commanding 33-0 lead over the United States.

The Americans were unable to answer in their opening drive of the half, turning the ball over on downs. Flores then led her team downfield for the penultimate score, as her fourth touchdown pass of the contest pushed the lead to 39-0.

“It just hurts, said Krouch. “They (Team Mexico) executed, they studied, we studied and just didn’t execute as well as they did. We had some of the right reads, but our timing and our levels were a little off.”

On its last possession of the contest, Team USA was able to avoid a shutout as Krouch capped an eight-play drive with a short touchdown pass to NADIA BIBBS (Houston, Texas). Receiver JOANN OVERSTREET (Lewisville, Texas) was a big part of the successful drive, hauling in two of her team-high four catches to get things started.

“We prepared, we’ve been waiting for this moment, we got out there today and gave everything we could – I’m just happy to be here with my team,” Overstreet said. “We fought, we’re at the top and everybody has been coming for us. It’s not the end of us. It’s just the beginning of us – so, we will be right back here again.”

Flores finished the day with 20 completions on 28 pass attempts for 210 yards to go with the four TD passes.

“We worked so hard for so many months for this moment,” Flores said. “We knew that the United States is a great team, so we came with everything that we had, we prepared for this game with confidence in every player on our team and that’s how the results came.”

The game was a historic one, marking the first gold medal flag football game to be played at The World Games, a moment not lost on Krouch.

“I’m taking away (from Birmingham) the time we shared as a team, our chemistry, and the victories that we did get,” Krouch added. “This (the loss to Mexico) is something that we’ll have to learn from and I will never take for granted the blessing to even be on this stage and have the support of the NFL and The World Games in Birmingham and the people here for letting women play flag football.”

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Information about the U.S. Flag National Teams throughout and beyond The World Games are posted on Twitter and Instagram at @usnft.

The World Games 2022 (July 7-17) featured the 16 best flag football national teams on the globe, marking the first time that flag is part of an international, multi-sport event. U.S. Flag National Teams are built and managed by USA Football, the sport’s national governing body and a member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee. All competing national teams are members of the International Federation of American Football (IFAF), comprised of 72 nations across five continents. IFAF is a provisional member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The World Games’ flag football results and statistics reside at www.twg2022.com/results.

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2022 U.S. Women’s Flag National Team Roster

Jersey #; Player Name; Position; Height; Weight; Age; City of Residence

No. 1; Joann Overstreet; WR/DB; 5’5”; 130; 39; Lewisville, Texas

No. 2; Mariah Gearhart; Rusher/WR; 5’8”; 130; 33; Orlando, Florida

No. 4; Vanita Krouch; QB; 5’5”; 143; 42; Carrollton, Texas

No. 6; Sheneika Adger-Comice; WR/DB; 5’8”; 160; 34; Sun City Center, Florida

No. 8; Nadia Bibbs; WR/DB; 5’7”; 134; 37; Houston, Texas

No. 12; Ashley Whisonant; WR/DB; 5’6”; 150; 25; Woodbridge, Virginia

No. 13; Deliah Autry; WR/DB; 5’5”; 130; 27; Tampa, Florida

No. 14; Mary Kate Bula; DB/Rusher; 5’4”; 125; 28; Charlotte, North Carolina

No. 15; Ayanna Pate ; WR/DB; 5’4”; 150; 29; Riverview, Florida

No. 16; Michelle Roque; WR/QB; 5’4”; 120; 28; Pompano Beach, Florida

No. 27; Crystal Winter; Rusher; 5’3”; 130; 38; Delray Beach, Florida

No. 69; Crystal Daniels; WR/DB; 5’5”; 140; 30; Houston, Texas

Head Coach: Chris Lankford; Dallas, Texas

 

2022 U.S. Men’s Flag National Team Roster

Jersey #; Player Name; Position; Height; Weight; Age; City of Residence

No. 1; Bruce Mapp; WR/DB; 6’1”; 220; 28; Carrollton, Texas

No. 2; Johnny Rembert; WR/DB; 5’11”; 198; 26; Miami, Florida

No. 3; Jordan Oquendo; DB/WR; 5’10”; 145; 29; Spring Hill, Florida

No. 4; Laval Davis; WR; 5’11”; 185; 29; Jacksonville, Florida

No. 5; Dezmin Lewis; WR; 6’4”; 225; 29; Melissa, Texas

No. 7; Darrell Doucette; QB; 5’7”; 140; 32; New Orleans, Louisiana

No. 11; Aamir Brown; WR/DB; 5’9”; 175; 25; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

No. 14; Laderrick “Pablo” Smith; WR/Rusher; 5’10; 155; 25; Pompano Beach, Florida

No. 15; Frankie Solomon; DB/WR; 5’10; 205; 35; Dallas, Texas

No. 21; James Calhoun; DB/WR; 5’11”; 200; 33; Riverside, California

No. 22; David Price; DB/WR; 6’0”; 215; 30; Callahan, Florida

No. 24; Geoffrey Bryan; Rusher/C; 5’7”; 155; 35; Opa Locka, Florida

Head Coach: Jorge Cascudo; Miami, Florida

Assistant Coach: Patrick Alley; Richardson, Texas

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About USA Football: USA Football designs and delivers premier educational, developmental and competitive programs to advance and grow the sport. As the sport’s national governing body, member of the U.S. Olympic Committee and organizer of the U.S. National Team for international competition, USA Football partners with leaders in medicine, child advocacy and athletics to support positive football experiences for youth, high school and other amateur players.

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