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Blugolds' Tieri Leads Team Usa In Tackles In Aztec Bowl Win
Posted: Saturday, December 17, 2005
TOLUCA, MEX. - Ohio Northern defensive back Wes Hostetler scored three touchdowns and the United States defense and special teams rolled up 375 yards in interception, kickoff and punt returns as Team USA rolled to a record-setting 53-15 win over Mexico in the 2005 Aztec Bowl.
Hostetler alone accounted for 223 return yards as he scored on an 86-yard kickoff return in the first quarter, a 75-yard interception return in the third quarter and a 54-yard punt return in the third quarter to earn Team USA MVP honors.
With his performance on Saturday Hostetler tied the Team USA record for points scored (18) and set Team USA records for all-purpose yards (223), touchdowns scored, longest interception return and longest kickoff return.
"It could have been anyone else out there," Hostetler said. "The blocking was phenomenal. I just had to wait for a block and read my keys. I wish I could play with these guys all year long."
The United States defense and special teams accounted for 36 of Team USA's 53 points. In addition to Hostetler, Curry's Charlie Gibbs and North Central's Lenny Radtke scored on interception returns and Occidental's Mike Bryant blocked a punt for a safety in the first quarter. The 53 points are the most scored by Team USA in the nine-year series.
"Our kids just played superbly and our defense was outstanding," USA Head Coach Ron Schipper said after the game. "Obviously Hostetler is truly outstanding and just made great plays and we kept the crowd out of it."
Gibbs opened the scoring with his return of an errant Juan Zamora pass to put the USA up 7-0. Mexico answered that score with a five-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a seven-yard touchdown run by Rene Molina. With five minutes to go in the first quarter Bryant broke free and blocked a Daniel Chavez punt attempt out of the end zone to up the score to 9-7. On the ensuing free kick, Hostetler scampered 86 yards down the USA sideline to give the Americans a 16-7 lead with 4:42 to go in the quarter.
Midway through the second quarter the U.S. upped its lead to 19-7 when Wheaton's Andrew Day converted on a 37-yard field goal. The score was set up by a 26-yard interception return by St. Thomas linebacker Andrew Ubbelohde, the lone USA interception that was not returned for a touchdown.
The United States offense did not reach the end zone until 24 seconds remained in the first half when Delaware Valley's Adam Knoblauch hit St. Norbert running back Casey Meehan with a 22-yard touchdown pass to put Team USA up 26-7 at halftime.
The United State offense was thwarted once again at the start of the second quarter when a pass from Wabash's Russ Harbaugh was intercepted at the Mexico two-yard line by Ricardo Tavera. Mexico's offense moved the ball out to midfield before Hostetler stepped in front of a Gilberto Escobedo pass at the 25-yard line and sprinted 75 yards for the score.
The Team USA defense held on Mexico's next possession and Hostetler returned the fourth down punt 54 yards into the end zone and the United States was out in front 40-7 midway through the third quarter.
Mexico found the end zone for the final time on the day 28 seconds into the fourth quarter when Escobedo hit Juan Corona with a 12-yard touchdown pass and then completed a two-point conversion pass to running back Rene Molina to cut the USA lead to 40-15.
The predominantly pro-Mexican crowd of 13,000 roared with approval and the score seemed to give Mexico new life. But the United States offense answered the Mexico score with a touchdown of its own as Bridgewater State's (Mass.) Brenden Kavey raced 69 yards for a touchdown to increase the Team USA lead to 47-15 with 13:19 remaining in what was a rapidly moving fourth quarter.
Mexico moved to the USA 16-yard line on its next possession before the USA defense stiffened and stopped the home team on fourth down with 9:29 to go. The teams traded punts the rest of the quarter before North Central's Lenny Radtke ended the game with a 28-yard interception return for a touchdown as time ran ou