A gamble by Team USA head coach Steve Specht early in the second quarter paid off, as quarterback Brayden Scott connected over the middle with slot receiver Demarcus Ayers for a seven-yard touchdown catch on fourth down. Scott had an efficient performance in the first half, going 8-10 for 117 yards and that touchdown to Ayers, who led the team with five catches for 82 yards.
A personal foul for a late hit on the quarterback by linebacker Reggie Spearman helped extend an American Samoan drive inside the US redzone and the Pacific Islanders converted with a one-yard touchdown plunge by Howard Tautu that narrowed the margin to 20-6. Spearman picked up two more personal foul penalties after a three-and-out by the Americans on offense mostly a result of a sack on a play-action pass attempt. As a whole, Team USA committed 10 total penalties in the first half.
Fortunately for head coach Specht and his team, safety Cameron Walker stayed at home on a halfback pass by American Samoa and broke it up. On the following play, Samoa went to well again, this time on an end around, but Walker was again in position and was able to intercept the throw.
With an ankle injury to Notre Dame commit Rashad Kinlaw that resulted in him leaving the game, Team USA is now down to one quarterback on the roster after Missouri commit Trent Hosick left Austin to return home for personal reasons. The back-up quarterback is now Darrius Sims, the defensive back from Southaven, Mississippi.
Stay healthy, Brayden Scott.