SALTILLO, Mexico – The NCAA Division III football all-star team won its fifth straight Aztec Bowl Saturday, beating Mexico’s collegiate national all-stars, 37-5, before a sellout crowd of 10,000 at Estadio Olimpico.
Plymouth State College senior Chad Zibolis (Nashua, N.H.) started at center for the NCAA all-stars, one of four New England players in the starting line-up. Offensive tackle Mike Willey of Tufts, All-American defensive tackle Greg Boucher of Western Connecticut and defensive end Russ Watson of Worcester State joined Zibolis as starters in the game.
Team USA, which narrowly pulled out a 27-26 win in 2000 against Mexico, led by 16-3 at halftime before opening up a 30-3 lead after three periods. The U.S. offense gained 243 yards total offense, 159 in the air and 84 on the ground.
Wide receiver Kirk Rogers of Hardin-Simmons caught two touchdown passes and Jeff Gibbs of Otterbein added a third TD reception to pace the U.S. offense. Jim Jones of Widener caught three passes for 87 yards from quarterbacks Chris Czernek of Cal Lutheran and Jason Visconti of Wesley. Dave Chortney of Augustana and Shane Reams of Allegheny led the U.S. running attack with 47 and 45 yards rushing, respectively.
The United States’ defense limited Mexico to 68 yards total offense and sacked Mexico’s two quarterbacks eight times.
The U.S. was coached by former Central of Iowa head coach Ron Schipper.