After a sterling first-round performance last Saturday, former Columbia High player and USC signee Chris Payne and Team USA will meet Mexico in the second round of the Junior World Championship football tournament at Canton, Ohio, on Wednesday.
Payne, playing safety, led the American team with eight tackles, including a sack, in a 78-0 thrashing of France before a crowd of 10,145 at Fawcett Stadium, which is adjacent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Linebacker Tariq Edwards of Marlboro County was second on the team with six tackles and a sack.
Payne also returned one punt for 11 yards.
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Team USA, seeded No. 2 in the eight-team tournament, plays third-seeded Mexico at 7 p.m. Earlier Wednesday, top-seeded France meets Japan in the other semifinal at 4 p.m.
Winners advance to Sunday’s Gold Medal game at 1 p.m. The third-place game, for the bronze medal, is Saturday night at 7 p.m.