HALIFAX, NS – The race to the AUS playoffs has continued, but for some teams across Atlantic Canada obstacles have started to arise.
Week four of the 2023 AUS football season saw stout defences try to take on some of USPORTS’ best offensive players, and the result had stadiums from Halifax NS, to Sherbrooke Que.
Mounties hope to turn season around
Mount Allison football came into their Friday matchup against Saint Mary’s having gone 0-2 to start the season, and after a 24-10 road win against the Huskies, they appear to be back on track.
Saint Mary’s was coming off a high note, with their first win of the year being against a sturdy Acadia squad.
The first score of the game came off of a safety that was caused by a special teams penalty that put SMU on their five yard line to start their drive, but they would go three and out, which forced the Huskies to take the safety.
The Mounties would start on their 35 yard line, and after huge rushes, first a 38 yard run for freshmen Shamar Parkinson, and a play later a Brandt Burzuk would take a 23 yard rush to the house to put Mount Allison up nine.
After three punts, and just after the end of the first quarter Mount Allison found themselves on the 50 yard line.
Burzuk would keep up his great day with a 13 yard rush, but that was not all, as two penalties were called on SMU to put the Mounties on the seven yard line.
The offence could not fully make Saint Mary’s pay, by being forced to have Graeme Maither kick in a 15 yard field goal.
The Mounties would not take long to add onto their score, when Justin Vogles found James Laceby cutting through the middle of the field for a 45 yard reception which would spark Burzuk in for a touchdown a play later.
Graeme Maither would then have a touchback to add a single point to make it 20-0.
SMU’s quarterback Zac Montgomery, while being sacked, would find Brycen Mayoh who ran it into the endzone-with zero seconds on the clock.
The Huskies continued to claw back into the game with Mayoh having a huge 37 yard punt return, but it only resulted in Ethan Nagler kicking it through the uprights.
Nagler would then miss a 33 field goal on the Huskies’ next drive, and would not be able to get anything going offensively for the rest of the game.
Mount Allison’s Maither would keep up his great day, by having a touchback and field goal to end off the day, and get the win for the Mounties.
Bishop’s shows out for homecoming
In a statement game to rest of the AUS, and USPORTS football, Bishop’s took down Acadia 40-9.
Acadia, ever since a win in their first game of the season against Mount Allison, has not looked the same, and has been unable to eclipse 15 points the entire season.
Bishop’s has continued their strong play from last season, only losing to the two time straight AUS champions STFX.
The Axemen opened the scoring for the game, when kicker Michael Adams forced Bishop’s to start their drive on their own five yard line, and after a good five yard rush to start, the Gaiters went three and out, and decided it was safer to take the safety.
Brilliant rushing by David Chaloux put the Gaiters on Acadia’s 33, and O’Shae Ho-Sang found a hole to get through the chaotic front line, and rushed in a 33 yard touchdown to begin the scoring onslaught for the Gaiters.
Gabriel Royer then picked off Acadia’s quarterback Dante Tabacu to keep the momentum rolling, and set the Gaiter’s offence up on the Axemen’s 25 yard line.
The offence went to work and got down to the three yard line, and a three yard pass from Justin Quirion to Ho-Sang would get them into the endzone.
But it could not be that simple, as Bishop’s was called for an illegal block to set them back 10 yards, where Quirion was sacked, and they were forced to have Xavier Gervais kick in a 23 yard field goal.
Bishop’s defence would keep it rolling with Jet Wilson and Christopher Kramer combining for a six yard sack to stall out Acadia and keep it rolling for the Gaiters.
Nothing special happened on Bishop’s drive, but Yani Gouadfel would punt the ball 30 yards down to the Axemen’s eight yard line.
On the ensuing drive Acadia got as far as the 19 yard line, but a tackle for loss, a penalty and a sack by David Campeau and Jean Aubert put the Axemen back to their six yard line where they elected for a safety.
Festivities would buffer, until the eight minute mark in the third Riley Naujoks-now in at quarterback for the Axemen-would attempt to find a receiver down field, but when he was in the throwing motion, Jet Wilson would force a fumble, Alexandre Prevost would recover the ball and take it 19 yards to make it 19-2.
After a three and out by Acadia, Justin Quirion would find an open Gabin Leux for a 41 yard dime to set Bishop’s up at the Axemen two yard line, when Mason McGriskin would come in at quarterback, who got the job done by rushing it in for six.
Now in the final quarter, Acadia attempted to pick away at the lead when a 15 yard punt return by Luke McMillan, a 15 yard rush by Max Ramirez, and a 15 yard penalty, put Acadia on the one yard line, and Tabacu cashed in.
Quirion then answered, first with a 25 yard pass to Nykolas Pierre-Masse, and then he found Leux again who came down for a 36 yard touchdown with the defender all over him.
Gervais would then come on to the field as Bishop’s quarterback and marched down from Acadia’s 39 yard line and ended the drive, and pretty much the game with a 19 yard touchdown pass to Ryan Leblanc.
Bishop’s this week will return to action, this time taking on Mount Allison in a rematch of the 2022 AUS semifinal.
SMU will also be present this week, taking the road trip to STFX.