HALIFAX, NS – Week five of the AUS football season brought more festivities to campuses across the Atlantic provinces.
This week featured a tight game that had familiar foes looking to get revenge for playoffs past, and also an offensive shootout that had the two defensive coaches’ gameplans looking silly.
X-Men flexes muscles on Saint Mary’s
The weekend started with Saint Mary’s looking to climb a monstrous mountain by taking on STFX at home.
The two teams could not have been in more different situations; Saint Mary’s coming off a loss to Mount Allison, and STFX keeping a winning streak dating back to October of 2019.
Their winning streak would continue through this week where they took down the Huskies, 51-21.
The Huskies ignored what they were up against, and scored off of the first drive of the game when A’dre Simmonds rushed in a one yard touchdown, and took over eight minutes of clock.
It did not take long for STFX to answer, when on the next drive Silas Fagnan threw a beautiful ball to Zachary Houde-who had a defender all over him-for a 38 yard pass to put them on SMU’s 10 yard line.
STFX looked like they could not capitalise, but on third down they would run some trickery by faking a kick, and kicker Ben Hadley would run in for a touchdown.
The X-Men would begin to pile on the points in the second quarter, first off of a 30 yard touchdown reception for Houde, and then Hadley added a 25 yard free kick of his own.
STFX’s defence would then show they can put some points up on the board, off of a Brandyn Martin interception that he would run 58 yards back for six.
Off the next kick off, X’s defence would step up again this time, Thomas Bently punched out the ball, and gave Fagnan the ball on SMU’s 39 yard line.
Fagnan would drive 39 yards in 40 seconds and found Devaughn Blackwood in the endzone for an eight yard touchdown.
That would be all the scoring for the first half, and had STFX up 31-7.
The scoring onslaught would not stop for STFX who added a Hadley nine yard field goal, and then Houde got in the endzone again, this time for 23 yards.
Saint Mary’s got no break, as shortly after, Thomas Bently joined Martin with a pick six of his own, this time further in SMU’s end of the half with a 15 yard run.
Hadley kept up his amazing day by adding a 33 yard to the lead to end the third quarter.
SMU tried desperately to get back into the game in the fourth quarter, now with their second quarterback on the day, Brycen Mayoh had a 26 yard touchdown off of the arm of Zac Montgomery.
Montgomery did his best while under centre, and found Trydell Mintis for a 15 yard passing touchdown for the final score of the game.
STFX dominated on both sides, putting up 497 total offensive yards, and scored six touchdowns.
Mount Allison’s homecoming ends in defeat
The second game of the weekend had the Mount Allison Mounties looking to get vengeance for last year’s AUS semifinal against Bishop’s Gaiters.
The Gaiters shut down any idea of that sort by winning 18-10.
Bishop’s opened the score early, when AUS leader in passing yards, Justin Quirion successfully marched down field, and found Oliver Burnett for six off of a12 yard pass.
Quirion stayed throwing passes that resulted in a touchdown, but this time for the wrong side.
Ben Michel intercepted the quarterback off of the first play of the drive, and ran it back to the house to swing momentum in the Mounties favour.
The momentum never went anywhere, and both team’s offensive sides stalled out for the majority of the second quarter.
Almost halfway through the second quarter, Samuel Robichaud took over with a forced fumble on Justin Vogels that put Bishop’s on Mount Allison’s 28 yard line.
Bishop’s rushing game would take it from there, first O’Shae Ho-Sang rushed for 16 yards, and then Quirion rushed for seven.
The Mounties had a holding penalty that pushed the Gaiters to the 17 yard line, but they could not take advantage and were forced to take the three points off the leg of Xavier Gervais.
Vogels and the Mount Allison offence began to come alive in the second half, with the quarterback finding Cody Barton for a leaping catch over the head of the Gaiter’s defender and continuing to run until tackled for a 44 yard play.
The drive would not go much further, but they would tie the game off of a field goal from Graeme Maither.
Just after the start of the fourth quarter, Quirion would find Burnett who beat the double team for a 44 yard reception.
Despite a strong seven yard rush by Ho-Sang to open the next three plays, the Gaiters were stopped, and forced to try for the one point from 21 yards out, and Gervais would make it.
Immediately off of the Mounties next drive, Christopher Kramer would force a fumble on Brandt Burzuk, and Yani Gouadfel would pick up the ball, and run it back 43 yards to make it an eight point lead.
Mount Allison with about a minute and a half in the game left, marched down the field to the Gaiter’s two yard line, and looked like they would surely score a touchdown, but Gouadfel had other plans, and picked off Vogels to get the win.