X-Men dash Huskies playoff hopes with 14-4 win in final regular season game

Photo by Nick Pearce
Photo by Nick Pearce

(HALIFAX, N.S.) The Saint Mary's Huskies played for their playoff lives on Saturday afternoon. In the end, it was not enough as the visiting StFX X-Men upended the Huskies 14-4 in AUS football action from Huskies Stadium. 

The X-Men scored the only points of the opening quarter on a set of unusual circumstances.  

A Chase Bowden (St. Catharines, Ont.) 37-yard run put StFX to the SMU 26-yard line. 

Two SMU penalties later, put the X-Men at SMU's one-yard line. 

StFX's quarterback Quinn Stewart (Richmond, Ont.) fumbled on the next play and it was returned 111 yards by Saint Mary's for the apparent touchdown. However, a defensive offside penalty wiped out the Saint Mary's scoreStewart made no mistake on the ensuing play, scoring on a one-yard plunge for a 7-0 lead after Keiran Burnham's (Cambridge, Ont.) extra point with 5:09 left in the first quarter. 

The Huskies started the second quarter forcing two quick punts by the X-Men. 

SMU started their second possession of the quarter from their own 20. 

A 19-yard strike from Avery Clayton (Ottawa, Ont.) to Robert Hemming (Halifax, N.S.) pushed the Huskies up to their own 39-yard line. 

Clayton's next pass was tipped by SMU's receiver and it fell into the hands of Cole Virtanen (Nanaimo, B.C.) who returned it 42 yards for the pick six touchdown. 

StFX led 14-0 with 8:35 left in the half. 

After several punts were traded back and forth—there were 23 in the game—SMU started their drive at their own 34-yard line and in seven plays drove 56 yards to the X-Men's 20-yard line. 

Saint Mary's kicker Brian Hope (Port Coquitlan, B.C.) knocked through a 27-yard field goal—SMU's first points of the afternoon—as the Huskies trailed StFX 14-3 at halftime. 

Hope added a single rouge in the third quarter, as the fourth was scoreless and StFX held on for the 14-4 victory. 

Hope tied the AUS career field goal record of 65 set by SMU's Justin Palardy (2006-2009). 

StFX ends their campaign at 2-6. 

Saint Mary's and Mount Allison were battling for last playoff spot versus Bishop's coming into this week with identical records of 3-4. 

Mount Allison lost to Acadia 33-31 on Saturday, as their last-second field goal went wide. 

The Mounties and SMU split the regular season, but Mount A held the point differential at +8 (48-39). 

Source: Dominic Nolasco, SMU Communications 

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