Antigonish, NS - The conference leading StFX X-Men (4-1) scored a 42-21 victory over the Acadia Axemen (1-4) in AUS football action Friday night at StFX Stadium.
In the first quarter, after the defense stopped Acadia on their initial possession, Tivon Cook (Scarborough, ON) and the StFX offense went to work.
After back-to-back carries by Jordan Socholotiuk (Fort McMurray, AB) left the X-Men with a second-and-inches, Cook garnered the first down with a quarterback sneak.
On the next play, Cook connected with a streaking Christian Ridley (Dubai, UAE), who split a pair of Axemen defenders, for a 69-yard touchdown catch. With the Jonathan Heidebrecht (Camrose, AB) point after, StFX led 7-0.
With the X-Men on another drive, lineman Adam Melanson (Windsor, NS) slowed the momentum with a sack of Cook.
For the Axemen, Cody Cluett found receivers Bradley Vince (Cambridge, ON) and Sabastian Robinson (Saskatoon, SK) to start an offensive march.
With Acadia in the StFX zone, lineman Mete Konya (Osnabrueck, GER) sacked Cluett to help stymie the effort.
On their next time with the ball, Cook connected with Ridley, who made a nifty spin move after making a juggling grab, for 33 yards.
After the Axmen defense stiffened, Heidebrecht gave the X-Men a 10-0 edge with a 26-yard field goal.
StFX led 10-0 after the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, the X-Men went back to the offense, with Cook slamming into an Axemen defender, after scrambling to midfield for a first down.
After a Socholotiuk 15-yard run, Cook went over the top to Dejuan Martin (Scarborough, ON) for a 40-yard touchdown to give the X-Women a 17-0 advantage.
Robinson grabbed a 52-yard pass from Cluett, but the Axemen could not generate any points on their next possession.
Starting at their own four-yard line, Socholotiuk started another X-Men drive with a 44-yard run, but the effort eventually stalled.
After a Dylan Bell (Brockvlle, ON) interception of Cluett, the X-Men extended their lead to 20-0 on a 37-yard Heidebrecht field goal.
Less than four minutes later, with time winding down in the first half, Cook hooked up with Martin for a 14-yard major score. With the Heidebrecht point after, the home team led 27-0.
On the kick-off, Heidebrecht garnered a rouge, giving StFX a 28-0 edge heading to the locker room for halftime.
In the third quarter, after the X-Men went two-and-out on offense, the Axemen started with great field position, at the StFX 52-yard line.
After collecting a couple first downs, Kadel King (London, ENG) came up with a big defensive play, stripping a scrambling Cluett, from behind, with defensive lineman Tyler Cordeiro (Oakville, ON) making the recovery.
After another quick X-Men series, the Axemen started another march into offensive zone. Aided by 30 yards in penalties against StFX, Acadia ended up first-and-goal on the one-yard line. On first down, defensive back Nathaniel Fermin (Pickering, ON) stuffed running back Danny Obieng Jr. (Ottawa, ON) for a two-yard loss. On second down, Hunter Guenard (Calgary, AB) came off the bench to score on a quarterback sneak. With a Brandon Jennings (St. Albert, AB) conversion, the Axemen trailed 28-7.
With just more than three minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Axemen sliced the lead in half, when Cluett connected with Jaylen King (Ottawa, ON) for a 12-yard touchdown. With a Jennings point after, Acadia trailed 28-14.
Early in the fourth quarter, on a second-and-one play, Socholotiuk eluded the Acadia line, before darting by their defensive backs and racing 70 yards for a TD. With another Heidebrecht point after, the X-Men led 35-14.
The Axemen answered back, when Obiang Jr. scored on a one-yard plunge. With the Jennings point after, StFX led 35-21.
In the final minute, the X-Men sealed the deal with a one-yard Albert Banahene (Calgary, AB) rush and Heidebrecht point after to make it 42-21.
Offensively, the X-Men outgained the Axemen 568-290, in total yardage, while holding a 23-19 edge in first downs.
Cook finished 26-for-36 for 325 yards, while Martin, with seven catches for 94 yards, and Ridley (six for 117), led the X-Men receiving corps.
Socholotiuk, the Subway player of the game, collected 199 yards, on only 17 carries.
For the Axemen, Cluett was 24-for-38, with 223 yards, while Robinson caught a game-high eight balls for 71 yards.
On the ground, Dillan Fortune (Brooklyn, NY), topped Acadia with 24 yards, on three carries.
For Acadia, Matthew Nettle (Halifax, NS) led the way with nine tackles, while Jennings and Garvin Cius (Malden, MA) chipped in 8.5 and 5.5, respectively.
The teams will return to action Saturday, Oct. 15, when the Axemen host the Mount Allison Mounties, in Wolfville, while the X-Men will travel to Halifax to face the Saint Mary's Huskies.h
Kick-off for both match-ups is 2 p.m.