Late rally by X-Men falls short

Late rally by X-Men falls short
A second-half rally fell short as the StFX X-Men dropped a 29-16 decision to the Mount Allison Mounties in AUS football action Saturday afternoon at Oland Stadium.

Trailing 22-7 at halftime, the X-Men scored the first nine points of the second half.

After rouges by kickers Hayden Peters and Jeremy Ford in the third quarter, the blue and white cut the lead to 22-16 on an 8-yard touchdown scamper by Ashton Dickson with 2:32 remaining in regulation.

Both defenses were the story of the second half, with each making several key plays.

The X-Men regained possession after a defensive stand late in the fourth quarter, giving the offense an opportunity to complete the comeback.

A third-down completion for a first down by Clay Masikewich to Andrew Hickey, which took the X-Men to their own 50-yard line, was negated by a face mask penalty.

On the repeated third down play, with 21 yards to gain after the infraction, Masikewich’s pass was intercepted by Te Nguyen and returned 28 yards for a touchdown.

The blue and white took an early 4-0 lead on a rouge and 47-yard field goal from Jeremy Ford in the first quarter.

On a 42-yard attempt by Ford to extend the X-Men lead, the Mounties came up with a block and a 69-yard Kwame Adjei return for a touchdown.

With the special team play, the visitors took a 7-4 advantage.

Before the end of the opening quarter, the Mounties tacked on touchdowns by Josh Blanchard, on a 22-yard catch from Brandon Leyh (8-for-14, 101 yards), and an 83-yard punt return from Donovan Saunders.

Ford, with his second field goal, cut the Mounties’ lead to 21-7.

The Mounties wrapped up the first half scoring with a rouge.

On offense, Masikewich, who replaced Tivon Cook (3-for-9, 19 yards) early in the second quarter, completed 23 out of 39 passes for 304 yards, with two interceptions.

Randy Roseway, Devon Bailey and Jordan Catterall had five catches apiece, with Roseway leading the way at 82 yards.

Dickson led the X-Men on the ground with 88 yards on 16 carries.

Blanchard was the top receiver for the Mounties with two catches for 53 yards.

On the ground, Jordan Botel was a workhorse with 37 carries for 103 yards.

The X-Men outgained the Mounties 395 to 199 in total offense.

Brett Hubbeard led the X-Men defense with 13 tackles and one sack, while Nate Annan and Hayden Peters collected eight and seven tackles, respectively.

For the Mounties, Justin Richard, with eight, and Nguyen (seven) led in tackles. 

The X-Men were penalized 15 times for 149 yards, while the Mounties lost 15 yards on two infractions.

With the win, the Mounties (3-4) clinched a playoff position, while the X-Men (2-5) remain in a battle for the final post-season berth.

The X-Men and Saint Mary’s Huskies (2-5) will square off for that spot Saturday, Oct. 27. Game time is 2 p.m. at Huskies Stadium in Halifax. The Mounties will host the first place Acadia Axemen (6-1) Saturday.