X-Men improve to 2-1 with win over Gaiters

Courtesy Paul Hurford
Courtesy Paul Hurford

Antigonish, NS – The StFX X-Men improve to 2-1 on the season with a convincing 42-2 win over the Bishop's Gaiters (0-4), Saturday afternoon at Oland Stadium.

StFX scored on their opening drive of the game and the Gaiters struggled to mount any significant offensive attacks as the home team held the lead throughout the day.

The X-Men opened up a 14-0 lead after the first quarter when they scored on consecutive opening drives. A seven-play drive to start the game resulted in StFX quarterback Bailey Wasdal (Calgary, AB) scoring on a five-yard run. The home team's second major of the game came on a 40-yard reception by Greg McDonald (Halifax, NS) as he connected with Wasdal in the end zone.

Hampered by several injuries to their line-up, the Gaiters offense struggled to get going early in the game and were unable to complete a first down until late in the first quarter.

The teams exchanged safeties in the second quarter and Keiran Burnham (Cambridge, ON) kicked a 12-yard field goal for the X-Men to increase their lead. A rouge on the final play of the opening half gave the home team a 20-2 halftime advantage.

All-Canadian receiver Kaion Julien-Grant (Toronto, ON) hauled in a nice 41-yard pass at the Gaiters one-yard line to set up a short rushing touchdown by Jordan Socholotiuk (Waterford, ON).

Bishop's had their chance to add to their point tally but kicker Arnuad Dandin (Paris, FR) hit the post on a 22-yard field goal attempt. The X-Men lead 27-2 after three quarters.

Will Johnson (Ottawa, ON) scored his first career AUS touchdown early in the fourth quarter on a one-yard catch. The play was set-up after Isaac Fagnan (Bonnyville, AB) nabbed a 32 yard catch deep in Gaiters territory in coverage.

The X-Men rounded out their scoring with 39 and 30-yard field goals by Burnham and a safety to close out the 42-2 victory.

"It was a big team effort today," commented Subway Player of the Game receiver Isaac Fagnan, who finished with 7 catches for 125 yards for the X-Men. "Coming into every game we have to respect every opponent. We came out strong in the first quarter but then started to lose focus. At the half Coach [Waterman] told us we have to get back out there and work together as a team and stay focused, so I think we did that really well in the second half."

Julien-Grant also had seven catches and finished with 113 yards, while Socholotiuk led the ground attack for the X-Men with 98 yards on 13 carries.

Wasdal was 17-for-28 with one interception and was sacked on three occasions by the Gaiters defense. His counterpart Stephen Casey (Boucherville, QC) was 15-for-29 for Bishop's.

L.P. Gregoire (Jonquiere, QC) had 11 rushes for 56 yards for BU, while Zach Graveson (Ile Bizard, QC) led the receiving unit with three catches for 24 yards.

On the defensive side of the ball Jordan Ngantsi (Ottawa, ON) had 7.5 tackles for Bishop's and Dandin had 6.5. Aarron Franklin (West Covina, CA) had a key interception for the Gaiters in the fourth quarter that he returned for 38 yards.

Jeremy Pike (Cornwall, ON) led all X-Men defenders with five tackles on the day while Tyler Cordeiro (Oakville, ON) had 4.5.

The X-Men return to action next Saturday, September 22nd when they travel to Sackville, N.B. for a 2:00 pm game against the Mount Allison Mounties. The Gaiters have a bye week coming up.


Courtesy StFX Sports Information