WOLFVILLE, NS – Keiran Burnham's 41 yard field goal with two seconds remaining in regulation time was all the StFX X-Men needed to pull off a 33-30 win over the host Acadia Axemen in the Thanksgiving Day Subway Turkey Bowl. Burnham, who was named the Subway Player of the Game, was three-for-three on field goal attempts including the game-tying and game-winning points.
The X-Men took an early 7-0 lead that would hold for the opening quarter, when fifth year running back Jordan Socholotiuk scored a touchdown just under the halfway point of the quarter. The Axemen did not score in the first quarter, though they had one notable touchdown attempt denied by a holding penalty against Acadia.
Third-year X-Men kicker/punter, Keiran Burnham kicked a successful 47-yard field goal, which pushed the StFX lead to 10-0. However, later in the quarter, the Axemen answered when second-year quarterback Alex Lawrie scored a major on a quarterback keep.
Burnam, went back to work adding his second field goal of the night on a successful 39-yard kick, giving StFX a 13-7 edge.
The Axemen answered once again when junior receiver Cordell Hastings pulled in a touchdown pass off a pass from Hunter Guenard late in the second quarter with only eight seconds left in the opening half. The Axemen head a 14-13 lead over StFX at the half.
The third quarter of play was dominated by the visiting X-Men who scored two touchdowns. First year quarterback, Bailey Wasdal, who ran nine yards, capped off a 12-play, 88 yard drive for StFX's second major of the evening.
All-Canadian receiver Kaion Julien-Grant posted a 61 yard touchdown run off of a punt return less than two minutes after Wasdal's major to widen the X-Men lead to a 27-14 advantage, a score that held after the third quarter.
Acadia charged back to score 16 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to regain the lead at 30-27. Dale Wright scored a touchdown on a three yard rush that completed a four-play drive that began on the X-Men's 18 yard line after Axeman Tommy Grant sacked Wasdal and forced a fumble that was recovered by Angelo Gentile.
Trailing the X-Men 27-23 after a conceded safety, Guenard hit Caleb Ryder on a 10 yard crossing pattern for a touchdown, giving the Axemen the three-point lead at 30-17 with 1:37 remaining in regulation time.
The excitement and intensity of the very close fourth quarter continued when Keiran Burnham, tied the game following a 46-yard field goal with 44 seconds remaining in the game.
With the Axemen turning the ball over after three downs with two seconds remaining on the game clock, Burnham nailed the game-winning 41 yard field goal to give the X-Men the win as they improve to 4-2 on the season in sole possession of second place.
The Axemen, in third position in the AUS standings, fall to 2-3.
Hunter Guenard led Acadia with 29 pass attempts and 18 total completions for 185 yards in the air and running back Dale Wright posted 147 yards on the ground. Other notable Axemen performances included that of wide receivers, Caleb Ryder, who hauled in four passes for 53 yards, while teammate Cordell Hastings added 40 yards on six receptions.
Jordan Socholotiuk posted a game-high 166 yards rushing for the X-Men and quarterback Bailey Wasdal attempted 24 passes with 15 completions for a total of 170 yards. In addition to guaranteeing the win for his X-Men, Keiran Burnham punted an average of 35 yards.
The Axemen will host the Bishop Gaiters next Saturday, October 13th 3:00 pm. The X-Men head into a bye weekend and they will next see action on Saturday, October 20th when they travel to Lennoxville, QC for a game against the Gaiters.
Courtesy Acadia Sports Information