Antigonish, NS – In what was a unique format for U SPORTS football competition, the StFX X-Men, Mount Allison Mounties and Guelph Gryphons took to the field at StFX Oland Stadium Saturday afternoon in the 'Summer Showdown', featuring six mini exhibition games.
Each squad played four mini games, or 15-minutes quarters, two each against each other. When all the points were tallied, both the Gyphons and Mounties came away with 3-1 records while the host X-Men were 0-4 on the afternoon. Guelph tallied 62 total points, MtA had 40 and StFX scored eight.
Guelph defeated StFX 15-3 in the first game, then beat Mount Allison 30-0. The Mounties defeated conference rivals StFX 20-2 and following a half-time break, Guelph beat StFX 17-0. Mount Allison then followed up with wins over Guelph (10-0) and StFX (10-3).
X-Men head coach Gary Waterman knew it was going to be an interesting afternoon with the different format, commenting "The challenge heading into it was you knew you were going to play, then sit off and get warmed up again, and I think all the teams did a good job of dealing with that. There are momentum shifts in a quarter and a lot of factors that play into this format more so than a regular game."
Gryphons offensive coordinator Todd Galloway said the afternoon was great experience for their team, noting the format "hasn't been done like this before, so we didn't know what to expect coming out, but our guys got up for the game today and they got to see two opponents they've never faced before and get all their mistakes out before the regular season."
When asked about how the team faired out on the gridiron Galloway commented, "It's early and we made some mistakes, but we're happy with how our guys played today. We'll go back and make some corrections and get ready for week one."
Mounties head coach Scott Brady also noted that it is a starting point for his squad and there are some things they need to do better. "I think there was some very positive things today. It's the best job we've done in the second half of any exhibition games we've played in terms of getting guys in and out and getting some younger guys some experience. Some of the starters were starting for the first time so getting them into the game against good teams like Guelph and StFX was really positive to get them some experience."
Game by Game scoring breakdown
Guelph 15, StFX 3
- Safety conceded by StFX at 4:07 to give Guelph early 2-0 lead
- Guelph linebacker Luke Korol recovered a StFX fumble by QB Josh Millar to run it in 36 yards to increase the lead to 9-0
- Jonathan Heidebrecht kicked a 20 yard field goal for the X-Men to pull to within six points
- Guelph receiver Jordan Terrio scored their second major of the game with a 16 yard catch off a James Roberts pass
- Two-point conversion attempt was incomplete as the game wrapped up 15-3
Guelph 30, MtA 0
- Johnny Augustine scored a one yard TD run on the Gryphons opening drive of the game to give them an early 7-0 advantage
- Gabriel Ferraro booted his first of three field goals at 4:39, this one came from 31 yards out
- Running back Jamal Hooker scored a touchdown on a 21 yard run to increase the lead to 17-0
- Terrio scored his second major of the afternoon, catching a 10 yard pass from Theodore Landers with 50 seconds left in the game
- Ferraro then booted two field goal bombs with 17 seconds left (51 yards) and no time on the clock (57 yards) to give Guelph the 30-0 shutout
MtA 20, StFX 2
- Mount Allison conceded a safety on the opening drive of the game in what would amount to StFX's only points scored
- Mounties wide receiver Malik Richards had a 69 yard TD pass from Jakob Loucks
- Ryan Lambert kicked a 43 yard field goal at 8:35 to give the Mounties a 10-2 lead
- Kiel Ambursley scored a one yard TD rush on a third and goal play for Mount A
- Lambert booted his second field goal of the game from 23 yards out to round out the scoring in the 20-2 win
Guelph 17, StFX 0
- An eight-yard TD run by Jamal Hooker on the second drive of game gave Guelph early 7-0 lead
- With under three minutes left, Jordan Terrio caught a 10 yard pass from Theodore Landers for their second major
- A 35 yard field goal with no time left on the clock by Chris MacLean rounded out the Gryphons scoring as the X-Men were held off the score sheet
MtA 10, Guelph 0
- Guelph conceded a safety in opening two minutes as MtA took an early 2-0 lead
- Mounties touchdown by Nathan Jones (3rd and goal) on a one yard run after a long drive gave them a 9-0 advantage
- A rouge on the ensuing kick-off rounded out the scoring in the 10-0 Mount Allison win
MtA 10, StFX 3
- Mounties opened the scoring at 5:09 on 15 yard touchdown catch by Corlan Challenger from Troy Downton
- Lambert field goal with just over five minutes to play from 24 yards out gave them a 10-0 lead
- Keiran Burnham got the X-Men on the board with a 36 yard field goal with 1:21 left on the clock
- The X-Men used four different quarterbacks – one per mini game – in Josh Millar, Dylan Fisher, Quinn Stewart and Michael Beale
- X-Men head coach Gary Waterman was asked after the game if he knew who his starting QB would be heading into next week's first regular season game and he noted, "We will evaluate the game tape, we got a chance to look at all the quarterbacks today. Sometimes when you watch the game live there's thing you think that you're seeing or not seeing or not sure of, so I think going back and watching the tape is really going to be helpful in making all those final decisions."
- Mount Allison used five different quarterbacks in Jakob Loucks, Troy Downton, Brandon Smyk, Dan Comfort, Jeremy Gallant
- Loucks saw action in the majority of the first two games with Downton playing the final series of the second game and most of the third game.
- Jeremy Gallant, listed as a receiver, threw some passes for the Mounties, as did Smyk and Comfort
- The Gryphons went with four pivots on the afternoon – James Roberts, Theodore Landers, Deandre Rose and Brayden Lassenba. Roberts played the first mini game with Landers throwing the majority of the next two, with Lassenba and Rose also seeing action.
- Mount Allison and StFX open up AUS regular season play next weekend. The X-Men travel to Halifax for a Friday night game against the Saint Mary's Huskies on August 25th at 7:00 pm, while the Mounties will host the Acadia Axemen Saturday at 2:00 pm
- Guelph begins OUA regular season play on Sunday, August 27th when they host the Ottawa Gee Gees