SHERBROOKE, Que. – The Mount Allison Mounties used a 15-point second quarter to come from behind and keep their playoff hopes alive with a 42-19 win over the Bishop's Gaiters in Atlantic University Sport football action at Coulter Field in Lennoxville, Saturday. Mount Allison overcame an early 9-0 Bishop's lead to take a 22-16 lead into halftime.
With the win, Mount Allison (3-4) remains in contention for a playoff berth, while the Gaiters (1-6) have been eliminated from the playoffs.
The Gaiters opened the scoring on their first drive of the game, as starting quarterback Stephen Casey (Boucherville, Que./Champlain College St-Lambert) scored on a seven-year run, capping a nine-play, 69-yard drive. The Gaiters extended their lead to 9-0 midway through the quarter when they forced the Mounties to concede a safety touch. However, that was the high point for the Gaiters, as Casey was injured and forced to leave the game on Bishop's next possession.
The Mounties cut the margin to two points on a 31-yard pass from Jakob Loucks to Josh Hicks with 5:09 left in the quarter. Mount A tied the game on a safety touch 42 seconds into the second quarter and took the lead on their next possession, courtesy of a 37-yard field goal from Ryan Lambert. Loucks connected with Malik Richards on a five-yard pass to extend their lead to 10 points with 5:05 left in the half.
The Gaiters cut the margin to three points on an 11-yard pass from Connor McKee to Cecil Belanger (Langley, B.C./Langley Secondary), the first career university touchdown for both players, with 1:16 left in the half. However, the Mounties replied with a 10-yard field goal with 21 seconds left in the half to take a six point lead, 22-16, into the long break.
The teams exchanged field goals in the third quarter, and Lambert's fourth placement of the game put the Mounties up 28-19 with 13:44 left in the game. The Gaiters offence was unable to put a sustained drive together in the late stages, and touchdown runs by the Mounties' Troy Downton and Kiel Ambursley provided the final margin of victory.
Mount Allison made 30 first downs to the Gaiters' 22, and outgained Bishop's 495 to 383. The Mounties held the ball for 34:08, to 25:52 for the Gaiters. Mount Allison was flagged 11 times for 122 yards, while the Gaiters lost 189 yards on 15 penalties. The Gaiters made three turnovers, while Mount Allison only coughed up the ball once.
For Bishop's, starting quarterback Casey was 3-for-6 for 25 yards before leaving in the first quarter. McKee went 9-for-13 for 175 yards and a touchdown before he was forced to leave the game in the third quarter. Liam Kennedy (Nepean, Ont./) finished the game, going 6-for-13 for 53 yards.
Louis-Philippe Gregoire (/) was the Gaiters' leading rusher, with 13 carries for 80 yards. Nathan Walker (Brampton, Ont./St. Roch C.S.S.) led the Gaiters receivers with five catches for 77 yards and also racked up a game-high 226 all-purpose yards.
For Mount Allison, Loucks went 24-for-35 for 325 yards with an interception and two touchdowns. Richards made 10 catches for 106 yards and a touchdown, while Josh Hicks had four catches for 110 yards and a major. Ambursley, for his part, carried 17 times for 111 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, Nicolas Cartagenise led Bishop's with 10.5 tackles and an interception, while Elijah Williams (Pickering, Ont./Pickering H.S.) had 6.5 tackles and the Gaiters' only sack. For Mount Allison, Nathan Vaikla had a team-high 6.5 tackles. The Mounties made four sacks, led by 1.5 from Donovan Glave.
The Gaiters (1-6) wrap up the regular season on Saturday, Oct. 28, as they visit the StFX X-Men for the Bigg Bowl. Mount Allison is also back in action on Saturday, as they visit Saint Mary's. The Mounties will need to win their last game of the season at Saint Mary's and they will also need a Bishop's win over StFX to secure the 3rd and final AUS playoff spot.
contributions by John Edwards, Bishop's Sports Information