(HALIFAX, NS)— The Mount Allison Mounties rolled into Halifax on Saturday needing a win to keep their AUS playoff hopes alive and a win is what they got as they defeated the Saint Mary's Huskies 26-25.
The Mounties opened the scoring with a 38-yard pass from quarterback Jakob Loucks (Cornwall, ON) to receiver Malik Richards (Brampton, ON) and kicker Ryan Lambert (Grimbsy, ON) converted the PAT for a 7-0 MTA lead with 10:07 left in the first quarter.
The Huskies answered back with two Brian Hope (Port Coquitlam, BC) field goals from 41 and 34-yards out and SMU trailed 7-6 after 10 minutes. Both Lambert and Hope traded field goals in the second quarter, from 34 and 26 yards out respectively and the Mounties led 10-9 with 7:31 left in the first half.
Loucks and Richards hooked-up again on a 9-yard toss and catch, extending Mount Allison's lead 17-9 with 5:55 left in the second quarter. A 2-yard touchdown run by Leonard Mantuila (Edmonton, AB) saw the Huskies trail 17-16 with just under three minutes in the half. Saint Mary's took the lead on a 15-yard field goal with 31 seconds left in the half and took a 19-17 halftime lead.
Both kickers were responsible for the only scores of the third quarter when Hope added his fifth field goal from 20-yards out and Lambert's 17-yarder saw SMU lead after three quarters 22-20.
Hope's sixth and final field goal from 42-yards out were the last points for Saint Mary's and the Huskies took a 25-20 lead with 14:19 left to play.
The Mounties were not to be outdone and used a four-play, 69-yard drive to take the lead 26-25 on a Chris Reid (Brampton, ON) 16-yard scamper which found the end zone with 1:24 left in the game, as the Mounties failed on the two-point conversion.
Saint Mary's had one last drive from their own 39-yard line with 73 seconds left. Penalties against both teams saw the Huskies with the ball at the MTA 51-yard line. On the next play, SMU fumbled the ball on a 16-yard pass and Mount Allison recovered at their own 35-yard line and ran out the clock for the win.
The Mounties were led offensively by Chris Reid who had 121 yards on 17 carries, including his game winning 17 yard touchdown run. Quarterback Jakob Loucks was 9 of 29 for 248 yards and 2 touchdowns. Josh Hicks had 3 catches for 116 yards while Malik Richards had 4 catches for 90 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Defensively, the Subway Player of the game Damian Halstead recorded 3 of the Mounties 10 sacks on the afternoon. Eight different Mounties were credited for at least half a sack during the game.
Saturday's win over Saint Mary's was the third straight for the Mounties, allowing them to finish the regular season at 4-4. This left the Mounties in a tie for 3rd place with StFX, but StFX held the tie-breaker and therefore the Mounties have been eliminated from the playoffs. In the end it is the Mounties who end up paying the biggest price for the Saint Mary's forfeit of their week 1 game with StFX as this win allowed the X-Men to get to 4 wins and finished tied with the Mounties.
Saint Mary's drops to 5-3 and will host the 4-4 StFX X-Men Saturday, November 4th at 2 pm in the 2017 Subway AUS Football Semi-final from Huskies Stadium.
with contributions from Dominic Nolasco, SMU Communications