(Halifax, N.S.)—Cam Valardo didn't expect to be this busy on Saturday afternoon for his U Sports No. 6-ranked SMU Huskies 28-16 homecoming victory over the visiting Mount Allison Mounties from Huskies Stadium.
Things changed when the back-up quarterback from Fall River, Nova Scotia suddenly found himself under centre when starter Kaleb Scott (Mount Albert, Ont.) went down with 12:46 left in the first quarter.
Valardo's first two snap was a four-yard pass while his second was a 31-yard rumble, dragging two Mount A defenders one-yard from the goal line. Valardo punched the major in two plays later with a one-yard plunge.
Brian Hope (Port Coquitlan, BC) added the point-after and the Huskies led 7-0 with 10:56 left in the first quarter.
Mount A took the next possession and drove 64-yards in nine plays, capped off by a 1-yard score from running back Chris Reid (Brampton, Ont.) with James Parker's (Abbotsford, BC) kick tying the game 7-7 with 5:44 left in the opening quarter.
Parker booted the ensuing kick-off to the Huskies' eight-yard line, where Shedler Fervis (Toronto, Ont.) returned the kick 102 yards for the touchdown as SMU pushed their lead to 14-7 with 5:29 left in the quarter.
Both teams used their special teams to collect points in the second quarter, with Mount A giving up two team safeties and Parker nailed a 27-yard field goal for the Mounties, as they trailed SMU 18-10 at half.
Saint Mary's opened the third quarter scoring with a 19-yarder from Hope and Jonathan Cimankinda's (Ottawa, Ont.) 1-yard run pushed SMU up 28-10 after three quarters.
The only scoring in the fourth quarter came on a Mount Allison late touchdown from Keil Ambursley (Toronto, Ont.) with :27 seconds left and made it 28-16 as their 2-point conversion failed.
Valardo finished with 139 passing yards and rushed five times for 54 yards with the lone touchdown while Cimankinda had 14 carries for 45 yards and a touchdown.
Mount A finished with 112 yards in the air from quarterback Troy Downton (Burlington, Ont.) and Ambursley had 102 yards on 18 carries while Reid had 28 yards on eight rushes.
SMU improves to 7-0 while Mount A falls to 2-4.
Up next, Mount A hosts Acadia University October 20th while SMU finishes the regular-season October 27th at Acadia.
Dominic Nolasco, SMU Communications