Antigonish, NS – The StFX X-Men started the AUS regular season on a winning note, defeating the Mount Allison Mounties 16-6 on their home field Saturday afternoon.
The X-Men got into trouble early as Mounties linebacker Aaron Rose (Sackville, NB) picked off a Bailey Wasdal (Calgary, AB) pass on the second play of the game. The Mounties couldn't convert the interception with a major score but came away with a single point on a missed 30-yard field goal attempt.
Despite getting into first quarter penalty trouble, the X-Men put together an eight-play series to score the first major of the game. After a couple nice passes, Wasdal connected with freshman running back Chase Bowden (St. Catharine's, ON) on a three-yard touchdown run with a minute and a half left in the quarter.
The 7-1 lead held up at half-time for the home team despite the Mounties putting up 190 offensive yards in the opening half to the X-Men's 138.
StFX added to their lead with a Keiran Burnham (Cambridge, ON) field goal from 41 yards out at the 6:25 mark.
The Mounties best chance came late in the second quarter on missed 30 yard field goal attempt by James Parker (Abbotsford, BC) and the X-Men held onto the 10-1 halftime lead.
Mount Allison picked up a safety six minutes into the third quarter to bring the score to within seven points as they trailed the X-Men 10-3. They further closed the gap with a 40 yard field goal from Parker and the 10-6 score held up after the third quarter.
The only scoring in the fourth quarter came off a pair of field goals from StFX's Burnham, hitting from 19 and 39 yards out as they wrapped up the 16-6 victory.
For his efforts on the ground, X-Men running back Bowden earned Subway player of the game honours, racking up 116 rushing yards and scoring the only touchdown in the game.
Fellow running back Adam Bennett (Upper Tantallon, NS) was player of the game for the Mounties as he had 119 yards for his squad.
The Mounties had more yards on the ground (222 to StFX's 131) and in the air (165 to 112) but weren't able to translate the results to the scoreboard.
For the Mounties, quarterback Hunter Sturgeon (Fredericton, NB) was 29-39 for 165 yards and had 11 rushes for 74 yards. Sturgeon was making his first career AUS start. Bennett's 119 rushing yards came on 20 carries and sophomore Drew Besco (Bowmanville, ON) was the leading receiver with 60 yards on six catches.
Defensively the Mounties picked up 3 interceptions and they recovered a fumble on punt return. In addition to Rose's interception to start the game, the Mounties got interceptions from freshman Lucas Cormier (Sackville, NB) and from senior Matt Watson (Brampton, ON).
Mount Allison (0-1) will be back in action next Saturday, August 31st when they host the Saint Mary's Huskies (0-0) in their home opener at 2:00 pm in Sackville.
The X-Men (1-0) will travel to Lennoxville, QC to take on the Bishop's Gaiters (0-1) in a 7:00 pm EDT kick-off, also on Saturday.
Source: StFX Sports Information