Uteck bound

Aca­dia Ax­e­men de­feat Saint Mary’s Huskies 45-38 in over­time to win Loney Bowl

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS -

Days af­ter their spot in the U Sports foot­ball fi­nal four was lost in a court case, the Aca­dia Ax­e­men are once again head­ing to the Uteck Bowl.

Garvin Cius picked off a Kaleb Scott pass in the end zone on the fi­nal play of the game and the Ax­e­men de­feated the Saint Mary’s Huskies 45-38 in over­time in a thrilling Loney Bowl on Tues­day.

Ax­e­men quar­ter­back Cody Cluett had rushed for a one-yard touch­down min­utes ear­lier to give Aca­dia the lead.

Aca­dia now has the daunt­ing task of host­ing the On­tario cham­pion Western Mus­tangs on short rest in the Uteck Bowl on Satur­day, with the win­ner ad­vanc­ing to the Vanier Cup cham­pi­onship game Nov. 25 in Hamil­ton.

Tues­day’s game was al­most as wild as the le­gal mess that led to the Loney Bowl be­ing played three days af­ter it was orig­i­nally sched­uled.

At­lantic Univer­sity Sport, the gov­ern­ing body for univer­sity ath­let­ics in At­lantic Canada, can­celled the game last week and awarded the cham­pi­onship to Aca­dia. But af­ter a whirl­wind hear­ing over the week­end, Nova Sco­tia Supreme Court Jus­tice Deb­o­rah Smith ruled on Sun­day that the game should go ahead.

AUS had ini­tially dis­qual­i­fied Saint Mary’s af­ter de­ter­min­ing that Archelaus Jack, a wide re­ceiver with the Huskies, was in­el­i­gi­ble to com­pete in a univer­sity foot­ball league be­cause he was pre­vi­ously on the prac­tice ros­ter of the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughrid­ers.

De­spite be­ing in limbo dur­ing the court pro­ceed­ings, play­ers on both sides came out fir­ing on Tues­day.

The Huskies took a 17-6 lead late in the sec­ond quar­ter on a pair of touch­downs from Liam O’Brien. But the Ax­e­men scored a safety and a field goal in the fi­nal 90 sec­onds of the half to cut the Huskies’ lead to 17-11 head­ing into the half.

Aca­dia started the third quar­ter with a 32-yard touch­down pass from Cluett to Cordell Hast­ings to take an 18-17 lead, then went up by four af­ter a Jarett Saumure field goal.

O’Brien scored his third touch­down of the day to put Saint Mary’s back in front, but Aca­dia re­ceiver Eu­gene McMinns reeled in a 44-yard Cluett pass to put the hosts up 28-24 head­ing into the fi­nal quar­ter.

Saint Mary’s kicker Brian Hope opened the fourth quar­ter with a field goal, but missed on a field goal that tied the game and gave Aca­dia the ball back with 5:22 re­main­ing.

Cluett’s one-yard touch­down with 1:36 left ap­peared to put the hosts in the driver’s seat, but Saint Mary’s drove the ball 80 yards in 74 sec­onds, end­ing in a Scott one-yard run to force over­time.

Hope and Saumure ex­changed field goals in over­time to set up the fi­nal se­quence of plays.

THE CANA­DIAN PRESS/TED PRITCHARD

The Aca­dia Ax­e­men foot­ball team cel­e­brates their vic­tory over the Saint Mary’s Huskies in the Loney Bowl at Aca­dia Univer­sity in Wolfville on Tues­day. Aca­dia won the game 45-38 in over­time.

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