Moun­ties down Gaiters

Mount Al­li­son will have to dig deep to se­cure a play­off spot

Sackville Tribune - - SPORTS - BY WAL­LIE SEARS SPE­CIAL TO THE TRI­BUNE- POST

He may not win na­tional rookie of the year hon­ours, but James Parker has been a saviour for the Mount Al­li­son Moun­ties this sea­son.

On Satur­day Parker had a per­fect toe, and aim, as he split the up­rights for three key field goals and was sure-footed on the only touch­down.

The B.C. na­tive has been one bright spot for the lo­cal col­le­gians as he shows a pro­fes­sional kick­off style and sel­dom misses from be- yond the 40-yard stripe. Nxt year he will no doubt add punt­ing to his re­sume.

Be­cause of his skill, the Moun­ties man­aged to hang on for an 18-10 win over Bishop’s. This was the sec­ond time they have downed the Gaiters this sea­son. Mount Al­li­son im­proved its record to 2-3 record but still re­main in fourth place and fac­ing a strug­gle to make the play­offs.

The win was any­thing but pretty as the of­fense con­tin­ues to strug­gle and the pass pro­tec­tion has proven rather por­ous through much of the year.

It’s true the team is go­ing through a ma­jor tran­si­tion with a new head coach and two other first-year coaches, while show­ing the ef­fects of hav­ing three key play­ers leave the team dur­ing the off sea­son for var­i­ous per­sonal rea­sons.

In each of their three set­backs the Moun­ties have suc­cumbed in the fi­nal quar­ter af­ter hav­ing held an early lead, in­clud­ing be­ing up 15-1 over St. F. X.

On Satur­day in Lennoxville, Que., the two teams played much of the game near cen­tre field, with Bishop’s hold­ing a dis­tinc­tive edge in the punt­ing depart­ment and on spe­cial teams. Nei­ther could gen­er­ate any con­sis­tency.

Over­all, the win­ners tal­lied 311 yards of of­fense, ex­actly 100 more than their op­po­nents. Quar­ter­back Troy Down­ton com­pleted 19-of-25 for 180 yards with Ma­lik Richards and Josh Hicks be­ing the pri­mary re­ceivers – Richards with seven for 96 and Hicks seven for 82 yards.

The big man in the at­tack was tail­back Kiel Am­burs­ley, who bulled his way for 121 yards for the sec­ond big week. Chris Reid sat out the game with a ham­string pull suf­fered in the loss to Aca­dia.

A ma­jor dif­fer­ence in the out­come was the fact Nate Rostek, Skyler Leblanc and Jake Spence each came up with an in­ter­cep­tion, the fi­nal one com­ing in the dy­ing min­utes to snuff out all hope for Bishop’s.

Mean­while, it was Damian Hal­stead who sparked the de­fense again with 9.5 tack­les, in­clud­ing a sack. Dy­lan Cormier also took the host quar­ter­back to the ground be­hind the line of scrim­mage as did Mar­shall Esokpun­yio. Thus, it was turnovers and sacks that made a huge dif­fer­ence in the out­come.

The team will en­joy is sec­ond week off and on Oct. 13 will travel to play the Huskies in Hal­i­fax be­fore host­ing their fi­nal game with Aca­dia here on Oct. 20.

Each of these will be cru­cial as they seek to make the play­offs af­ter some slip­page in early con­tests.

PAULDLYNCH.COM PHOTO

Tail­back Kiel Am­burs­ley, shown in last week’s home game against St. FX, racked up 121 yards in Satur­day’s game against the Bishop’s Gaiters.

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