Mounties down Gaiters
Mount Allison will have to dig deep to secure a playoff spot
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.
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.