Moun­ties’ sea­son ends with 38-15 loss to X-men

Sackville Tribune - - SPORTS -

It may have taken Satur­day’s re­sults to con­vince the pow­ers that be the Mount Al­li­son Moun­ties have reached a point where they must be to­tally re­con­fig­ured if they are to re­turn to the glory days they’ve en­joyed in the At­lantic Uni­ver­si­ties Foot­ball Con­fer­ence (AUFC) over the years.

They were eas­ily de­feated on Satur­day in Antigonish by a vastly im­proved St. Fran­cis Xavier X-men ma­chine to the tune of 38-15.

The lat­est de­feat left them en­trenched in fourth place in the five-team cir­cuit with just two wins in eight out­ings. Their two vic­to­ries over the win­less Bishop’s Gaiters were the lone bright spots for rookie head coach Peter Fraser.

Fraser faces a num­ber of chal­lenges, the first of which is to build a team in his own im­age. He cur­rently has some ex­cel­lent tal­ent, much of which will dis­ap­pear in May through grad­u­a­tion.

Re­cruit­ing is vi­tally im­por­tant but this usu­ally means rook­ies are brought in with the idea they will be ready to step into star­ring roles in their sec­ond or third years.

There­fore, a coach must look at his re­serves – those who have served their ap­pren­tice­ship. How­ever, with a drop in re­cruit­ing the past year there will be sit­u­a­tions that will re­quire a good deal of per­sonal at­ten­tion.

There are ru­mours a few of the new­com­ers may soon be ready but only a cou­ple – Reese Martin and James Parker – have come to the fore­front. The oth­ers will def­i­nitely get much at­ten­tion over the next 10 months as it will not be easy to re­place play­ers like Chris Reid, Kiel Am­burs­ley, Nate Rostek and a hand­ful of oth­ers.

But Fraser should have the green light to do it his way and only time will de­ter­mine if his will be the right way.

The Moun­ties had their chances this sea­son but fell to the Aca­dia Ax­e­men at home a week ear­lier and then to the X-men in their fi­nal out­ing. Wins in each would have cat­a­pulted them into the play­offs and a shot at the Loney Bowl but that was not in the books.

To say Satur­day’s score pretty much rep­re­sented the play of the day would be an un­der­state- ment. The win­ners put a whop­ping 465 yards of of­fence on the boards to just 182 for the vis­i­tors. Through­out the sta­tis­tics the story was sim­i­lar – 23-12 in first downs; 8.5 yards per play to just 3.7; 317 yards pass­ing to 154; and 158 yards rush­ing to a mere 34. The Moun­ties con­tin­ued their trend by pick­ing up 140 yards in penal­ties to 95 for X-men, while time of pos­ses­sion was ridicu­lous.

By the end of the open­ing quar­ter the win­ners were up by 16 with a pair of ma­jors and a safety. They added a field goal in the sec­ond ses­sion but con­tin­ued to ex­ert pres­sure and piled up the score as the game pro­gressed.

Both teams swapped out some of their start­ing play­ers in the fourth quar­ter and with Troy Down­ton at quar­ter­back the Moun­ties fi­nally got on the board with just over three min­utes left in the fi­nal quar­ter as he found Ian Carty in the end zone for a 21yard touch­down re­cep­tion.

Af­ter a Moun­ties’ sin­gle point scored off a rouge on a James Parker kick­off, they scored their sec­ond touch­down of the day with just un­der a minute to play in the game as Ida­hosa Yorke con­verted a five-yard pass from Down­ton.

Julien- Grant was the main force for the win­ners as he ran for 126 yards and caught the ball for an­other 179.

The Moun­ties’ Nate Rostek and Dal­las Cook each had a sack, while Skyler Leblanc led the over­worked de­fence with five tack­les.

Of­fen­sively, Sackville’s Ai­dan O’neal was a busy re­ceiver with seven catches for 36 yards, while Ma­lik Richards caught four for 55 yards. The ground game was shut down as Chris Reid was held to 36 yards; only Ida­hosa York starred as he re­turned punts for 100 yards.

Al­most im­me­di­ately the Moun­ties will launch their off -sea­son rit­ual of daily work­outs in the gym with a lo­cal rookie or two join­ing in. In this way, it is hoped a few new stars will rise.

PAULDLYNCH.COM PHOTO

The Moun­ties’ Ian Carty cel­e­brates in the X-men’s end zone af­ter reel­ing in a 21-yard pass from Troy Down­ton in Satur­day’s game in Antigonish, N.S., fi­nally put­ting the Sackville squad on the score­board late in the fourth quar­ter. The Moun­ties lost 38-15 in their fi­nal game of the 2018 sea­son.

PAULDLYNCH.COM PHOTO

Moun­tie Ida­hosa Yorke con­verted a five-yard pass from Down­ton with less than a minute to play in Satur­day’s game against the X-men.

PAULDLYNCH.COM PHOTO

Sackville’s own Ai­dan O’neal, shown in ac­tion dur­ing Satur­day’s game in Antigonish, was a busy re­ceiver with seven catches for 36 yards.

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