With an overall record of 5-1, the Saint Francis Xavier X-Men clinch first place in the AUS football standings. As a result of the X-Men’s victory, the Saint Mary’s Huskies share second place with the victorious Mount Allison Mounties. The struggles of the Acadia Axemen continue, as a loss to the Mounties place them decidedly last. As a result of the loss, the Axemen extend their losing streak to five games. AUS Football Week six saw losses for Acadia and Saint Mary’s, both schools celebrating their homecoming weekends.
Around AUS Football Week Six: X-Men Clinch First, Mounties Comeback
St. Francis Xavier X-Men vs. Saint Mary’s Huskies
The Saint Mary’s Huskies have lost sole possession of second place in the AUS after a dominant performance by the St. FX X-Men. As the teams meet for the second time in 2016, the X-Men hold a 2-0 season record against the Huskies. Each of these instances were high scoring affairs for the X-Men. To add insult to injury, the dominant victory came on Saint Mary’s homecoming weekend.
The X-Men scored early and often. Each team took to a largely air-dependant game, relying heavily on passing plays. X-Men quarterback Tivon Cook continues an incredible 2016, throwing for his season-high of 405 yards. Running back Jordan Socholotiuk continued his pace towards 1000 rushing yards in 2016, adding 106 against Saint Mary’s. Huskies quarterback Brock Berglund was held at bay, throwing for a comparatively low 159 yards. The Huskies also struggled with possession, allowing four turnovers compared to the X-Men’s one. The strength of Cook, highlighted by an 80-yard TD in the second quarter, saw St. FX score the majority of their points in the first half. The X-Men lead the Huskies 34-0 going into halftime.
The second half saw the Huskies strengthen their defence and score their sole points of the game. Brian Hope‘s field goals put the Huskies on the scoreboard, but their offence would prove unable to score a touchdown against the X-Men defence. Despite a comparatively low-scoring half for the X-Men, they return to Antigonish with a dominant 45-6 victory.
Mount Allison Mounties vs. Acadia Axemen
The Acadia University homecoming weekend saw a close, yet ultimately heartbreaking, game for the Axemen. The Acadia Axemen and Mount Allison Mounties have effectively switched places in the AUS. The Axemen’s success came early in the season, with the Mounties unable to claim a victory. As the season wears on, the Mounties have beaten the Axemen twice for a season sweep against Acadia. The Mounties victory was one of two homecoming upsets in week six.
Acadia took command of their homecoming game in the first half. Axemen quarterback Cody Cluett continued his streak of strong performances despite losses, throwing for 242 yards. A safety followed by a series of field goals were the only points scored by both teams in the first half — an 8-3 advantage for the Axemen. A key to Acadia’s game was keeping the strong Mounties quarterback Jakob Loucks contained. The equally strong Acadia defence held Loucks to 192 throwing yards, after his 254 yard performance against Acadia in week four.
The Axemen couldn’t keep Loucks at bay for long, with Loucks throwing the game’s sole touchdown to Dakota Brush in the second half. As Mount Allison took the lead in the second half, they retained it for the remainder of the game. A continuing series of safeties and field goals brought the game to a close, 15-13 score in the late minutes of the fourth quarter. In front of their homecoming crowd, a strong Axemen drive into field goal position made it Acadia’s game to win, but the winning field goal attempt by Brandon Jennings was blocked by the Mounties. The game-winning block saw the Mount Allison Mounties claim the victory 15-13 over the Acadia Axemen.
Week Seven Preview and Playoff Race
2015 Subway Lonely Bowl Champions St. FX X-Men clinch first in the AUS football standings as a result of their victory over Saint Mary’s. With their massive points lead and undefeated record against AUS teams, they are on pace to repeat their championship victory. As far as the remainder of the division is concerned for the playoffs, nothing is certain. The points margin between the Mounties, Huskies, and Axemen is very slim and playoff positions are up for grabs.
Acadia’s losing streak suggests that they could miss the playoffs in 2016, especially considering they face St. FX in week seven. Ultimately, the final playoff positions will rest on the week seven matchup of Mount Allison and Saint Mary’s. Although the Huskies were victorious in their previous matchup, it was another close game with a small margin of victory. As Mount Allison continues to hold teams to close, gritty games, they cannot be counted out of playoff contention and look to prove this against the Huskies. Unfortunately for the Axemen, their final games of the season being against St. FX and Saint Mary’s are a bad omen. As a result, the coming weeks could hold them to a last-place performance in 2016.
AUS Football Standings: Week Six
- St. Francis Xavier X-Men: 5-1, 10 pts
- Mount Allison Mounties: 2-4, 4 pts
- Saint Mary’s Huskies: 2-4, 4 pts
- Acadia Axemen: 1-5, 2 pts
Main photo courtesy of Paul Lynch