Around AUS Football week 7: Mount Allison Clinches Playoff Berth

AUS Football Week 7

AUS football week 7 wasn’t short of surprises. The Mount Allison Mounties dominated the Saint Mary’s Huskies 39-9 as Mount Allison clinches playoff participation. The Acadia Axemen nearly upset top AUS team St. Francis Xavier X-Men but fell short, 33-29. With only one week remaining in the AUS football regular season, week seven proved critical to form the division’s playoffs.

Around AUS Football Week 7: Mount Allison Clinches Playoff Berth

Saint Mary’s Huskies vs. Mount Allison Mounties

The week’s most important game for playoff implications ended in a blowout. A match up that typically provides close competition, the Huskies and Mounties met to decide ownership of second place in the AUS standings. As Mount Allison clinched playoff contention with the victory, Saint Mary’s own berth is now in danger.

Each team was shut out of scoring points in the first quarter. This low scoring trend continued throughout much of the first half. In the final minutes of the first half, Mount Allison began their offensive assault. In a span of two and a half minutes, the Mounties brought the 5-0 score to 26-0 in their favour. A blocked punt led to a touchdown for the first touchdown of the game. This was followed swiftly by a touchdown pass by Jakob Loucks to Dakota Brush. Loucks threw 244 yards, his second most in 2016. This impressive rally for quick points lead by Loucks saw the Mounties enter the second half with a 26-0 advantage.

Huskies starting quarterback Brock Berglund struggled in the first half. e would be benched in favour of Trevor Erdmann after throwing two interceptions. Despite this offensive shift, the Huskies struggles continue against the surging Mounties. The Huskies scored their sole touchdown of the game off of a short run by Derek Pisani. However, their scoring drive faltered under the dominant Mounties. Off of a strong running performance by Chris Reid, the Huskies maintained and extended their strong lead, winning the game 39-9. As a result of the victory, the Mounties hold sole possession of second in the division and are locked into the playoffs. Saint Mary’s spot in the playoff depends on their performance against the Acadia Axemen in week eight.

St. Francis Xavier X-Men vs. Acadia Axemen

A matchup of the top and bottom of the division. The rivalry of the Axemen and the X-Men surprised fans by being the closest game of week seven. The Axemen have struggled significantly in 2016, with this being their sixth consecutive loss. Despite losing, Acadia proved themselves in a close match against the X-Men. For a team that is last in the division, to play well against a team ranked 10th in all of USports football, this is a significant achievement.

Acadia quarterback Cody Cluett found his favourite target in Sabastian Robinson to lead Acadia’s offensive charge. The Axemen have primarily been notable for their strong defence in 2016, but their offence shone against the X-Men. Cluett out-threw X-Men quarterback Tivon Cook, who has been taking the division by storm. St. Francis Xavier had an uncharacteristically low-scoring first half as the division-leaders appeared to struggle against the rejuvenated Axemen offence. Acadia’s strong first half saw them lead the game 25-11 going into halftime.

The X-Men come into the second half with a need to come back from the points deficit. Acadia was in prime position to reclaim their playoff hopes in the second half. A win against the X-Men means that the week eight matchup with Saint Mary’s is the gateway to the playoffs. With Acadia’s newfound strength, the struggling Saint Mary’s marked the perfect target. However, the X-Men come into the second half with a return to form performance. The X-Men scored unanswered 21 points. The Axemen nearly pulled off the biggest upset of the AUS football season. Finally, they fell to the X-Men 33-29. The win ensures St. Francis Xavier’s hosting of the 2016 Loney Bowl.

Week Eight Preview and Playoff Race

With the top two spots in the AUS playoffs claimed, the final spot will be fought for by the Huskies and the Axemen. The two teams face each other in week eight, the final week of the regular season. Acadia needs to win in order to tie records with the Huskies. If Saint Mary’s can claim the victory, then they will secure the third spot in the playoffs after a late-season slump. Acadia’s strong performance against the X-Men suggests that they could have the upper hand going into week eight. However, considering the difficult second half, it is hard to predict.

The Mounties and X-Men will meet in week eight as the only teams with playoff positions clinched. While the game may appear of lesser interest due to this, it will be very telling of the direction of the playoffs. Mount Allison has been very strong in recent weeks. With the X-Men nearly faltering to Acadia, the Mounties will look to pounce on any weakness that may appear.

AUS Football Standings: Week 7

  1. St. Francis Xavier X-Men: 6-1, 12 pts
  2. Mount Allison Mounties: 3-4, 6 pts
  3. Saint Mary’s Huskies: 2-5, 4 pts
  4. Acadia Axemen: 1-6, 2 pts