In this AUS Football championship edition, the home crowd in Antigonish, Nova Scotia celebrated their second consecutive football title as the St. Francis Xavier X-Men win the 2016 Loney Bowl. Hosting defending champions the Mount Allison Mounties, the X-Men entered the AUS final as unanimous favourites. Boasting an undefeated record against AUS teams in 2016, the Loney Bowl marked the last obstacle of this record. The win will see the X-Men face the Calgary Dinos in the Mitchell Bowl.
Around AUS Football Championship Edition: St. Francis Xavier X-Men Win 2016 Loney Bowl
Awards and Accolades
Both the X-Men and the Mounties entered the 2016 Loney Bowl with considerable accolades. Mount Allison quarterback Jakob Loucks took AUS Rookie of the Year honours. In his rookie season, Loucks lead the Mounties to the Loney Bowl as starting quarterback. Loucks proved to be the most mobile quarterback in the AUS, rushing for 404 yards on the season while still throwing for 1325 passing yards. His winning the AUS Rookie of the Year places him in contention for the Peter Gorman Trophy for the top rookie in U Sports football.
The X-Men also attained two major honours at the AUS awards banquet in Antigonish. Quarterback Tivon Cook ends his fifth year as he is honoured as Outstanding Player of the Year. The Scarborough, Ontario native lead all AUS quarterbacks with 2537 passing yards on the season. This marks a new St. Francis Xavier passing record in a single season, securing his place as all-time career passing leader in the program’s history. He will be in contention for the Hec Crighton Trophy as outstanding player in U Sports football.
The X-Men would also see head coach Gary Waterman receive his second consecutive AUS Coach of the Year award. With the X-Men leading the division in nearly every category, Waterman was a shoe-in for the honour as the team’s perfect season was only marked by a loss to the Concordia Stingers. Waterman will be in contention for the Frank Tindall Trophy for the top coach in U Sports football.
Keeping the X-Men off of the scoreboard in a close battle would be the only hope of victory for the Mount Allison Mounties. They took the early lead off of a 40 yard field goal by Ryan Lambert. Unfortunately for the Mounties, this would prove to be their only points lead in the 2016 Loney Bowl. A pair of team safeties would see the X-Men crack the lead 4-3 and take off from there. Cook’s touchdown pass to Christian Ridley would be the first of two touchdowns for the pair in the second quarter. In the second instance, Cook would find Ridley for 17 yards to close out the second quarter. Their pair of touchdowns and another safety would put the X-Men ahead of the Mounties 20-3 entering halftime. This offensive matchup of Cook and Ridley proved to be key to the X-Men title victory.
The Mounties began the second half as they did the first, off of a field goal by Lambert. This low-scoring, highly defensive third quarter would consist entirely of field goals. X-Men kicker Jonathan Heidebrecht responded to Lambert’s field goal with two of his own. The quarter ends with the X-Men leading the Mounties 26-6.
The fourth quarter would see the Mounties score their own team safety, but they were set back again by another Heidebrecht field goal. This closed the title game 29-8 for the St. Francis Xavier X-Men. The St. Francis Xavier would hoist the Jewett Trophy, marking their second consecutive AUS title in front of a home town crowd in St. F.X.’s own Oland Stadium.
As a result of their Loney Bowl title, the St. Francis Xavier X-Men will face the Calgary Dinos in the 2016 Mitchell Bowl. The winner of the Mitchell Bowl will go on to compete in the 2016 Vanier Cup. The St. F.X. X-Men last won the Vanier Cup in 1966.