X-Men rally in second half to top Axemen

X-Men rally in second half to top Axemen

WOLFVILLE, N.S. – Twenty-two points in the second half gave the CIS No. 10 ranked StFX X-Men (6-1) a 33-29 win over the host Acadia Axemen (1-6).

Trailing 25-11 at the half, the X-Men posted two majors, a field goal, two safeties and a rouge to grab a come-from-behind win – their third against the Axemen this season.

Acadia jumped on the scoreboard on the opening kickoff with a safety to take a 2-0 lead, but StFX answered back on their second play from the line of scrimmage when Jordan Socholotiuk (Fort McMurray, Alta.) scampered 71 yards for the only X-Men major of the first half.

Acadia picked up two safeties in the first quarter as both teams battled for good field position and Brandon Jennings (St. Albert, Alta.) added a field goal in the closing minute of the opening quarter to give the Axemen an 8-7 advantage.

Jonathan Heidebrecht (Camrose, Atla.) tied the game at eight on a missed 27-yard field goal that added a rouge to the X-Men tally.

Brandon Jennings added a 42-yard field goal, his first of a two field goal day, to give Acadia a 11-8 lead. Heidebrecht added yet another rouge to narrow the gap to 11-10.

Jennings was called on again to kick his second and final field goal from 30 yards out, before the Axemen struck with their first of two first half touchdowns.

A Tivon Cook (Scarborough, Ont.) pass that was intercepted by Acadia's Harland Hastings (Calgary, Alta.) setup a drive that began at StFX's 44 yard line. The Axemen pushed 27 yards down field on seven plays before attempting a field goal. With Jennings' wide field goal attempt, the Axemen were quickly given the ball back after a roughing the kicker penalty was assessed to StFX.

Acadia pivot Cody Cluett (Cole Harbour, N.S.) found senior receiver Sabastian Robinson (Saskatoon, Sask.) in the end zone for Acadia's first of two first-half touchdowns.

Trailing 18-8, Heidebrecht nailed his second of three field goals to close the margin to 18-11 but the Axemen responded with their second and last major of the day with 30 seconds remaining in the first half.

Rookie running back Dillon Fortune (Brooklyn, New York) capped a seven play, 75 yard drive on a 11 yard run, to give Acadia a 25-11 halftime lead.

The X-Men went to work in the second half compiling 21 unanswered points after Acadia's early third quarter team safety on a Tommy Grant (Halifax, N.S.) sack.

Heidebrecht opened with a 13-yard field goal early in the third frame. Jordan Socholotiuk punched in his second touchdown of the day on a 6 yard run after Brandon Jennings' 43-yard punt was returned 52 yards by Kaion Julien-Grant (Toronto, Ont.) to the Acadia six yard line.

After an added team safety by the X-Men at 3:47 of the third quarter, Julien-Grant scored on a 35-yard pass reception from Tivon Cook to give StFX their first lead of the day at 30-27 at the end of the third quarter.

The X-men held onto the lead throughout the final quarter with a team safety and a rouge in the closing seconds of the game. Acadia added a team safety.

The X-Men outgained Acadia 396 to 291 yards in total offense including 177 yards in the air. Cook compiled 177 yards passing and was 14 of 22 pass attempts.  StFX rushed for 278 net yards compared to Acadia's 120.

Socholotiuk had 223 yards on the ground for an 8.3 yards per run average and two touchdowns, while Axemen rookies Daniel Obiang and Dillon Fortune had 31 and 89 respectively. Fortune was named the Subway Player of the Game for the Axemen.

Defensive halfback Nathan Fermin (Pickering, Ont.) was named the X-Men's Subway player of the game with 6 solo tackles and an interception. Axeman linebacker Bailey Feltmate (Moncton, N.B.) had 5 solo tackles, 5 assisted tackles and a breakup.

The X-Men (6-1) will conclude the regular season at home against Mount Allison (3-4) , while the Axemen (1-6) head to Halifax to take on the host Saint Mary's Huskies (2-5).

With a win against Saint Mary's, the Axemen could squeeze into the last spot of the playoffs. A loss to the Huskies will eliminate them. 

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