WOLFVILLE, N.S. – In their home opener against Mount Allison, the Acadia Axemen posted a 38-26 win over the visiting Mounties. A contested battle until the final two minutes of play, third-year defensive back Rory Kelly scored a touchdown from an interception, guaranteeing the Axemen's home-opening win.
The Axemen took an early lead when 2017 AUS MVP Dale Wright scored the Axemen's first touchdown in the opening five minutes of the game. Throughout the quarter, both the Mounties and the Axemen had a number of penalties, setting both teams back in the several instances. However, the Axemen came out on top with a 7-0 lead after one-quarter of play.
Mounties quarterback Troy Downton answered to the Axemen's lead by scoring a one-yard quarterback keep for the major combined with an earlier James Parker 37 yard field goal, earned the Mounties a 12-9 lead over the Axemen in the second frame.
Cordell Hastings closed the first half by pulling in a 27-yard reception for the Axemen's second major and ending the half with a 16-12 Axemen lead.
The Axemen came out strong and quick to open the remaining half, after declining the offside penalty of the Mounties, Acadia punched in a 1-yard dive by freshman quarterback, Alex Lawrie that capped an eight play, 78-yard drive.
Sustaining a drive on Acadia penalties, Mount Allison's, running back Chris Reid scored a touchdown that concluded a 91-yard drive, closing the Axemen lead to 23-19.
The Mounties' Chris Reid scored his second touchdown of the afternoon on a nine play, 75-yard drive early in the final quarter, pushing Mount Allison to a slim 26-24 lead over the Axemen.
Acadia grabbed their third lead of the afternoon by quickly answering the Mounties with Alex Lawrie scoring his second short-yardage touchdown of the afternoon, giving Axemen a 31-26 lead that would hold.
With less than two minutes remaining in the game, defensive back Rory Kelly sealed the win by intercepting Mountie quarterback Troy Downton for Acadia's fifth and final major of the afternoon.
"It was a grind all game, but I am just happy that the play was there, and I made it into the end zone without getting walked. It was a great team effort all game and we pulled together tight to win the game. Now, on to SMU," noted Kelly after the game.
Second-year pivot Hunter Guenard was named the Subway Player of the Game, posting an impressive 24 completions in 29 attempts for 327 yards. Second-year Axeman Glodin Mulali led the receivers with 5 receptions for 53 yards. Dale Wright rushed for 42 yards on 13 carries and had 96 all-purpose yards that included 55 yards receiving. The Axemen had 401 yards net offense that included 327 yards in the air and 74 on the ground.
Malik Richards led the Mounties with 53 yards rushing. The Mounties churned out 140 yards in rushing and 263 yards in receiving. Josh Hicks pulled in seven receptions for a team-high 79 yards.
The Axemen improve to 2-1 and head to Halifax next Friday, September 21 to take on the 3-0 Saint Mary's Huskies at Huskies Stadium starting at 7:00 p.m. The 1-2 Mounties return home and host the 2-1 StFX X-Men next Saturday afternoon.
Submitted by Bailey Gilmour, Acadia Athletics Communications Office