The Axemen scored 22 second-half points to claim a 27-11 win over St. F.X. in front of a large Homecoming crowd Oct. 19 in Wolfville. – John DeCoste, www.kingscountynews.ca
By John DeCoste
The Acadia football Axemen picked an opportune time to break back into the win column in a big way.
With fourth place looking them square in the face with a loss, the Axemen scored 22 second-half points to claim a 27-11 win over St. F.X. in front of a large Homecoming crowd Oct. 19 in Wolfville.
With the victory, Acadia improved its season record to three wins and four losses, good for a share of second place in the AUFC.
With one week of the regular season remaining, Saint Mary’s stood first at 4-3 with Acadia, St. F.X. and Mount Allison all at 3-4.
For the first half, the game was a close defensive struggle that saw the Axemen clinging to a 5-3 lead at halftime.
Ryan Begin opened the scoring for Acadia with a field goal, the only scoring of the opening quarter. Brayden Guy forced a safety to make it 5-0 before Jeremy Ford got the X-men on the board with a 23-yard field goal just before halftime.
With the Acadia defence turning in another solid performance, the Axemen offence woke up after the intermission, led by running back Thomas Troop, who finished with 168 net yards on 30 carries.
After Brett Backman forced another safety, the Axemen found themselves with good field position and capitalized, with Troop running in a four-yard touchdown that inspired a loud rendition of ‘Stand Up and Cheer’ from the partisan Homecoming crowd.
With the score 14-3 Acadia after three quarters, quarterback Evan Brown (14-23, 115 yards) went to work, driving the Axemen down the field to another score. Brian Jones’s five-yard pass reception four minutes into the fourth quarter made it 21-3.
St. F.X. came back with a touchdown and a two-point conversion to narrow the deficit to 21-11, but Begin’s second and third field goals of the game, from 40 and 29 yards respectively, rounded out the scoring in Acadia’s favour.
The Axemen finished with 452 yards in total offence to just 162 for St. F.X. Thanks to Troop, Acadia had a particularly wide edge in rushing yardage, with 323 yards to just 67 for the X-men.
Taylor Renaud, with 91 yards on six catches including a 37-yard reception, was Acadia’s top receiver. Defensively, Cameron Wade led a total team effort with five solo tackles, one quarterback sack and a key interception.
On Oct. 26, Acadia is at Mount Allison while Saint Mary’s visits St. F.X. for a pair of games that will determine the final AUFC standings and playoff positions.
Wins by Acadia and St. F.X. or Mount Allison and St. F.X. would each create a three-way tie for first place, with the top three teams all with 4-4 records.