WOLFVILLE, NS – Keiran Burnham’s 41-yard field goal with two seconds remaining in regulation time was all the StFX X-Men needed to pull off a 33-30 win over the host Acadia Axemen in the Thanksgiving Day Subway Turkey Bowl.
Burnham, who was named the Subway Player of the Game, was three for three on field goal attempts, including the game winner.
The X-Men took the early 7-0 lead that would hold for the opening quarter, when fifth year running back, Jordan Socholotiuk, scored a touchdown just under the halfway point of the quarter. The Axemen did not score in the first quarter, but one notable touchdown attempt was denied by a holding penalty against the Axemen.
Third-year X-Men kicker/punter, Keiran Burnham kicked a successful 47-yard field goal, which pushed the lead to 10-0. However, later in the quarter, the Axemen answered when second-year quarterback Alex Lawrie scored a major on a quarterback keep, bringing the score up to 10-7, for the visiting X-Men.
Burnam went back to work adding his second field goal of the night on a successful 39-yard kick, giving StFX a 13-7.
The Axemen answered once again when junior receiver Cordell Hastings pulled in a touchdown pass off a pass from Hunter Guenard. The Axemen had a 14-13 lead over StFX at the half.
The Axemen opened the second half not quite as strong as they exited the first half. The third quarter of play was dominated by the visiting X-Men, with two touchdowns being scored. The first touchdown was scored by first-year quarterback, Bailey Wasdal, who ran nine yards, capping off a 12 play, 88 yard drive for StFX’s second major of the evening.
Kaion Julien-Grant posted a 61-yard touchdown run off of a punt return less than two minutes after Wasdal’s major to widen the X-Men lead to a 27-14 advantage.
Dale Wright scored a touchdown on a three-yard rush that completed a four-play drive that began on the X-Men’s 18 yard line after Axeman Tommy Grant sacked Wasdal and forced a fumble that was recovered by Angelo Gentile.
Trailing the X-Men 27-23 after a conceded safety, Guenard hit Caleb Ryder on a 10-yard crossing pattern for a touchdown, giving the Axemen a 30-27 lead with 1:37 remaining in regulation time.
The excitement and intensity of the nail-biter fourth quarter continued when Keiran Burnham, tied the game at 30-30 following a 46-yard field goal with 44 seconds remaining in the game.
With the Axemen turning the ball over after three downs with two seconds remaining in the game, Burnham nailed the game-winning 41-yard field goal to give the X-Men a 33-30 win.
Hunter Guenard led the Axemen with 29 pass attempts and 18 total completions for 185 yards in the air and running back Dale Wright posted 147 yards of rushing. Other notable Axemen performances included that of wide receivers, Caleb Ryder, who hauled in four passes for 53 yards, while teammate Cordell Hastings added 40 yards on six receptions.
Jordan Socholotiuk posted a game-high 166 yards rushing and quarterback Bailey Wasdal attempted 24 passes with 15 completions for a total of 170 yards. In addition to guaranteeing the win for his X-Men, Keiran Burnham punted an average of 35 yards.
The Axemen drop to 2-3 record and will host the Bishop Gaiters for their Homecoming Game Oct. 13 at Raymond Field, starting at 3 p.m.
- Story by Bailey Gilmour