Antigonish, NS - On the strength of three second-half touchdown passes from quarterback Tivon Cook (Scarborough, ON), the StFX X-Men defeated the Saint Mary's Huskies 36-6 in AUS football action Saturday afternoon at Oland Stadium in Antigonish.
More than 1,000 pro-StFX fans watched their team outscore the Huskies 24 to 1 in the final 30 minutes as the X-Men second place in the AUS conference with the victory.
"We were a little inconsistent," Subway player of the game Donald Tabor (Dartmouth, NS) said after the game of the team's first half.
"We played much better offensively in the second half and we put together some consistent drives." Tabor caught five balls, including one touchdown, for 86 yards.
His TD grab, with a Jeremy Ford (Halifax, NS) convert, gave the X-Men a 26-6 lead with 3:24 left in the third quarter. "It was a play call especially for the defense they were playing, Tabor said. "It was a simple pass-and-catch, and it worked."
On StFX's first offensive play after halftime, Cook connected with Randy Roseway (Ottawa, ON) for a 37-yard touchdown pass. With another Ford conversion, the X-Men led 19-6.
The X-Men held a 24-14 edge in first downs, while outgaining the Huskies 397 to 249 in total offense.
StFX led Saint Mary's 12-5 after a defensive first half.
X-Men defensive back Paolo Edwards intercepted the first pass of the game from Huskies' quarterback Jean Legault (Sherbrooke, QC) before making a 41-yard return for a touchdown. It was 7-0 after a Ford conversion.
After conceding a safety, the X-Men led 7-2 after the first quarter. When the Huskies returned the favour, conceding a safety, StFX took a 9-2 lead.
With 2:14 remaining in the second quarter, Chase Kodejs (Bedford, NS) made it 9-5 with a 26-yard field goal.
Before the end of the opening half, Ford capped an eight play, 45-yard drive with a field goal to give the X-Men their 12-5 halftime lead.
After the X-Men took a 19-5 lead on the aforementioned Roseway touchdown, Kodejs trimmed the lead to 19-6 with a rouge from a missed field goal.
The 14-yard touchdown catch from Tabor wrapped up the third quarter scoring.
The X-Men scored 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to secure the win, including a leaping 10-yard touchdown catch in the corner of the end zone by Jordan Catterall (Oakville, ON) and a Ford 32-yard field goal.
For StFX, Cook completed 21-of-26 passes for 258 yards, with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
On the ground, the X-Men collected 153 yards - led by Ashton Dickson (Ottawa) with 18 carries for 79 yards. Freshmen JP Primeau (Falmouth, NS) and Dajon Lynch (Calgary) gained 42 and 32 yards, respectively.
Along with Tabor and Catterall (5-50), Keon Hughes (Mississauga, ON) had five catches, which he turned into 57 yards. Roseway collected a game-high 151 all-purpose yards: 58 receiving, 57 kick-returning and 36 on punt returns.
Legault was 6-of-15 for 71 yards, with two interceptions. Matthew Magee was the top Saint Mary's receiver with two catches for 25 yards. On the ground, Melvin Abankwah (Etobicoke, ON) rushed for 112 yards on 18 carries.
Delmas added two sacks and three tackles for loss, while Mandela Loggale (Edmonton, AB) and Kayin Marchand-Wright (Montreal, QC) had interceptions.
For the X-Men, who were without all-Canadian linebacker Ron Omara (Aylmer, QC), Demetrius Ferguson (Nassau, Bahamas) had a team-high 8.5 tackles, while Andrew Smith (Whitby, ON) chipped in seven, along with a forced fumble.
Defensive back James Menzies (Montreal, QC) chipped in 4.5 tackles, along with one sack and two tackles for loss. Along with Edwards, Nathaniel Fermin (Pickering, ON) caught an interception for the X-Men.
The X-Men win came on senior day, with 13 StFX players honoured on their final regular season home game, including Omara, Dickson, Menzies, Ford, Ferguson, Tabor, Jerome Stevens (Ottawa, ON), Jeremy Stevens (Ottawa, ON), Jainyme DaSilveira (Everett, MA), John Tewelde (Winnipeg, MB), Bobby Martell (Cole Harbour, NS), Stefano Bartolacci (Halifax, NS) and Patrick Mpuanga (Vancouver, BC).
The X-Men return to action Saturday, Oct. 25, when they travel to Sackville, NB to face the league-leading Mount Allison Mounties (7-0). Saint Mary's will host Acadia on Saturday to close out their AUS season.
StFX will host the AUS semi-final game, which will take place Saturday, Nov. 1, beginning at 2 p.m., at Oland Stadium.