(HALIFAX, N.S.)—The Acadia Axemen showed up for Friday night football and defeated the Saint Mary's Huskies 51-32 in Atlantic University Sport football action from Huskies Stadium.
In a battle of two Top-10 U SPORTS teams, No. 7 Acadia and No. 10 Saint Mary's did not disappoint.
Acadia took the opening kickoff and marched 79 yards in four plays, with running back Dale Wright (Markham, ON) scoring on a three-yard run for the 7-0 lead with 12:43 in the opening quarter.
SMU's first play was a turnover and Acadia capitalized on the short field with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Hunter Guenard (Calgary, AB) to Caleb Ryder (Moncton, NB), driving 47 yards in eight plays while eating 4:07 off the clock.
The Huskies jumped on the scoreboard with 3:09 left in the quarter on a Brian Hope (Port Coquitlan, BC) 39-yard field goal and SMU trailed Acadia 14-3.
Three minutes later, Ryder caught his second touchdown of the quarter from Guenard on a 25-yard strike for a 21-3 lead after 15 minutes.
Guenard connected with Matthew Gledhill (Ottawa, ON) on a 26-yard touchdown pass to increase Acadia's lead to 28-17 with 1:17 left in the half.
Shim drove SMU down on their next drive, 83 yards in four plays, finding Brandon Ihanza (Brampton, ON) for a 18-yard touchdown with 17 seconds left in the half.
Saint Mary's trailed 28-24 at halftime.
The Huskies defence forced the Axemen into a safety and trailed the Axemen by two, 28-26 with 9:22 left in the third quarter.
Shelder Fervius (Toronto, ON) put SMU ahead with a 43-yard touchdown catch from Shim as Saint Mary's took a 32-28 lead with 7:40 left in the third quarter.
Acadia would outscore Saint Mary's 23-0 over the last 22:40 with touchdowns from Gledhill, Cole Estabrooks' (Moncton, NB) 34-yard run and Duncan Patterson's (Bedford, NS) 1-yard sneak.
The Axemen added a safety for the 51-32 victory, as they move to 3-0 on the year. SMU falls to 2-1 in conference play.
For his efforts, Guenard finished 20-30 for 375 yards and four touchdowns and was named the Subway Player of the Game. Estabrooks had 86 yards on 8 carries while Wright had 78 yards on 16 rushes.
Gledhill hauled in five catches for 124 yards and Ryder finished with three catches for 93 yards.
Shim finished 21-35 for 348 yards and two touchdowns and two interceptions for SMU while Dixon-Bowden had 29 yards rushing and Fervius had 11 catches for 225 yards.
Both teams return to action September 21st at 2 p.m. as Mount Alison visits Acadia and SMU hits the road versus StFX.
Dominic Nolasco, SMU
Photo Mona Ghiz