WOLFVILLE, N.S. – In one of two AUS football exhibition games, the visiting Saint Mary's Huskies squeezed past the host Acadia Axemen with a 20-17 win. The weather was neither team's choice as both teams battled the elements including a second half that was marred by high winds and rain.
Huskie Brian Hope (Port Coquitlan, B.C.) recorded two fields goals from 37 and 35 yards out and a rouge in the second quarter to give Saint Mary's a 7-0 halftime lead.
Acadia's Eugene McMinns (Nassau, Bahamas) recorded a 44 yard touchdown reception on the Axemen's opening drive of the second half. A safety and a rouge would follow in the middle of the third quarter.
McMinns struck again on a 41 yard touchdown catch from first year pivot Mason Brown. The throw was Brown's first pass of his rookie season.
Just over two minutes into the final quarter, Chika Uzor (Montreal, Que.) pulled down an eight yard pass for Huskies' first and only major of the day. Uzor was the leading Huskie receiver with three catches for 46 yards.
Two safeties and two rouges by Huskie Trevor Wright (Calgary, Alta.), concluded the scoring in the exhibition game.
Rookie Axeman Cole Estabrooks (Moncton, N.B.) was the game's top rusher with 44 yards on three carries. Fourth year running back Cameron Davidson (Kentville, N.S.) added 25 on six carries. McMinns had 85 yards on two receptions.
From behind the center, Saint Mary's Kaleb Scott posted 129 yards in passing on nine completions, while teammate Cameron Valardo was four of 10 passes for 55 yards. First year pivot Alex Lawrie completed six of 13 for 68 yards and one touchdown. Mason Brown was one for three that included a 41 yard touchdown.
On the defensive side of the ball, linebackers Jesse Boudreau and Bailey Feltmate each had 4.5 tackles. Raphael Muntu, of the Huskies, dominated defensively during his playing time with eight solo tackles.
Axemen head coach Jeff Cummins was happy with the effort by his team. "I thought they played well. We had enough mistakes in the game to create some teachable moments. We had some opportunities for big plays," pointed out Cummins.
"Our young kids played well. Our young offensive linemen, our young linebackers and our young kicker Jerett Saumure (Timberlea, N.S.) kicked the ball well. For this young 18 year old to get out and do everything in one day, it was great," concluded Cummins.
In offensive net yards, the Axemen trailed Saint Mary's 180 yards to 269 yards, yet the time of possession was 30 minutes each.
The Axemen take on Mount Allison in Sackville, N.B. next Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in the AUS regular season opener, while the Huskies open at home vs StFX on Saturday as well.