Mounties begin season on the road

Darrell Cole
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Higher expectations for 2013 squad

Running back Jordan Botel is expected to again be major offensive cog in the Mount Allison Football Mounties’ offence this season. The Mounties begin AUS Football Conference play on Saturday in Antigonish against the St. F.X. X-Men. 

SACKVILLE, N.B. – Kelly Jeffrey knows there are higher expectations this season for his Mount Allison Football Mounties.

After making the AUS Football playoffs in two of the last three seasons, Jeffrey knows fans expect the club to make an appearance in the conference final in what’s expected to be a very tight conference.

The Mounties open the 2013 regular season on Saturday in Antigonish against the St. F.X. X-Men, a team it edged for the final playoff spot last year before losing to Saint Mary’s in the conference semifinal.

“We can’t wait to get started,” Jeffrey said. “We have a group that the core of has been together for three years. They’re getting older and more experienced and we’re looking forward to a good season.”

Mount Allison’s home opener is Sept. 14 against the McGill Redmen.

The Mounties haven’t been to the playoffs in consecutive seasons since 1998. It’s something the fifth-year coach will be reminding his players of as they enter this season and he has set a goal of making it to the conference final this time around.

“We’re on a path of stability and continuing to get better every year. We want to get to the playoffs and get that elusive playoff win,” he said. “We have some good players on both sides of the ball. We’re pretty excited about the team we have this year.”

Offensively, the Mounties will be led this season by running back Jordan Botel and quarterback Brandon Leyh, who stepped into the pivot position early last season and didn’t disappoint.

“Brandon was thrown into a situation in which he was new to the program. He didn’t start to the second week. Now he has a lot more experience and has more confidence in the offence. He should have a great year,” Jeffrey said.

Defensively, second-team all-Canadian Jacob LeBlanc is expected to have a big season along with all-conference cornerback Donovan Saunders and free safety Kwame Adjei.

Among the newcomers is receiver Roderick Joseph and offensive lineman Andre Gogan.

The Mounties played just one exhibition game, a 32-7 loss in Halifax to Saint Mary’s last Saturday.

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: Mount Allison Football Mounties

Geographic location: Saint Mary, Antigonish, Halifax

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