Gut check time comes for Mounties

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In Antigonish Saturday to face X-Men

SACKVILLE, N.B. – The Mount Allison Mounties will face their biggest game of the season Saturday when they travel to Antigonish to face the St. Francis Xavier X-Men in AUS Football action.

With three teams tied for second place with identical 2-4 records and two weeks remaining in the regular season, Saturday’s games will have all kinds of playoff implications.

The Mounties are coming off a huge 25-12 win last Saturday in Sackville against the Saint Mary’s Huskies, a team that blitzed them 43-7 the previous week in Halifax.

“I think the same message holds true from last weekend,” Mount Allison coach Kelly Jeffrey said. “We have to improve and get better. We’re not looking ahead to anything other than winning this game this weekend.”

While Saturday’s game could be a pivotal tie-breaker heading into the final weekend, Jeffrey said he doesn’t want his players looking ahead to Acadia on the final day of the season.

The Mounties have yet to win on the road this season, with both wins coming in the friendly confines of MacAulay Field.

“We have to start fast and play well early so we can get into the game before the crowd does,” Jeffrey said. “It seems to be when we play at home it’s after we’ve played a team on the road. I don’t know if it’s a home and away thing or if we’re just more familiar with our opponent.”

Heading into the game, Jeffrey is hoping to see his club’s potent running attack continue. At the same time, he wants his players to win the turnover battle – something they did against Saint Mary’s last Saturday.

“The things we’ve done well recently are the things we believe are going to be key,” he said. “The biggest thing is hanging onto the football and doing well in the turnover battle.”

Jeffrey said St. F.X. has a lot of explosive players on offence. He said it’s going to be important to avoid the big play – something that haunted them in the season opener in September, a 51-5 loss at home.

The Mounties’ final home game is next Saturday against Acadia.

dcole@amherstdaily.com

Geographic location: Antigonish, SACKVILLE, Saint Mary Acadia Halifax

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