Conference semifinal Saturday in Halifax
SACKVILLE, N.B. – There are plenty of clichés that could be used to describe Saturday AUS Football playoff game between the Mount Allison Mounties and the Saint Mary’s Huskies.
Sayings have no meaning to Mounties’ head coach Kelly Jeffrey.
“It’s playoff football. It’s that simple,” Jeffrey said. “Our goal all season has been to improve all season, and when you look at where we were early in the season you can see just how far we have come. This is another game for our guys to pick up some valuable experience and to continue that process. We feel good going in.”
The Mounties travel to Huskies’ Stadium after finishing the regular season with a 3-5 record, a big improvement over 2011 when the club went winless in eight games and gave up 344 points.
Mount Allison, which lost to Acadia at MacAulay Field last Saturday, and Saint Mary’s, which trounced St. F.X., finished with identical records, but the Huskies won home field advantage through the tie-breaker.
Saint Mary’s thumped Mount Allison 43-7 in Halifax in early October, but Mount Allison came back with a 25-12 win in Sackville a week later. In that game, Mount Allison scored 11 points in the second quarter and added 14 in the third to post the win, while limiting the Huskies’ offence to just 198 yards.
Winning on the road has been a challenge for Mount Allison this season, but Jeffrey said regular season games mean little in the playoffs. He expects his players to match the passion shown by Saint Mary’s on Saturday and wants to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves.
“They’re a good team at home. We have to go in there with great passion and start fast. You can’t be playing from behind on their field in a playoff game,” Jeffrey said.
The Mounties’ coach said it’s going to take a complete team effort to have success on Saturday. He said he can’t focus on offence, defence or special teams. Instead, he wants a balanced effort.
“It’s playoffs. We’re all 0-0 and past games and past records mean very little in the playoffs. It’s one and done, so you have to make sure you’re firing on all cylinders,” he said. “We’ve talked about going out and being aggressive.”