HALIFAX – The Mount Allison Football Mounties saw tremendous improvement this season, going from a winless 2011 campaign to playing in a playoff game against the always tough Saint Mary’s Huskies.
The Huskies scored on the final play of the first quarter Saturday and never looked back en route to a 49-11 win over the Mounties in AUS Football semifinal action on Saturday.
Saint Mary’s moves on to the face the conference-leading Acadia Axemen in the championship game next weekend in Wolfville. The winner of the Loney Bowl will advance to the Uteck Bowl on Nov. 17 at either Laval or Sherbrooke.
“They are a very good football team and they did a better job of executing than we did,” Mounties’ coach Kelly Jeffrey said Sunday. “They made a number of plays in the red zone and we couldn’t respond. Once they got the momentum at home they were hard to stop.”
The opening quarter Saturday was scoreless until the final play of the quarter when quarterback Jean Legault found receiver Kevin Wuthrich in the end zone for a five-yard TD on the final play of the quarter.
Legault and Wuthrich would combine for another score early in the second quarter, again from five-yards out following a failed third down attempt by the Mounties.
Legault (9-of-13, 93 yards) threw for three touchdowns, two to Wuthrich and the other to Carl Fitzgerald.
Running back Melvin Abankwah had 22 carries for 162 yards on the ground including a 60-yard major. Michael Dawes added 119 rushing yards on 17 attempts as the Huskies finished the day with 370 rushing yards.
Huskies back-up running back Dave Sabourin added a 54-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Kicker Brett Lauther was four-of-five on field goal attempts and was five-for-five on point after attempts. He also averaged 39.1 yards on eight punts, including four downed inside the Mounties 20-yard line.
Saint Mary's led 7-0 after the opening quarter, were ahead 27-0 at the half and 42-0 after three quarters.
For Mount Allison, QB Brandon Leyh's three-yard touchdown toss to Brandon Maj with five minutes remaining accounted for the lone Mounties major.
Leyh completed six-of-17 passes for 44 yards and an interception. Running back Jordan Botel picked up 72 yards on 17 carries.
Defensively, Prince Baffoh had two sacks for the Huskies while Neil King and Eric Black had interceptions. Jonathan Langa led the team with 7.5 tackles.
Mount Allison's Rich Deschamps had a game-high 12 tackles in the loss.
Looking back at the season Jeffrey said he’s pleased with the progress his football team made.
“We made tremendous strides as a football program. Week to week we saw a lot of improvement,” Jeffrey said. “I am disappointed for their seniors that we couldn’t get a playoff win, but for the younger guys when it comes to building a program it’s important to get that exposure. More than half our team has never played in a playoff game before. We’ll work from that so we’re more ready next time the opportunity comes around.”
Jeffrey doesn’t intend on changing the direction of the program. He said the Mounties will be much stronger next season with a solid nucleus of returning players who will be bigger, faster and stronger.
“We will keep the same program philosophy and keep getting better every day,” he said.