Mounties need to tighten up against X-Men

Jody Jewers
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SACKVILLE, N.B. - It wasn't hard for Kelly Jeffrey to find an emphasis for his Mount Allison Mounties football squad in practice this week.
The Mounties lost four fumbles, threw an interception and failed to convert on three third-down attempts in a 58-15 loss to the Acadia Axemen on the opening weekend of the Atlantic University Sport football season, a game in which Acadia racked up 640 yards of offence, so Jeffrey had plenty to talk to his troops about.
"It all starts with the turnovers," Jeffrey said. "Those don't happen and our defence isn't on the field as much. It always has to be an emphasis for any team, and it's something we have to take care of right away."
Indeed. The Mounties face a St. Francis Xavier X-Men squad on Saturday at 2 p.m., at MacAulay Field that's coming off a spirited 24-19 victory over the two-time defending AUS champion Saint Mary's Huskies.
That win dropped Saint Mary's from fourth to 10th in the national rankings, and the X-Men moved into the top 10 at No. 8. St. F.X. forced five Huskies turnovers - four interceptions and a fumble recovery.
"St. F.X. has a good solid team across the board," Jeffrey said. "They had a couple of guys at Canadian Football League camps this year, and they played very well last week. I fully expect they'll come in here looking to match the intensity they had against Saint Mary's."
It's homecoming weekend on the Mount Allison campus, so Jeffrey is hoping that will give his club a boost.
"If we can get off to a fast start and put some points on the board early, that'll get the crowd into the game and maybe put them on their heels a bit," Jeffrey said.
"We were happy with how we were able to run the ball last week, and if our passing game can distribute the ball effectively, that gives us our best chance to win."
The question of which rookie quarterback - Jake Hotchkiss or Jason Bertrand - can best do that remains unanswered.
"Right now, we're looking at using both," Jeffrey said. "But if one of them gets a hot hand, we might decide just to stick with one."
Receiver Jarrett King (knee) will not dress Saturday.

jjewers@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Atlantic University Sport, Canadian Football League

Geographic location: Saint Mary

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