Mounties face McGill in interlocking play

Jody Jewers
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SACKVILLE, N.B. - The Mount Allison Mounties were a better football team last week, and are hoping to be better this week when the McGill Redmen come calling for an interlocking Canadian Interuniversity Sport football matchup Saturday at 2 p.m., at MacAulay Field.
A bend-but-don't-break defence kept the St. Francis Xavier X-Men in check for most of last week's 27-21 setback, with the X-Men's two touchdowns coming on completions of 68 and 99 yards. The Mounties offence took too long to get rolling, but would've had a chance at a hail-Mary pass for the win if an onside kick had been recovered with 9.6 seconds left in regulation.
"In general, we were much improved from Week 1 (a 58-15 loss at Acadia) to Week 2," said Mounties head coach Kelly Jeffrey. "We adjusted very well to the game speed level in the CIS last week, and now we have to take the next step."
The next step, Jeffrey hopes, will be a win against a McGill club that was 0-8 a year ago but is also showing signs of improvement, having defeated the Sherbrooke Vert et Or 29-11 two weeks ago, and was tied in the fourth quarter last week before losing 25-20 to the Bishop's Gaiters.
With Jake Hotchkiss not expected to play for the second straight week because of a concussion, Jason Bertrand is likely to get the start at quarterback. Bertrand threw 47 times against St. F.X., and the Mounties as a team netted only three yards rushing on just 13 attempts.
"I would really love to have an opposing defence walk up to the line of scrimmage with no idea of whether we're going to pass or run the football," said Jeffrey. "Balance on offence is something we're certainly striving for, and we're getting (running back) Matt Pickett back this week, so that should help."
Mount Allison hasn't won an interlocking game since Oct. 21, 2006, 38-10 at home against Bishop's. The Mounties record against Quebec teams since the advent of interlocking play in 2002 is 2-12.

jjewers@amherstdaily.com

Geographic location: Quebec

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