Mounties off to face mighty Laval

Jody Jewers
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SACKVILLE, N.B. - It's David vs. Goliath, Appalachian State vs. Michigan, Jonah vs. The Whale.
In all those stories, the underdog managed to prevail. Dare the Mount Allison Mounties, at 0-5 and having been outscored 216-88, think they can pull off such a miracle Saturday when they visit the reigning Canadian Interuniversity Sport football champion Laval Rouge et Or, at 4-1 and having surrendered just 49 points while scoring 188?
"My wife thinks we can win, and I bet if I asked my mom, she'd think we can win, too," said Mounties head coach Kelly Jeffrey with a laugh.
Jeffrey realizes this could be the closest to a playoff atmosphere his team will get to this season. Though the Mounties are only two points back of the Acadia Axemen for the third and final postseason berth in the Atlantic conference, the mountain to climb is high.
Acadia holds a 43-point advantage in the tiebreaker thanks to a 58-15 win over Mount Allison on Sept. 12. The Axemen are home to the 1-4 Concordia Stingers on Saturday in the second round of interlocking games between the Atlantic and Quebec conferences this year.
Acadia visits Mount Allison next week, and the Mounties wrap up the regular season Oct. 30 at St. Francis Xavier.
"This is essentially our bowl game for the year," said Jeffrey. "We get to play in the stadium where the national championship game will be played against a team that quite likely will be playing in that game, so it's a great opportunity for our guys to find out what that kind of atmosphere is all about."
The Mounties are coming off a 35-7 loss to the Saint Mary's Huskies in which Saint Mary's led 35-0 at halftime then rotated its backups into the lineup for the final 30 minutes, during which Mount Allison racked up most of its season-high 421 yards of offence.
Laval had a week off to stew after having a nearly three-year winning streak snapped in a 28-7 loss to the Montreal Carabins, who have supplanted the Rouge et Or as the No. 1-ranked team in the country. Laval only dropped to No. 2.
To have any chance, the Mounties will have to play as close to a perfect game as they can, and hope the Rouge et Or are still smarting from that loss and have eaten too much turkey over Thanksgiving.
"What we've talked about all season is wanting to play well no matter who it's against," said Jeffrey. "I'll be less concerned about what the scoreboard says than how we're playing as a team. If it's close in the fourth quarter, then we'll play the scoreboard."
Mount Allison is 2-13 in interlocking play since 2002.

jjewers@amherstdaily.com


Organizations: Montreal Carabins

Geographic location: Mount Allison, Atlantic, Michigan Saint Mary Quebec

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