Mounties in must-win situation against Axemen

Jody Jewers
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SACKVILLE, N.B. - The playoffs start Saturday at 2 p.m., for the Mount Allison Mounties.
Despite their 0-6 record, Mount Allison still has a chance to qualify for the Atlantic University Sport football postseason, and is in a must-win situation against the 1-5 Acadia Axemen at MacAulay Field. Acadia defeated the Mounties 58-15 on Sept. 12, so Mount Allison would need to win by 44 points to control the tiebreaker should both teams finish with identical records.
Both teams wrap up their seasons on the road next week, Mount Allison against St. Francis Xavier and Acadia versus Saint Mary's. St. F.X. and Saint Mary's will play Friday night in Halifax with first place in the AUS and a bye to the conference championship game at stake.
"We know we're in a must-win situation the rest of the way," said Mounties head coach Kelly Jeffrey. "It's pretty much sudden death."
Acadia is coming off a 39-5 loss at home to the Concordia Stingers, and turned the ball over seven times. The Axemen are plus-1 in the turnover margin this season, while the Mounties are a conference-worst minus-15. Mount Allison is still licking its wounds from a 73-7 trouncing at the hands of the defending national champion Laval Rouge et Or.
Mother Nature doesn't look like she'll be much help, either. Environment Canada is calling for rain through Sunday, which will turn MacAulay Field into a swamp.
"We haven't been getting much help from anybody, so that's no surprise," Jeffrey said with a laugh when informed of the forecast.
"The bottom line is we have to win, whether it's by one or 44. We think we're a better team than what we showed against them in the first week of the season."
It's the last regular-season home game for the graduating players, who will be presented with their jerseys in a pre-game ceremony.
Receiver-return specialist Gary Ross, in his fourth season, will not be one of those, possibly leaving the door open to return for his fifth and final year of eligibility. Ross is chasing several AUS career records, and would almost assuredly break them if he came back.
"He's got a good chance of getting accepted into the dentistry program at Dalhousie, so I don't know," Jeffrey said when asked if Ross will return next season. "If he wants to, we'd love to have him back."

Organizations: Atlantic University Sport, Environment Canada

Geographic location: Saint Mary, Halifax

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