Mounties out of AUS football playoff picture

Jody Jewers
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SACKVILLE, N.B. - There will be no repeat playoff performance for the Mount Allison Mounties.
The Mounties couldn't sustain the momentum of a 9-0 first-quarter lead and lost 28-11 to the Acadia Axemen on Saturday in Atlantic University Sport football action in front of about 250 fans who braved near-freezing temperatures and a driving rain that turned MacAulay Field into a swamp.
Mount Allison falls to 0-7 on the season, while Acadia improves to 2-5 and has clinched the third and final playoff berth in the conference. A playoff team a year ago, the Mounties will now mark 12 years without a postseason victory.
"We allowed them to get back in the game when we had them down, and that was frustrating," said Mounties head coach Kelly Jeffrey. "We had a first-and-goal to make it 14-0 in the first quarter and when you don't convert those, you feel like you've let things slip away."
It was a close contest well into the fourth quarter, but a Adam Molnar fumble on the Mounties' 35-yard line was turned into an Acadia touchdown with 2:19 left. The Axemen tacked on another major in the final minute on an interception return.
The Mounties built their lead on Gary Ross's 62-yard catch-and-run from quarterback Jason Bertrand 5:56 after the opening kickoff, and a conceded safety after Acadia went two-and-out following the goalline stand in the first quarter. Mount Allison added another conceded safety 1:14 into the final frame.
Ross finished with 10 catches for 109 yards to give him 49 receptions on the season, breaking the AUS record of 48 set by Acadia's Grant Davy in 1994 and equalled by St. Francis Xavier's Jermayne Baldwin in 1998. He is also closing in on Davy's records for career receptions and receiving yards. Ross has 161 receptions to Davy's 168, and 2,411 yards to Davy's 2,470.
But the disappointment of another loss in what could be his final home game was foremost on his mind.
"The record doesn't mean that much right now," said Ross. "I definitely wanted to go into the playoffs in my last year."
The door is still open for Ross to return for a fifth and final season. He chose not to participate in a pre-game ceremony where graduating seniors were given a commemorative jersey.
"The door is definitely open," said Ross, who has applied for the dentistry program at Dalhousie University. "I didn't want to get my jersey and come back for a fifth season."
Ross also totalled 61 yards on punt returns to move within 250 yards of AUS career leader Chuck Wust of Acadia, who amassed 1,918 yards.
The Mounties finish their season Friday on the road against St. F.X.

Organizations: Atlantic University Sport, Dalhousie University

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