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Mounties fall 29-8 in Loney Bowl

Mount Allison starting quarterback Jakob Loucks was taken to hospital by ambulance in Saturday's Loney Bowl in Antigonish but delighted fans by returning to finish the game after being checked out.
Mount Allison starting quarterback Jakob Loucks was taken to hospital by ambulance in Saturday's Loney Bowl in Antigonish but delighted fans by returning to finish the game after being checked out.

ANTIGONISH, N.S. – One quarterback was taken by ambulance to the hospital after spending 20 minutes on the ground following a thunderous tackle and a second ended on crutches after being jumped on by a 300-pound opponent.

Despite this the Mountie defense, playing with a lot of passion, buckled down and kept the St. Francis Xavier X-Men under some control for much of the game before falling 29-8 in the Loney Bowl, symbolic of Atlantic University Football Conference supremacy, which was played in Antigonish on Saturday.

Despite this the Mountie defense, playing with a lot of passion, buckled down and kept the St. Francis Xavier X-Men under some control for much of the game before falling 29-8 in the Loney Bowl, symbolic of Atlantic University Football Conference supremacy, which was played in Antigonish on Saturday.

Head coach Scott Brady must have felt “snake bitten” as he watched his prize rookie Jakob Loucks taken to the hospital and then saw backup Graham Kelly go down – they being the only two quarterbacks dressed for the game.

Loucks went down with his team holding a slim 3-2 lead. He had just thrown a beautiful pass that would have given his team possession on the X-Men 20. But instead, the receiver was called for interference while Loucks’ attacker went unscathed.

So, what does a coach do in such circumstances? First, he turned to slotback Quinn LeBlanc, who had played the position a bit in high school, and then he called upon versatile Idahosa York. This limited the Mounties to keeping the ball on the ground with Chris Reid working his head off to pick up 104 yards.  But the limited options allowed the X defenders to zero in on the run game and keep the Mounties from staging a real threat.

To the astonishment of everybody in the park Jakob Loucks returned to the field with his hospital bracelet in place, pulled on number 7 and proceeded to stir up problems for the winners. He moved them to the two-yard line twice only to have the X-Men play “johnny bar the door” but managed to inject new life even though they were down by 18 points at this time.

The 21-point loss was a far cry from two weeks earlier when the X-Men pounded the Mounties 65-17 and showed the results of some hard work, good planning and a lot of passion.

This marked the fourth consecutive years the Mounties have appeared in the Loney Bowl and are now 2-2, having lost 14-12 to the X-men on a 42-yard field goal with no time remaining.

Mountie wide receiver Idahosa Yorke had to serve as quarterback in Saturday’s Loney Bowl game against the St. Francis Xavier X-Men after starting quarterback Jakob Loucks and backup Graham Kelly were taken out of the game due to injury.

They earned the berth this time after finishing second in the conference with a 3-5 mark and downing Acadia 27-19 a week earlier.

The X-Men will now travel to Calgary where they will face the Dinosaurs in the national semi-finals leading to the Vanier Cup.

While the X-Men posted a solid scoreboard victory, the statistic sheet showed a somewhat different story. Actually, the Mounties had possession slightly more than the winners, and a couple interceptions and a fumble recovery. The Mounties had 17 first downs to 14 for the winners and held a rushing edge of 127 to 104. But it was in the all-important passing that the winners dominated. Tevin Cook completed 20 of 29 attempts for 264 yards and a couple of touchdowns. The Mounties managed just six of 22 tries for 120 yards. Overall, the winners racked up 363 yards to 219 for the Mounties.

A 40-yard field goal by Ryan Lambert got the Mounties on the board to complete a 12-play 55-yard drive at the 4.34 mark and this held up until the visitors conceded a couple of safeties. But with the quarterbacks on the sidelines the X-Men took advantage and ran the score to 26-6 before the Mounties forced a safety and then turned the ball over on their own six, which was followed by an X field goal to wrap up the scoring.

Defensively, the Mounties were led by Moncton’s Kyle Horsman with 10 tackles followed by Devante Sampson and Donovan Glave with 6.5 apiece. Avery Maloney and Jesse Myers each collected an interception to snuff out X-Men drives.

During a discussion following the game coach Brady said he couldn’t say if the Mounties might have won if Loucks had remained healthy as the X-Men might have made changes. However, while Loucks was in the game the two sides matched up closely.

“A couple of weeks ago we faced so much adversity,” Brady said, “but the players bought into everything we asked and I am just so proud of every one of them.”

He said the entire team felt good going into the championship game and totally expected to make it a battle until the end.

While they were unable to pull this one out there was a sense that Brady and his staff have built a solid foundation for the future and only need to make a few improvements and adjustments around their quarterback in order to return to the top. 

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