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Mounties start strong, crumble in second half against Huskies


SACKVILLE, N.B. – It could have been described as “a tale of two cities” or a case of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” for that’s what the matchup between the Mount Allison Mounties and St. Mary’s Huskies turned into on Friday night in Halifax.

Sackville’s Michael Bohan (#15) goes after Huskies quarterback Brock Berglund in Friday’s game. PAUL D. LYNCH PHOTO - pauldlynch.smugmug.com

Actually, as it unfolded it became like two separate games in one with the two teams taking opposite sides in futility and success. At any rate, when the dust settled and the final gun was sounded the Mounties found themselves on the short end of a 32-27 score, thus absorbing their second defeat in two tries under new head coach Scott Brady.

The victory snapped a 19-game losing streak dating back three seasons while it marked the first time they have downed the Sackville collegians in seven attempts.

So what happened, what caused the perceived collapse of the Mounties during the second half of the game?

Actually, as it unfolded it became like two separate games in one with the two teams taking opposite sides in futility and success. At any rate, when the dust settled and the final gun was sounded the Mounties found themselves on the short end of a 32-27 score, thus absorbing their second defeat in two tries under new head coach Scott Brady.

The victory snapped a 19-game losing streak dating back three seasons while it marked the first time they have downed the Sackville collegians in seven attempts.

So what happened, what caused the perceived collapse of the Mounties during the second half of the game?

Mount Allison receiver Dakota Brush, left, notched a pair of touchdowns in Friday’s game against the Huskies. PAUL D. LYNCH PHOTO - pauldlynch.smugmug.com

After spotting the Huskies to a two-point lead on a safety to start things off, the Mounties unleashed an attack that took them to a 27-2 lead by the five-minute mark of the second quarter and they went to the dressing room with a comfortable 27-8 bulge over their opponents.

Then the tent began to collapse and this lead gradually evaporated until they found themselves behind the eight ball when the Huskies nailed a field goal to put them up by two and then added another three-pointer with seconds remaining on the clock to drive home an exclamation mark.

Brady remained upbeat even in defeat, saying his team is still in the learning process and showed they can play in spurts but must discover it requires 60 minutes of total effort to be successful in the tight Atlantic Universities Football Conference.

“We will prepare to play Laval this weekend as usual and not look back on any failures,” he said.

He affirmed that rookie Jakob Loucks has earned his approval and through strong play in two games will be looked to for leadership in returning to the winning rails. Loucks made the most outstanding play of the game when he spotted a seam and outran the opposition for an 83-yard scamper to set up a Mountie touchdown. He is proving to be an outstanding roll out quarterback who can throw on the run, sowing flashes of Kelly Hughes in his reckless manner for self preservation. He was the leading rusher with114 yards, while Chris Read had 84, with 70 coming during the first half.

Punter Ryan Lambert conceded a two-pointer after the Mounties were hemmed in close in the opening action but this seemed to spark the offense and they scored 10 quick points in six minutes, with receiver Dakota Brush notching his first of two touchdowns on a 10-yard toss from Loucks. They added two more majors in the second quarter, Brush and Read being the payoff guys, while Lambert had a 35-yard field goal.

But then the lights went out. Nomadic quarterback Brock Berglund, making St. Mary’s the fifth university for which he has played, simply picked his spots and it was only a matter of time. He connected for a pair of majors and befuddled the Mounties with his all round skill, adding 93 yards to his resume.

The question arose – did what took place during the intermission in their dressing room inspire the Huskies to suddenly gel into a cohesive unit? Or did the Mountie players become overconfident and feel they had a victory under their belts? Certainly another game or two should clear up any doubts.

But the Mounties should and must do better – they have a fine offensive line, great running backs, some fine receivers and an obviously talented quarterback. Defensively they have shown an ability to halt the run but an occasional lapse in allowing receivers to slip behind them. Overall, this year’s edition should be competitive – by winning their fair share.

On Saturday it was Moncton linebacker Kyle Horsman with a grand total of 11.5 tackles setting the pace. Rush end Jordan Redding had 5.5 and a trio of sacks and was a constant thorn in the Huskies plans.

The Mounties will host Laval this Saturday afternoon at 2 at Alumni Field, and while few fans expect a miracle they do feel the local squad has the potential to improve their schemes considerably and make a contest of it. Again, only time will tell if this is a mirage or for real.

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