Acadia Axemen chop down Bishop’s, earn Loney Bowl title

Photo courtesy: Peter Oleskevich

The No. 4 ranked Acadia Axemen will be hosting the Uteck Bowl after handing the visiting Bishop’s Gaiters a 31-1 loss in the Loney Bowl, the Atlantic University Sport conference title game.

Undefeated in the regular season, Acadia extended their winning streak to 9-0 with the championship win over the Gaiters.

Despite a Maritime snowstorm the night before, Acadia’s Raymond Field was in great shape for an early November football game with weather conditions ideal for football.

The Axemen broke the Gaiter goose egg early converting a fumble recovery on the Gaiters’ 40-yard line into a 33-yard Ben George field goal to take an early 3-0 lead.

The Gaiters struggled with field position throughout the opening quarter and conceded two points with just over six minutes remaining in the first quarter to trail the Axemen 5-0.

With a 5-0 lead heading into the second quarter, Acadia’s Dale Wright scored the first of three touchdowns on a four-yard scamper to the end zone to cap a five-play 91-yard drive that was highlighted by a 27-yard run by Wright followed by a 50-yard reception by Matt Gledhill.

Ben George chipped in another field goal from 23 yards to give the Axemen a 15-0 lead with 6:36 remaining in the second quarter.

Acadia would extend the lead to 22-0 with 1:50 remaining on the score clock in the opening half when Dale Wright posted his second touchdown of the day on a three-yard dive. The touchdown concluded a seven-play, 72-yard drive.

The Gaiters were unable to deliver any sustained drives in the opening half and the saga continued into the second.

Noah Laursen added an early third quarter rouge that would be the only points scored by Bishop’s.

Acadia’s Wright would add his third touchdown of the game at the 8:37 mark of the third quarter to give the Axemen an insurmountable 29-1 lead in the third quarter. A safety in the closing minutes of the game ended the scoring in the championship game, giving Acadia a 31-1 win over the Gaiters.

The Gaiters only mustered up 158 total offensive yards that included only nine first downs, 21 yards rushing and 152 yards passing. The Axemen recorded 486 total offensive yards, lead by 269 yards in the air.

Axemen pivot Hunter Guenard was 18-of-33 passes, while Matt Gledhill pulled in four receptions for a game-high 106 yards including a 50-yard reception.

Dale Wright, who was named the AUS Don Loney Most Valuable Player of the Championship game had 118 yards on the ground – 5.9 yards per carry average and all three Axemen touchdowns.

“It’s surreal. When you hear guys on TV saying winning championships are surreal. That’s the feeling I have right now. I have goosebumps on me. Bishop’s threw a lot of stuff at us in the first quarter, but we were able to figure it out and get the win,” Wright said following the game after being announced as the AUS Championship Game MVP.

“We just got to prepare, keep doing what we are doing, keep staying consistent, take care of our bodies right now. It’s a crucial time especially being cold. Take care of our bodies. That’s key.”

The Axemen will have six days to prepare for the Montreal Carabins who handed the Laval Rouge et Or a 25-10 loss in the RSEQ championship game.