St FX X-Men hold off late surge from Mount Allison to seal Loney Bowl victory

Photo courtesy: St. FX Athletics

The St Francis Xavier X-Men held off a late push from the Mount Allison Mounties to win their second consecutive Loney Bowl championship by a score of 21-14.

In a hard-fought defensive battle in which the two Atlantic contenders combined for four conceded safeties, the X-Men were the first team to break loose with a big play when receiver Ben Harrington got loose for a 94-yard punt return touchdown midway through the first quarter. After two uneventful quarters, AUS MVP Malcolm Bussey ripped off a 30-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 21-5 seconds into the fourth but the Mounties wouldn’t go away easy.

After forcing an X-Men safety, Mount Allison quarterback Justin Vogels found receiver Cody Barton for a 19-yard touchdown strike to pull within a major. Barton would finish with eight catches for 113 yards but the Mounties would get no closer, as Thomas Bentley picked off Vogel’s final hail mary attempt.

Bussey was again the star for the undefeated AUS champions, finishing with 20 carries for 116 yards and the game-winning score. The swarming St FX defensive was led by Josh Connors and Dyton Blackett who finished with eight tackles each, while Alex Fedchun and Nicholas Schmeiler added sacks.

The X-Men will now advance to the Uteck Bowl national semi-final, where they’ll have home field advantage against the Canada West champion Saskatchewan Huskies.