- Well, Saskatchewan sure sucked any drama out of the final Saturday in Canada West. The Huskies' 42-17 win in Regina locked in the Canada West playoff matchups, Manitoba-Calgary and Alberta-U of S.
- Mount Allison's Gary Ross (not St. Francis Xavier!) became the most prolific pass receiver in AUS annals, which might get him a Hec Crighton Trophy nomination since it's either give it to a great player on an 0-8 team or give it to a specialist.
- That specialist, Saint Mary's Justin Palardy kicked four field goals in a 21-7 win over Acadia, to finish with an AUS-record 23. Palardy was 85% kicker in a league where the rest of the kickers made only 66% of their placements.
No. 4 Saskatchewan 42, Regina 17: The phenom, Jeff Hassler, scooted for 49 yards on his second carry and went on to rush 23 times for 224 yards and three TDs, ensuring the U of S will not visit another Canada West stadium this fall. Saskatchewan went out to a 21-3 lead, with Laurence Nixon turned in an efficient day (9.3 per pass, no interceptions).
Huskies cornerback-kicker-punter Grant Shaw (is there anything he can't do) had a 45-yard run out of punt formation to set up the game's final touchdown. Please create an award which recognizes his talents, as Huskies Football Outsider argued persuasively earlier this week.
The story remains the same with Regina, nice team, some talented offensive players, but the defence just isn't there. They allowed an average of 554 yards during their season-ending three-game losing streak. Not ven in the OUA does a team feel good about giving up almost a third of a mile in offence.
Marc Mueller should finish as Canada West's leader in passing yards, but that's somewhat the nature of the offence. Regina scored only 14 TDs in eight games.
Perri Scarcelli's three field goals included a 50-yarder. No wonder some people would like him to keep kicking field goals at Taylor Field next season with the CFL's Roughriders.
No. 5 Saint Mary's 21, Acadia 7: Saint Mary's, which offered its usual combo of methodical offence (212 rushing, 225 passing, with only only pass play longer than 25 yards) and solid defence, with sam linebacker Jeff Hecht collecting two sacks.
Jack Creighton (26 passes for 219 yards, no TDs) went most of the way for Saint Mary's, which will host the Loney Bowl in two weeks.
Acadia's played each quarterback, Keith Lockwood and Kyle Graves, about equally the past few weeks. Lockwood is a fifth-year passer and Graves is second-year, but at some point, why not go with the future of the program? Loyalty is nice, that being said.
Adrian Saturley's two sacks were an Acadia highlight. The
St. Francis Xavier 31, Mount Allison 18: Paraphrasing Jim Cuddy, at least X is livin' again. It took a half to wake up (Mount A was up 11-10 at the break), but two takeaways in the the third quarter helped get the game turned around for X, which hosts an AUS semifinal next week vs. Acadia.
The first was a Nick Riva interception on the first play of the second half which sparked a 14-point run that put the X-Men ahead to stay. The second was a John Skillen fumble recovery after Mount A give it credit, got back to within a converted touchdown (the young QB, Jake Hotchkiss, passed for 308 yards) of taking the lead.
St. FX's Steve Snyder, who passed 18 times for 207 yards, came out when the game was still close. Having followed the game from work, it's not clear what that was all about.
James Green's 109-yard night made him the leading rusher (2,304 yards) in St. FX football history.