WOLFVILLE, NS - Dale Wright's 193 net yards on the ground helped the Acadia Axemen clinch an AUS playoff berth, as the Axemen handed the visiting StFX X-Men a 35-17 loss and their third defeat in a row.
Wright credited the work of his offensive line in Acadia's win over the X-Men.
"The O-linemen put in so much work today. Such a good day from all fours. I appreciate them and love them, the quarterback, we did our job. They grind it, they pushed through, they drove guys, they kept going until the whistle," said Wright following the game.
Acadia improves to 5-2 and with the win clinch a playoff berth, after finishing last season with a 2-6 record.
The X-Men got on the scoreboard on the opening kickoff after Acadia conceded the rouge for the single StFX point.
The Axemen wrapped up a 10 play, 75-yard opening drive for the first of two opening half touchdowns by second year receiver Cordell Hastings. Hastings' 16-yard reception for the major gave Acadia an early 7-1 lead.
A three-and-out drive by the X-Men was followed by an 11 play, 70-yard drive that fell short in scoring a major and the Axemen settled for a 10-1 lead from a 10-yard field goal by first year kicker Jarett Saumure.
A 16-yard punt and a no-yards penalty by StFX in the drive that followed set-up Acadia's four-play touchdown drive that started from the Axemen's 54-yard line. Hastings scored his second and final major of the day on an 18-yard pass from pivot Cody Cluett only seconds into the second frame.
With a 17-1 Acadia lead, the X-Men finally responded on a 40-yard toss from Dylan Fisher to a wide open Kaion Julien-Grant two minutes into the second quarter. The X-Men would not score another major until late in the fourth quarter.
Wright concluded a 65-yard drive on a 'hard-earned' five-yard touchdown run to push Acadia ahead 24-8. The kickoff that followed was recovered by Acadia and the Axemen capitalized on the great field position for Wright's second major of the day, off of another five-yard punch into the end zone in the closing minute of the first half.
With a 31-8 halftime lead, the Axemen only scored four additional points in the second half that included a third quarter rouge and Saumure's 37-yard field goal at the 8-minute mark of the fourth quarter.
A team safety and Jordan Socholotiuk's 38-yard rush for a touchdown with 1:42 remaining in the game were the only points scored following Acadia's third quarter field goal.
Socholotiuk finished the game with 91 yards on 12 carries compared to Wright's 193 yards on 30 carries.
Acadia pivot Cody Cluett was nearly flawless with 19 of 22 passes completed for 249 yards. X-Men QB Dylan Fisher threw 19 completions for 213 yards.
Cordell Hastings led all receivers with two touchdowns and 132 yards on 8 receptions. Teammate Glodin Mulali added 61 yards on 4 catches to the mix.
The Axemen compiled 511 yards on the ground and in the air and in doing so, dominated the possession clock with over 38 minutes controlling the ball. The only statistic the Axemen fell short in was penalties, that included nine for 78 yards.
The Axemen will conclude the 2017 regular season at home next weekend against the 5-1 Saint Mary's Huskies. The X-Men will head into their bye week and will reconvene on their home field on Sat. Oct. 28 against Bishop's.
Courtesy Acadia Athletics Communications