Antigonish, NS – The Bishop's Gaiters improved to 3-3 on the season, defeating the StFX X-Men 17-11 in Homecoming action on a cold, rainy Friday night at StFX Stadium.
With the win, the Gaiters take home the sixth installment of the Bigg Bowl. The Bigg Bowl trophy was donated in 2002 by the family of Reverend H. R. Canon Bigg, and has been awarded after competition between the StFX X-Men and Bishop's Gaiters in U SPORTS football. Today's game marked the second time the Gaiters have won the Bigg Bowl trophy.
In a see-saw game that saw the lead exchange hands several times, it was the Gaiters who capitalized on a fourth quarter turnover to ultimately take the final lead and the win over the X-Men, who drop to 1-5 on the season.
The lone scoring in the first quarter came five minutes in on a conceded safety to the Gaiters. They missed an opportunity late in the quarter as a 35-yard field goal attempt by Noah Laurson (Calgary, AB) went wide and the 2-0 lead held up after 15 minutes.
Bishop's increased their lead to 5-0 on a 29-yard second quarter field goal by Laurson.
The Gaiters closed the gap with only 10 seconds left in the second quarter as Laurson split the uprights again, this time from 25 yards out.
Bishop's held a slim 8-7 halftime lead.
The X-Men regained the lead, 9-8, in the see-saw game with a safety just over four minutes into the third quarter.
They missed a key opportunity when Max Capriotti (Mount Hope, ON) hit the uprights on a 17-yard field goal attempt, but after the ensuing Gaiters drive stalled, the X-Men earned another two points on their second safety of the quarter to go up 11-8.
The X-Men had a costly turnover late in the third quarter when a hand-off between Stewart and Hunter Campbell (Thunder Bay, ON) was fumbled and recovered by the Gaiters on the X 21-yard line. They ended up in the end zone five plays later as Liam Kennedy (Nepean, ON) punched in a one-yard touchdown run.
Bishop's held a 15-11 lead with 13 minutes left in the game. They bumped that up to 17-11 nine minutes later with a safety.
The Gaiters defense came up big, stopping the X-Men's final two drives of the quarter, anchored by linebacker Louve Moussenguet (St-Jerome, QC) who had two key sacks.
Moussenguet lead the Gaiters in tackling with seven in the game.
For the X-Men, Alex Fedchun (Calgary, AB) had 10.5 tackles, while veteran fifth year linebacker Gordon Whyte (Toronto, ON) had 9.5. Whyte's tackles moved him to first position in the all-time StFX tackling record book with 167.5 in his career, surpassing Hugo Rajotte who had 162. Whyte also received player of the game honours for the X-Men.
On the offensive side of the ball X-Men quarterback Quinn Stewart was 12 for 29 for 125 yards in the air and also contributed six rushes for 36 yards. His top receiver was Fagnan who had five catches for 75 yards.
Gaiters pivot Charles Aubry (Laval, QC) was 22 for 40 with 252 yards, hitting Nathan Walker (Brampton, ON) for eight of those catches as he hauled in 110 receiving yards.
Bishop's running back and Subway player of the game Louis-Philippe Gregoire (La Baie, QC) logged 97 yards on 19 carries.
The Gaiters will be taking the beautifully crafted Bigg Bowl trophy back to Lennoxville with them. The trophy was generously donated by StFX alumnus Brian McA'Nulty and his wife Mary Adams in honor of McA'Nulty's grandfather Reverend H. R. Canon Bigg, a rector in Sherbrooke, QC from 1915 to 1940 and a multi-sport athlete. The McA'Nulty family has ties to both StFX and Bishop's universities and the Bigg Bowl ties in the historical traditions of both universities and brings significance to the game.
With the win the Gaiters (3-3) move into a tie for second place with Saint Mary's (3-2) who lost to Mount Allison (2-4) tonight. The X-Men (1-5) fall for the fifth consecutive game and now sit in last place in the AUS standings.
StFX will travel to Wolfville to take on first place Acadia (5-0) on Friday, October 11th. The Gaiters will host Saint Mary's, also on Friday night.
Courtesy Krista McKenna, StFX Sports Information
BIGG BOWL HISTORY:
Year Winner Score Host
2009 Bishops 33-12 StFX
2004 StFX 50-17 StFX
2002 StFX 22-7 Bishops
2017 StFX 27-14 StFX
2018 StFX 12-11 Bishops
2019 Bishops 17-11 Bishops
The X-Men honoured their 4th and 5th year graduating athletes & staff prior to the game - their final home game of the season.