ANTIGONISH, NS - The U SPORTS No. 5 ranked STFX X-Men took home a big 52-7 Homecoming game win over the Mount Allison Mounties on Saturday afternoon, clinching first place in the AUS standings.
The X-Men scored a touchdown on their first offensive play of the game and never looked back as they earned the win in front of over 2000 fans on a wet afternoon at STFX Stadium.
STFX quarterback and U SPORTS offensive player of the week Silas Fagnan (Bonnyville, AB) went 18-30 for 301 yards in the air with four touchdowns, and 25 yards on the ground, while running back Malcolm Bussey (Hammonds Plains, NS) gained 157 yards on the ground with 22 carries and two touchdowns for the home team.
Zachary Houde (Thetford Mines, QC) earned STFX player of the game honours with five receptions for 161 yards and a touchdown while Ben Harrington caught five passes for 73 yards and two touchdowns as the X-Men remain undefeated on the season with a 7-0 record.
STFX kicker Ben Hadley (Halifax, NS) went 2-2 on field goals, with five extra points and four rouges to round out the X-Men scoring.
Mount Allison drops to 2-4 on the season and currently sits in a tie for third place in the AUS standings.
Mounties quarterback CJ Valenti (Montreal, QC) went 7-13 for 60 yards in the air, along with 12 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown as the visitors struggled to put points on the board. Shamar Parkinson (Chateaguay, QC) picked up 35 yards on the ground with 12 carries, and Nolan Cheeseman (Halifax, NS) caught four passes for 44 yards for MtA.
On defence, U SPORTS defensive player of the week Josh Connors (Toronto, ON) picked up five tackles, including four solos, while Dyton Blackett (Canning, NS) and Alex Fedchun (Calgary, AB) each finished with 4.5 tackles. For Mount Allison, Daniel Bell (Saint John, NB) finished with one sack, 7.5 tackles including seven solos, while Reid MacKay (New Maryland, NB) had six tackles, with five solos.
The X-Men got on the board with their first play, with Fagnan hitting a wide open Houde for an 84-yard touchdown 32 seconds into the game. The home team found the endzone on their next possession as well, finding Harrington with a 32-yard pass.
The X-Men earned another touchdown before the end of the quarter, with defensive lineman Zechariah Willems (Tiny, ON) being inserted in an offensive series to catch a one-yard-pass. A Hadley rouge closed out the first quarter 22-0 in favour of STFX.
The defence tightened up in the second quarter, but Bussey was able to punch one in from two yards out with two minutes left to play in the half. Hadley kicked his second rouge of the afternoon and the first half ended with STFX leading 30-0.
Early in the third quarter, Bussey broke free for a big 46-yard run, followed by one yard run for his second touchdown of the game. Hadley kicked another rouge on the ensuing kick-off, and STFX added to their total about three minutes later, with Hadley nailing a 32-yard field goal.
Harrington caught his second touchdown of the game early in the fourth quarter, a six-yard strike from Fagnan, with Hadley adding another rouge. The kicker booted another field goal with three minutes left in the game, but the Mounties were able to break the shut out, with Valenti running one in the endzone from one-yard out.
Next week, the X-Men will be on a bye weekend, while the Mounties Will host Saint Mary's on Saturday at 2:00 pm. STFX will be back in action on Friday, October 27th when they travel to Halifax to take on SMU.
Recap courtesy Matt Draper, STFX Athletics
The X-Men coaches recognized their graduating student-athletes & staff in the last regular season home game of the season