The University of New Brunswick Red Bombers had high hopes off knocking off the Holland College Hurricanes Saturday at UPEI Alumni Canada Games Place.
The Red Bombers fell to the Hurricanes 29-18 in the battle of the two remaining undefeated teams, dropping their record to 2-1, while the Hurricanes improve to 3-0.
In windy and rainy conditions, the Bombers opened up the scoring on their first drive of the game with a 2 yard QB Sweep by Alex Dee to put them up 7-0.
Penalties came back to haunt the Bombers. Midway through the first quarter, Dee hit Mitch McCoy on a 50 yard catch and run but the touchdown was nullified by a holding call.
The Bombers defence was as solid as ever in the first quarter, they did not allow an opposing first down in the first fifteen minutes of the game.
However, Hurricanes quarterback Anton Sianchuck found Jeff Hiller wide open for an 80 yard touchdown to begin the second quarter. On their very next drive, Sianchuck hooked up with Hiller again on an almost identical play to put the Hurricanes up 13-8.
“Jeff Hiller is a heck of an athlete and he made two tremendous plays. There was an adjustment to be made but we made it too late. We held him in check for the rest of the game though and I’m happy about that,” said Red Bombers Head Coach Dan McCullough
The Hurricanes once again increased their lead when Sianchuck fought his way into the endzone on a quarterback sneak to make it 19-8.
In the second half, the Red Bombers cut the Hurricanes lead to one point when Dee escaped the Hurricanes pass rush and found Luke MacLeod wide open in the endzone. The Hurricanes then conceded a safety making it 19-18.
The two-time-defending AFL champions were not about to let their lead slip away. Running back Carson Halliwell broke free on a 45 yard run to put the Canes up 26-18.
The Red Bombers drove the ball down the field with 6 minutes left with the help of Dee’s scrambling ability. The Bombers punted but a Hurricanes muffed punt put the red and black squad in excellent scoring position. With only one yard to go to paydirt, a fumbled exchange by Dee and Turner Sturgeon was recovered by the Hurricanes, eliminating the Bombers chance at victory.
The Hurricanes went on to kick a rouge and force a safety, allowing them to pull off the 29-18 victory. With the win, the Hurricanes increased their winning streak to 14 games, dating back to the 2013 season.
The Red Bombers will have a shot at redemption next Saturday, when they host the Hurricanes at BMO Centre.
Coach McCullough is excited for the rematch but knows there is a lot of work to do.
“We need to get boys healthy and healed. The coaching staff is going to watch today’s game tape and prepare ourselves as best as we can for that game,” said McCullough
Kickoff is at 1pm