The Holland College Hurricanes Football Club lost to the UNB Red Bombers when a 21-7 lead turned into a tie, forcing the game into overtime.
After battling back and earning the opportunity to play on, the UNB Red Bombers wouldn’t let this game slip through their fingers.
On their first possession in overtime, the home squad completed the comeback, defeating the defending champions 27-21 Saturday night in Fredericton.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Hurricanes offence finally broke through in the second, when running back Andre Goulbourne crossed the goal line with a two-yard run, completing a four play, 47-yard drive to give Holland College a 7-0 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, Bombers’ kick returner Jesse Hazell fumbled the ball on the play, allowing Alex Rose to pick it up and carry it to the house, extending the Hurricanes lead to 14-0 at halftime
With much work ahead of them, UNB Fredericton came out of the break a stronger team. After pounding it down the field for most of the drive, quarterback Pat Mollins found wideout Luke MacLeod in the end zone, cutting the lead to 14-7.
Fatigue was a factor, as several short, unsuccessful drives forced the Hurricanes’ defence back on the field early and often to defend UNB’s run-centric offence.
“The D probably stayed on the field a little longer than they should have,” said Young. “We didn’t get first downs when we needed to.”
The Hurricanes would reclaim their 14-point lead when Eugene McMinns returned a punt; but UNB Fredericton stormed back, scoring touchdowns on back-to-back possessions, with the second coming off a surprise onside kick to tie the game at 21 heading into the fourth.
“That onside kick was the turning point. They got momentum off that and they jumped right on us,” Young said.
Following a scoreless fourth, each team had a possession to score in overtime. While the Hurricanes were unable to convert on their’s, UNB put together one last drive that was capped off with a Hazell 15-yard dash to the end zone for the come-from-behind win.
“This win is everything,” said McCullough. “These guys have set the bar so high in this league and its forced us to go out and recruit quality guys who can win.”
The Hurricanes make their 2016 home debut on September 24 at 1 p.m. when they take on the visiting UNB Saint John Seawolves at the UPEI Alumni Canada Games Place.