After a respectable 1-1 road stint, the Holland College Hurricanes impressed in their home debut, besting the UNB Saint John Seawolves 17-8 at MacAdam Field.
The Hurricanes offence, which struggled to score in the first two games, broke out in a big way, reaching the end zone twice Saturday afternoon.
Down by just one point early in the second quarter, Hurricanes’ quarterback Jesse Borden found wideout Stephen Maynard for a 75-yard catch and run, giving them a lead they would not relinquish.
“I see an offence maturing,” said Hurricanes head coach Ross Young. “The O needed a big lift today, and that was a big lift.”
While the offence was putting together drives, the defence was shutting them down. The Hurricanes defensive unit was relentless in their attack, gathering four sacks and forcing three turnovers (two interceptions and a fumble) in the decision.
“Our front five put a lot of pressure on the quarterback, allowing our defensive backs to get back in coverage and force those turnovers,” Young said.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Hurricanes answered a Seawolves single with a short but successful drive, capped off by the Borden-Maynard touchdown, giving Holland College a 6-1 lead at halftime.
A safety and field goal extended their lead 11-1 before things got uncomfortable for the home team in the fourth.
Down 10 with only two minutes remaining, the Seawolves recovered a fumble on a Hurricanes punt return and carried it back for a touchdown, trimming the lead to just three, 11-8.
But that’s as close as they would get, as the Hurricanes put together one last drive, setting up a Steeve Julien two-yard touchdown run, sealing the 17-8 final.
“This is an important win for us,” Young said. “It’s our home opener and the crowd was here supporting us so we’re glad we came away with the two points.”
Following next week’s bye, the 2-1 Hurricanes will face the undefeated Dalhousie Tigers (2-0) for the first time since the 2015 Atlantic Football League Championship, where Holland College captured their third consecutive title 32-24. The game will be held at Wickwire Field in Halifax on October 8 at 6 p.m.