Rick Rivers Report September 28, 2019
HARD TO BELIEVE ITS BEEN 10 YEARS SINCE FOOTBALL REVIVAL!
September 28, 2019
It was the Tenth Anniversary opener for the Dalhousie Tigers in the Atlantic Football League and a flashback to game one at Wickwire Field ten years earlier. Saturday’s game wasn’t a sell out like game one of the inaugural season but near capacity with very young children having fun along the sidelines, with the bulk being university students and more than a smattering of older alumni. A large throng of Tiger cheerleaders certainly heightened an already excited and fun atmosphere. The black and gold had lost that initial home game after winning its’ first two on the road. Gone now was that bookstore t-shirt logo of “undefeated since 1976". But the new era of Dalhousians have had two undefeated championship years in the last three.
This year the one and one Tigers. after losing a heart breaker 46-45 to the UNB Reds last Saturday, would hop out to an early lead versus Holland College. Eric Purcell’s encounter with the Hurricane punter as he galloped nearly 35 yards in front of a delirious crowd for the major. Shortly after QB Chris Duplisea caught Alistair Chauhan in flight on a 42 yard touchdown. Julien Jenkins’ two converts and two field goals of 35 and 25 late in the second quarter put Dal up 20-1 at halftime.
A scoreless third quarter saw the Tigers’ D give up yards in the midfield area, but no where else. The Hurricanes’ #34, Rodrigo Montes de Oca had many tough short runs but never broke away. Their replacement QB, Teshaun Tran, showed toughness and pin point passing especially to Thomas Verabek.
Issac Ombotimbe led all Tiger defenders with 8 tackles while Liam Chisari and Purcell had 7. Sam Jennings and Riley Fitzpatrick added 6. Will Hunter had 4 hits to go along with an exciting sideline INT.
The O did not run at last week’s clip, but Duplisea still managed to throw for 220 yards on 15/31, 1 INT, 1 touchdown pass and a one yard Td sneak in the fourth quartesr. That score was completed with a 2 point conversion to Jack Underhill from Duplisea. Final score Tigers 28, Hurricanes 3. Chauhan led all receivers with 3 catches for 124 yards. On the ground Jason Watts and Jack Campbell had a few good carries for first downs.[
Coach Haggett was not displeased with the team’s effort - but the lack of game consistency. Last week the O was hot and D cold. This week D pitched a near shutout while O was OK. He can’t wait to see both firing on all cylinders for four quarters in the same game.
The Tigers are home next Saturday to the winless Seawolves and coach feels they should not be taken lightly as they look like they are improving. But the following week will be Dalhousie’s metal test, as the UNB Reds will be visiting Wickwire in the second game of a total points series for the Alumni Cup. The Reds hold a one point lead after the Tigers 46-45 loss in Fredericton. That game should also hold the key to first place and to be home field advantage for the playoffs, as well as winning the Alumni Cup.
Late that Saturday morning there will be a special reception for anyone who is, what we call a New ERA football Tiger (2010-19). Of course the old Bengals are also welcome to share and compare the 0LD with the NEW war stories. Then off to the field to cheer the Black and Gold to their third Alumni Cup in four years! GO TIGERS!