DEJA VU, TIGERS LOSE SHOOTOUT 49-42
If you like offence, Wickwire Field was the place to be as the Dalhousie Tigers duelled for the second time this season with the UNBF Red Bombers. On September 21 in Fredericton, the black and gold lost a shootout 46-45. Fearful of a game played in a deluge of rain, mild temps prevailed, the rain stopped but Dal could not stop the Red Bombers monstrous line and RB Dylan Waugh who scored four touchdowns in another barn burner, 49-42.
In a game for the Alumni Cup, the Dalhousians had their share of offensive excitement. QB Chris Duplisea who acted like Houdini in evading the Red rush, led Dal on 21/28 for 285 yards with three TD passes and a three yard sprint from the gun for a major. He also had two interceptions and was sacked three times. Leading receivers included; Spencer Muise (9/59), Alistair Chauhan (5/104) and Jack Underhill (4/74). The Tigers had a balanced attack gathering 161 yards on the ground as Duplisea (9/59), Cairo Berry (4/55) and Jason Watts (7/37) led the way.
Football Canada on their site noted the Dal/UNBF matchup as one of the games of the week and it proved right. The Red Bombers, five years ago donated the Alumni Cup for play between two former Bluenose Football Conference rivals from 1948 to 1976. The Red Bombers’ victory gives them two while the Tigers have three.
As in the first match of the two game total point series, the Red Bombers creative kickoffs caused problems for the Tigers. Matthew Mills, who made every PAT for the Reds, opening short kickoff was recovered by the red and white. After continuous carries, Waugh scored from the one yard line. With 5;22 remaining in the first quarter, starting Reds’ QB, William Hicks, hit Thomas Hoyt for six points. Next possession, Dal’s Issac Ombotimbe intercepted a Hicks’ pass. The Tiger drive ended with Duplisea connecting with Guillaume Bernier for the TD aerial, making the score 14-7 Reds at the quarter.
Early in the second, Dal evened the score as Eric Purcell recovered an errant snap over UNB punter’s head for six. Chris Jenkins, Dal’s placekicker made all of the Tigers’ converts during the game and had some creative, to low booming, kickoffs of his own. The Tigers scored again as Bernier had his second major on a six yard pass reception that was setup by a long bomb from Duplisea to Alistair Chauhan.
Jonah Rawlines now playing QB for the Reds hit Jacob McKay on the sidelines and with a spin move lost the tackler and went 70 plus yards to tie the score at 21-21. An interception by Aidan Leszkowait gave the Tigers another chance to score before the half. Cairo Berry on a short pass from Duplisea, turned his speed and cuts into a 45 yard Td. Dal 28-UNBF 21 at half time.
UNBF came back in the second half with what was most successful for them earlier. Reds’ possessions resulted in a one yard score by Waugh and a long Hicks to Matt LaFleur pass set up Waugh’s second score of the half, putting Fredericton up 35-28. Later Hicks scored on an outside six yard sprint after faking a handoff to Waugh. But the excitement for the Tigers ramped up.
Now down, 28-42, the black and gold gambled on a few third down situations and Duplisea scored on a three yard run from the gun. After a few catches by Spencer Muise on the next drive, Jack Campbell counted six points on a one yard run. Game score is now knotted at 42-42! The Reds’ next possession saw workhorse Waugh bolt into the end zone from 9 yards out to complete their score at 49. With 3:13 remaining in the game, Dalhousie’s final drive came up short as the Tigers were intercepted.
In another hard hitting game between these two, there will be many nursing bruises after the game. Dalhousie’s hit parade was led by Sam Jennings with 14 and Liam Gould with 8. Jesse Legault, Liam Chisari and Aidan Leszkowait had 7 hits and Eric Purcell 6 contacts.
Head coach Haggett was positive in the loss. He talked about being out manned in size but not in heart as his guys came back on numerous occassions. Player after player were disappointed to have lost the Alumni Cup but were still very positive about winning the AFL championship. Dal will play their final league game at Holland College this Saturday. A win there would have the Tigers home to HC the following week in a semi-final at Dal. A victory there and the black and gold would be off to Fredericton for the final? TIGERS KEEP UP THE POSITIVITY! Any Given Sunday - no Saturday, and you could be consecutive AFL champs. GO TIGERS!!