Dalhousie Homecoming Edition
DANTE DELIVERS, DAL 31, HOLLAND 23
It was a raucous but not rowdy Homecoming atmosphere as a near-sellout crowd used their thunder sticks constantly to motivate their Tigers.Offensive Co-Ordinator Goguen had to be happy as QB, Dante Gabrielli filled in admirably for the injured Noah Glover.Gabrielli had more than credible stats as he finished the game 10/15 for 135 yards in the air with 2 TDs and 13 carries for 82 yards, two majors, and a 2-point convert.Goguen now knows he has two competent quarterbacks.
The weekend before, the Tigers had lost the battle of the trenches against UNB.It was a different story this week.The defence showed their metal by holding the Hurricanes off the scoreboard in a 0-0 draw in the first Q.The O line started to come into their own mid-way through the second Q.Their blocking and the running talent of Caden Quong, 24 carries for 172, gave the Black and Gold over 250 yards on the Wickwire Field for the game.
The halftime score saw the teams knotted at 7 points apiece. Gabrielli’s one-yard plunge and Okyay Kepenek’s convert led Dalhousie.Simon Hales hit two FGs and a punt single for Holland College on an extremely windy day.
In a pregame memorial ceremony, Liam Chisari, the Tigers’ defensive MVP from 2022, spoke wonderful words about his former teammate, Alex Jessup, who unexpectedly passed away last November.A moment of silence was held by the teams and spectators.The Dalhousie Choir next performed an engaging and beautifully melodic rendition of “O Canada.”The best ever in the 12 years of football home games.
Halftime activities at Wickwire are always FUN, exciting, fan-engaging, and even more so this game.Food trucks, along with a beer garden were available, the first after years of absence.The usual kick for tuition cheering was outdone by a balloon-breaking student relay race which replaced the last game’s fans tug-of-war.The Dal dance team was in good form as they ended the halftime with their energetic routine.
The third Q saw the Black and Gold explode for two TDs as Gabrielli connected with Matt Lawton from 21 yards out.Later, a wide-open Lawton scored his second major on a trick WR option toss from 20 yards out by Colton Allen.Offence, at a premium, was now rolling for both sides.Holland QB, Hunter Prus had a good outing with a variety of passes.Two of his three long bombs were caught for TDs by Mitch Spenser, one in the last minute of the game. Trenton Couture made an interception deep in Tiger territory on the other.Couture led all tacklers with 5, while Luke Smith and Aron Brooks had 4 each.
One of the most exciting plays of the game heard the fans erupt at Gabrielli’s footwork and speed as he passed a number of Hurricanes for a 25-yard score.He followed that with a two-point convert, making the score 29-17 for the Black and Gold.It was great to see so many student fans in school colours.
Other scores in the 4th Q saw Hales kick his third FG and Kepenek make a 23-yard FG.An offensively exciting second half saw the final score, 31-23, for Dalhousie and the fans looking forward for more. The Tigers will have a bye this coming weekend and then travel to UNB in two weeks' time.There is still no resolution for the hurricane-cancelled game with Holland College.
It was great to bring back a Dalhousie-sanctioned Homecoming together with a Dal Football game once again. I still have fond memories of the Homecoming pregame Lobster Tail-Gate party! The Dal Football Club Executive did an excellent job of engaging students, alumni, and anyone else who came out for the game. Hopefully, next year the homecoming football game can be held on a date when more Dal students are in town to join in on this fun event.