NEAR PERFECT, TIGERS 31, HURRICANES 9
It was a brilliant full moon pre-Halloween night for Dalhousie and Holland College football.They were contesting a four-point game with major AFL playoff implications for both teams.A large group of vocal Hurricane fans made up part of the approximate 750 football enthusiasts. Between plays a great atmosphere was set as ghoulish anthems were played - The Werewolf of London, the Monster Mash, Ghost Busters, etc.
The Tigers were appropriately dressed in their all-black uniforms. Gord
Chase, Dal’s equipment manager, was heard saying, “It’s a Do or Die game - We’re in all black today – we’re going to a funeral and it isn’t for us’.All phases of Dalhousie football had stepped up a notch from the last rugged close encounter with the Hurricanes.
In the first Q, Caden Quong had set up his two-yard TD with a monster burst of over 50 yards just prior.His game total on the turf gave him 132 yards on 10 carries.Again a big shout out to the O line as their blocking schemes produced again over 200 yards for the game.Dante Gabrielli had 56 on 11 carries, one being a 27-yard sprint for the other first half 6 pointer.Brennen Hynes completed the ground attack with 35 yards on six rushes in the first half. Okyay Kepenek rounded out the scoring on a 13 yard FG and PATs on all 4 Tiger TDs.
The Wickwire Field air space was filled with at least 75 flying objects.I do not know the stats for Hurricane QB, Hunter Prus but he must have launched 50 plus aerials.The longest play of the game came on a 65 yard pass and catch to speedy Mitch Spense from Prus.Dalhousie’s D bent a number of times but only broke the once.Yassine Yassine did sack Prus and Jude Patterson along with Owen Hamilton-White had INTs and a few other defenders came very close.
The Tiger O scored a few minutes after the Hurricane TD when Matt Lawton scored a 15 yard major from Gabrielli, making the score 24-8.#7, had another competent day as he completed the arial attack, 14/21 for 222 yards with 2 TD throws and one pick.Ben Coates was the leading WR with 5 catches for 59 yards. Ethan Lord had 3 long receptions.Unfortunately on his second long grab he fumbled when tackled giving possession to the Hurricanes.He would make up for that with a TD catch of 21 yards from Dante, 6 minutes into the 4th Q making the score 31-9.
Holland College was not giving up as they continued to air it out. The quarterbacks on both sides gave up back to back interceptions.The Tigers gave up the ball on downs as a fake FG didn’t make the needed yardage.With just 2:15 remaining the Hurricanes were in Black and Gold territory again when another hard hit by a DB saw the receiver fumble and the Tigers recover, giving the B&G the 31-9 victory. They are now another step closer to a 3rd consecutive AFL championship.
Both teams deserve credit for this classic encounter which had all the exciting elements a football fan wants to see.The Tigers have a bye next weekend.The Hurricanes who have defeated the Reds this year will be playing for season ending pride.A win by Holland College would make Dalhousie’s Black and Gold very jubilant as they would then host the AFL final at home on Wickwire Field on Saturday, November 11th.
OTHER GAME DAY HAPPENINGS!
Pre game, the following Graduating team members were feted.
Okyay KEPENEK, P/PK, Logan HILLIER, DB, Colton ALLEN, WR
Grayson DOMINGUES, QB, Ronan THOMPSON, DB,Owen HAMILTON-WHITE, LB,Yassine YASSINE, DL,Allan LAFOND, DL,Jeremy MILLER, DB, and Allie TITUS, Trainer since 2016
POTENTIAL 2024 PLAYERS (thanks in part to Shawn McIntyre)
These high school football players from around the Maritimes attended the game.Owen AUCOIN, Isiah PARSONS, Wes MELANSON, Preston STEWART, Brex MACLEOD, Matt THOMAS, Liam JOHNSTON, Enoch SHOGBAMU, Estevao MATER, Ryan PARK, Marc BOUDREAU, Ethan SAMPSON
AGAIN HALF TIME WAS A HOWL! Thanks to the Dal Football Club Gameday Operations Committee.
Halloween Costume Judging ($300 in prizes), balloon smashing relays, Goulish music, Candy and Chips, Dal Cheer leaders’ Routine, former player reunions and much more!
A SPECIAL THANKS to Nate and Alistair, two former DAL AFL All-stars for their informative and funny live-streaming of the game. Hope to see you for the final?