UNBSJ hand Tigers fifth-straight loss, head to AFL championships
It was another rough outing for the Dalhousie Tigers Football Club on Oct. 26, falling to the visiting Saint John Seawolves 19-12 to end their season.
A late fourth quarter push wasn’t enough as three Seawolves touchdowns in the second quarter proved costly. With the win, UNBSJ heads to the Atlantic Football League (AFL) championship to compete for the Moosehead Cup on Nov. 1 against the undefeated Holland College Hurricanes.
Aside from lapses in the second quarter, the Tigers defense kept the game within reach in the second half. Blunders from special teams and an inability to put points on the board ended up costing the Tigers. The punting game, which was the Achilles heel of the Tigers all year, was flawless.
The game started with a ceremonial first kick taken by Dal’s Omar El Gamal and Conner Bray, who are members of the Canadian Military, in honour of the soldiers lost the previous week. A moment of silence was also observed before the singing of *O Canada*.
In the first quarter, offensive momentum was stalled due to snaps over the head of starting quarterback Nick Hunsley, forcing him to retreat and lose yards. The Seawolves couldn’t get anything going in first as well, as the Tigers defense was on the prowl.
The Seawolves used momentum to swing off an onside kick to score off their first drive of the second quarter by punching the ball in from the one-yard line after going for it on third and goal. UNBSJ missed the two-point conversion, resulting in a 6-0 lead.
Both team’s offences were unable to generate yards, punting the ball back and forth. The Seawolves went on a long drive sparked by a deep pass over the middle from quarterback Sean Galbraith, leading to their second score. Another missed conversion made it 12-0.
The Tigers had several big play opportunities in the quarter, but were unable to connect. The Seawolves used decent field position off another Tigers punt for their final touchdown of the game. UNBSJ finally capitalized off the two-point convert to give themselves a 19-0 lead with 46 second left in the half. A huge return from Dal’s Trae Collie gave the Tigers the ball near midfield. They used a hurry-up offence, putting the Tigers in field goal range. Dal’s Sebastian Ayangma kick was good, making the game 19-3 at halftime.
After an uneventful third quarter, the Tigers started rallying in the fourth. After Dal forced a safety midway through the quarter, Hunsley became more comfortable by calling his own number to push the team up field. Hunsley then connected with Darcy Chant for a touchdown with 48 seconds left on the clock to put his team within a touchdown. However, the Seawolves effectively ran down the clock, giving them the 19-12 victory.
It was a tough first season for head coach Alan Wetmore. After starting 2-0, the Tigers lost their remaining five games. Wetmore will look to improve on the mistakes made this season and use the newly acquired recruits to live up to the team’s high potential.
Stats were unavailable upon the completion of this game.