Tigers football only musters two points
When a football’s team kicker is the only player to get points on the board for his team, you know your team is having difficulties offensively.
That was the unfortunate situation presented to the Dalhousie Tigers in their home opener Sept. 15, which saw over 1,000 fans witness a penalty-prone black and gold squad struggle to move the chains at Wickwire Field. The UNB Fredericton Red Bombers capitalized on Dal’s poor offence, but not by much, clinching a tight 13-2 victory.
Dal’s head coach Stuart MacLean explained it wasn’t all doom and gloom on the offensive side, but a rash of penalties, from offsides to holding and unnecessary roughing calls, put the Tigers at a disadvantage.
“Even in the offence, we did some things well. We had some nice passes, some nice runs, but if every first down comes back with a penalty, that’s not the way to win football games,” says MacLean.
“You can’t win a football game with 20 penalties.”
Two singles from first-time kicker Rob Wilson in the second quarter gave the Tigers a 2-0 advantage, but Dal saw its lead evaporated when the Red Bombers’ John Morse scored a touchdown on the last drive of the half, benefitting from a blocked punt.
The scoring would have come exclusively from the special teams if it wasn’t for Tyler Doak running through a scrum on the goal line to give the defending league finalists a 13-2 result late in the final quarter.
Dal’s deficit would have been much steeper if it wasn’t for a sensational defence that kept the Tigers in the game.
“I couldn’t have asked for anything better from those guys,” says MacLean. “I think they came through in spades.”
Defensive back Nico Jones, a transfer from McMaster University, said this defeat is only a minor setback for the Tigers. They just need to execute on the scoreboard, too.
“We know we can hang with the best of them for sure,” says Jones. That’s why I feel that we can show them what we can do, show them how good we’ll be for the rest of the year.”
Jones was integral in the match with two picks, including an end zone interception that would have widened the gap in the third quarter. He was named Dal’s player of the game.
At the quarterback position, Dal’s Brendan Festeryga received the start but a carousel between him and second-year standout Michael Tassone saw both of them receive considerable playing time.
Festeryga figures it’s anybody guess when the coaching staff will pick their go-to guy.
“It’ll probably be like this for a while until,” Festeryga says. “Actually, I have no idea to be honest,” he laughs.
The Tigers head on the road on Saturday, Sept. 22 to play UNB Saint John. Dal’s next home contest, on Sept. 29, will be their homecoming game against Holland College at Wickwire Field.