Sherbrooke’s defence unyielding despite Mt. A’s tenacious efforts
The Mount Allison Mounties fell to the Sherbrooke Vert & Or 31-7 this past Saturday in front of a typically rambunctious homecoming audience. In addition to the Mt. A varsity dance half-time show, the newly anointed, state-of-the-art Alumni field was given its official opening. David Booth, who serves as the chair of the fundraising cabinet and sits on Mt. A’s board of regents, presented the turf field, which was funded entirely by Mt. A alumni.
Coming off of two consecutive defeats, the Vert & Or endeavoured for a comeback in Sackville, and they soon met the Mounties end-zone beginning with a 17-yard pass from quarterback Jérémi Roch to Jean-Raphael Moisan which culminated in an early 7-0 lead for the Vert & Or before the end of the first quarter.
The visiting Sherbrooke team travelled to N.B. as part of the recently resurrected interlock week which RSEQ and AUS renewed for three years, starting with the current 2015-16 season.
Throughout the first half the Mounties defence fought hard to stymie the efforts of Sherbrooke’s unrelenting offense, but kicker Mathieu Hébert soon secured three consecutive field goals from 30, 35 and 21 yards out. This, along with an earlier rouge point, led to a Sherbrooke 17-0 lead by halftime.
The Vert & Or acted quickly at the start of the third quarter, scoring two successive touchdowns in just eight minutes of play, thus extending their lead to 31-0 early on. However, the Mounties soon struck back when Quinn LeBlanc touched down Brandon Leyh’s pass in a 35-yard score. This was LeBlanc’s first touchdown of his AUS career, and the crowd erupted in response to his landmark moment, a fitting recognition of his achievement.
The Vert & Or defence proved nearly impregnable throughout Saturday’s game, yielding only a total of 273 yards in the whole game. However, the Mounties had a couple close calls: Late in the third quarter, with just under four minutes on the clock, running back Kiel Ambursley skirted the Vert & Or defence on several occasions, gaining a total of 43 yards’ worth of carries and even more yardage through catches.
Sherbrooke’s Jérémi Roch ultimately scored three touchdowns, and with his performance Saturday he set the new Quebec record for passes, which had previously belonged to Matt Connoll.
The Mounties will be on the road for the next few weeks. This Saturday they’ll head to Wolfville for their second meeting with Acadia’s Axemen; on Oct. 10, they’ll travel to Antigonish, N.S. to face off against St. FX for their first regular-season game. Both games begin at 2 p.m. and will be streaming live on Bell’s TV1.