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Heroic plays from Butler leads Huskies to 21-13 victory over Mounties

Heroic plays from Butler leads Huskies to 21-13 victory over Mounties

HALIFAX, NS- The Saint Mary's Huskies football team's Homecoming game was successful, as they defeated the Mount Allison Mounties 21-13 at Huskies Stadium on Friday evening.

After an five week absence from home field, partially due to Hurricane Fiona, the Saint Mary's Huskies made their return to Huskies Stadium to the delight of 2,108 excited fans in attendance, ready to cheer them on.

The first points of the game came from a 41-yard field goal by Ethan Nagler (Winnipeg, MB) set up by a fumble recovery from Huskies linebacker Zachary Chiarotto (Upper Tantallon, NS) to give the Huskies a 3-0 lead, 8:19 into the first quarter.

The Mounties answered back on the next drive. A pass interference penalty against wide receiver Nolan Cheeseman (Upper Tantallon, NS) helped set up the visitors in good field position. Mounties quarterback Justin Vogels (Sackville, NB) would later scramble, drawing a penalty where they finished the drive with a goal line touchdown run from running back Adam Bennett (Upper Tantallon, NS) giving the Mounties a 7-3 lead, 11:43 into the first quarter.

Late in the second quarter, the Huskies offence got a huge spark when quarterback Duncan Patterson (Bedford, NS) connected with wide receiver Liam Stewart (Port Coquitlam, BC) on a 28-yard catch. The Huskies began to drive into Mounties territory, but a fumble recovered by Mounties Vincenzo Frangione (Ottawa, ON) halted the Huskies chance to score.

The Mounties added one more score before the half from another Huskies fumble. Mounties kicker Graeme Maither (Hinchinbrooke, QC) with a 29-yard field goal extended Mount Allison's lead to 10-3 at half.

The third quarter began with a bang as Mounties quarterback Vogels was hit as he threw, causing the pass to be picked off by Huskies defensive back Ryan Butler (Holland Landing, ON), who marched it back 72 yards to the house for a Huskies touchdown to tie the game at 10-10.

On the next Huskies possession Patterson found his favourite target of the night Liam Stewart, throwing back-to-back completions to his wide receiver. The second completion found Stewart all alone in the endzone for a 27 yard touchdown, giving the Huskies the go-ahead lead 17-10.

The Mounties offence battled back as Vogels found a wide-open Cheeseman on a competion into Huskies territory. The Huskies defence would bend but not break, giving up a 25-yard Maither field goal, cutting the lead to 17-13 with 4:31 remaining in the third quarter.

Towards the end of the third quarter, Huskies running back Malik Williams (Maple Creek, SK) exploded for a 45-yard run and a 12-yard gain on the next play. The Mounties defence stopped the Huskies offence forcing them to kick a field goal. Nagler's 28-yard attempt missed and went out the end zone, for a Huskies rouge, increasing their lead to 18-13.

With just under two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Huskies kicker Ethan Nagler scored the final points of the game for the Huskies on a 40-yard field goal to extend the Huskies lead to 21-13.

Needing eight points, the Mounties offence fought hard to move the ball into Huskies territory, but a last moment pass breakup from Ryan Butler (Mississauga, ON) sealed the deal. The SMU Huskies win in a close one, 18-13 against the Mount Allison Mounties.

The Subway Player of the Game was awarded to Ryan Butler (Mississauga, ON) with a 72-yard pick six, five tackles and one game-winning pass break up.

"It was an important game, it was a must-win, the playoffs were kind of riding on this, so I'm just glad we were able to come together as a team and ball out," said Butler post-game. 

"It feels good man, there's no feeling like when you ball out of everyone in the city, it brings the energy and that really determined the game, you know, put us in the right direction and led us to the win."

Patterson led the Huskies offence with 11/16 passing for 169 yards and one touchdown pass, along with 32 yards rushing. His primary target on the evening was Liam Stewart, who led all players in receiving with 101 yards on five receptions, including one TD. Malik Williams led the rush attack with 67 yards on nine carries.

Linebacker Marckus Jean-Loescher (Toronto, ON) contributed four solo tackles and two assisted tackles, and defensive back Ryaan Dalloul (Halifax, NS) posted three solo tackles, two sacks and one forced fumble.

Mounties quarterback Justin Vogels completed 16/33 passes and threw for 324 yards and one interception. Running back Brandt Burzuk (Red Deer, AB), rushed for 73 yards on 17 carries, and received Cody Barton led the pass game with 102 receiving yards on seven receptions.

Defensive back Owen O'Neal (Sackville, NB), recorded seven solo tackles to lead the Mounties, while all-star defensive tackle Reece Martin (Moncton, NB) had four tackles and one sack. 

The Saint Mary's Huskies improve to 3-2 on the season and will be back at home next weekend, as they host the Saint Francis Xavier X-Men on Saturday, October 22. Kick-off scheduled for 2 p.m. at Huskies Stadium.

The Mount Allison Mounties fall to 4-3 and have a bye week to rest, as they get back into action and travel to Antigonish, NS to visit the Saint Francis Xavier X-Men on Saturday, October 29.

By Vincent Taliman / SMU Huskies Athletics
Photos by Mona Ghiz / SMU Huskies Athletics