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#6 X-Men defeat Huskies 52-4 in Halifax

#6 X-Men defeat Huskies 52-4 in Halifax

HALIFAX, NS – Running back Malcolm Bussey scored four touchdowns as the #6 ranked St. FX X-Men defeated the Saint Mary's Huskies 52-4 on Saturday afternoon at Huskies Stadium in Halifax.

The Huskies played their final home game of the regular season to a crowd of 1,463 fans in attendance to watch a matchup versus the undefeated St.FX X-Men.

It was Senior's Night for the Huskies as graduating players Jacob Morgan, Markcus Jean-Loescher, Ricardo Reyes, Kesean Bennett, Peter Kourtis, Tyler Clucas-Warren, Johnathan Keirstead and Alexander Petty were honoured pre-game for their years of commitment to the program.

The first quarter began with a quick drive by the X-Men. On a collapsed pocket by pressure from the Huskies defensive line, X-Men quarterback Silas Fagnan (Bonnyville, AB) escaped and rushed 15 yards to the Huskies goal line. The X-Men then handed it off to running back Malcolm Bussey (Hammonds Plains, NS) who leaped into the endzone for the first score of the game, with a successful Ben Hadley (Halifax, NS) extra point to put the X-Men up 7-0.

The Huskies first score of the game came when the X-Men conceded a safety to get better field positioning on the punt with Hadley kneeling in the endzone to cut the lead to 7-2 with 5:33 remaining in the first quarter.

Before the end of the first quarter the X-Men's high-powered offence began to get hot in the passing game, Fagnan found receivers Zachary Houde (Thetford Mines, QC) and Ben Harrington (Dartmouth, NS) on big plays during the drive. Fagnan finished off with a 10-yard strike to the middle of field to fullback Connor Ross (Coldbrook, NS) with the PAT being blocked by Huskies defensive linemen Jerome Tshimpangila (Montreal, QC), as the X-Men took a 13-2 lead into the second quarter.

The second quarter began with another X-Men drive, but the Huskies defence would force them to kick a field goal. The field goal missed but still caused the first rouge of the game increasing St.FX's lead to 14-2.

The Huskies defence was unable to find an answer for the X-Men's high octane offence, surrendering a passing touchdown to Bussey on a 16 yard reception increasing St.FX's lead to 21-2 with 9:41 remaining in the first half.

Playing the field position game once again the X-Men conceded a safety, before Hadley hit for another rouge point to give the X-Men a 22-4 lead.

Towards the end of the second quarter, X-Men linebacker Dyton Blackett (Canning, NS) picked off Huskies quarterback Duncan Patterson (Bedford, NS) at the 55 yard line, returning it 16 yards to SMU territory. The Huskies defence stood tall forcing the X-Men to kick a successful 14-yard Hadley field goal, giving the visitors 25-4 at halftime.

The game of safeties continued in the third quarter with SMU kneeling in the endzone to start the half tacking on two points to the X-Men lead.

The X-Men continued to put the foot on the gas with Fagnan finding receiver Devaughn Blackwood (Kanata, ON) taking a 39-yard reception to the Huskies redzone, before feeding Bussey on a 5-yard rushing touchdown for his third score of the game to increase the X-Men lead to 34-4.

The X-Men defensive line caused problems for the Huskies all afternoon with seven total sacks. Near the end of the third quarter, X-Men defensive end Otito Nwaogu (London, ON) caused Patterson to fumble on a strip sack, which was recovered by the X-Men. Within reach of the endzone yet again, the X-Men continued pounding the rock with the workhorse Bussey punching it through with a 9-yard touchdown run, giving the X-Men a 41-4 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

On a fumble recovery by X-Men defensive linemen Morgan Rae (Sackville, NS) St.FX capitalized with a 5-yard rushing touchdown to running back Simon Degraff (Calgary, AB) adding to the 48-4 lead with 9:15 remaining in the final quarter.

The X-Men closed it out with an interception by linebacker Zach Taylor (Nanaimo, BC) followed by a Hadley 41 yard field goal and a final rogue as the X-Men would win with a final score of 52-4.

The Subway Player of the Game was awarded to St.FX X-Men running back Malcolm Bussey who led the team in rushing with 16 carries for 68 yards rushing and three rushing touchdowns, and added 24 receiving yards on two receptions and one receiving touchdown.

X-Men quarterback Silas Fagnan went 22 of 28 for 269 passing yards and threw two touchdowns, and added 23 yards on four rushing attempts. Ben Harrington led the X-Men in receiving yards with 79 yards, Connor Ross added 48 yards on five receptions, including one touchdown, and DeVaughn Blackwood had the longest catch of the day with one reception for 39 yards.

Huskies quarterback Duncan Patterson completed 5 of 14 passing attempts, throwing for 82 yards and one interception.

Malik Williams (Maple Creek, SK) was the leading rusher for the Huskies with 60 yards on 8 carries followed by Teon Alexander Amour (Vancouver, BC) who carried 6 times for 26 yards. Liam Stewart (Port Coquitlam, BC) was the leading receiver for the Huskies hauling in three receptions for 43 yards.

On the defensive side for the X-Men defensive linemen Zechariah Williams recorded five tackles with four sacks. Linebackers Zach Taylor and Dyton Blackett and defensive back Ethan Mastin (Chilliwack, BC) each tallied an interception in the win.

For the Huskies defensive side Jacob Morgan (Halifax, NS) led the team in tackles with 7.5, one forced fumble and one pass breakup, while defensive linemen Jerome Tshimpangila had 4 tackles and 1 forced fumble.

The X-Men stay perfect as they improve their record to 7-0 on the season, and will look to finish off an undefeated regular season at home next week, as the host the Mount Allison Mounties on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. in Antigonish, N.S.

The loss dropped the Huskies record to 3-3. They'll have one last chance to clinch a playoff berth next weekend, as they travel to Sherbrooke, QC to take on the Bishop's Gaiters on Oct. 29 at 3 p.m. AT, in a rare four point game.

Recap by Vincent Talliman / SMU Huskies Athletics
Photos by Mona Ghiz / SMU Huskies Athletics