WOLFVILLE – A 60-yard Dale Wright rushing touchdown at the six-minute mark of the third quarter was the game’s turning point as the Axemen delivered a 31-9 Homecoming win on a third-quarter outburst.
Gaiter Aaron Franklin stopped AUS leading receiver Cordell Hastings on an end around on third and goal. Hastings fumbled into the end zone and the Gaiters took over on their 20-yard line but were unable to capitalize on the turnover.
With the ball back in the hands of the Axemen, Caleb Ryder responded on a 42-yard pass reception for a touchdown at 11:35 of the first quarter. Ryder’s touchdown reception capped a short four-play drive of 53 yards.
Just under two minutes into the second quarter, the Axemen extended the lead to 14-0 on a 78-yard Rory Kelly interception return for the major. A rushed pass by Stephen Casey resulted in an errant pass that Casey wished he could take back.
The 14-0 lead would hold into the intermission.
Axeman Garvin Cius picked off the first pass of pivot replacement Mathieu Demers on the Bishop’s 17-yard line in the third quarter to set up an eventually missed 22-yard field goal by Jarrett Saumure to gain a single point rouge.
A third down and 30-yard situation on the next Gaiters’ possession set up the two-point safety that pushed the Axemen lead to 17-0.
Touchdowns by Dale Wright and Matt Gledhill in the third quarter pushed the Acadia lead to 31-2.
Prior to Gledhill’s first touchdown of the season, the Axemen conceded two points after being driven back into their end by penalties.
Gledhill’s 12-yard touchdown reception, which concluded a six-play 50-yard Axemen drive late the third quarter, put the game out of reach.
Demers connected with Dashaun Smellie in the back of the end zone with just two seconds remaining to give the Gaiters their major score.
Nathan Walker was a silver lining for the Gaiters. He caught six passes for 78 yards and added 30 rush yards while defensive standout Aarron Franklin finished with 7.5 tackles and the forced fumble.
The Axemen 439 yards net offense compared to Bishop’s 311. The Acadia edge came from a ground game that posted a combined 180 yards. Subway Player of the Game Dale Wright pulled together 118 net yards on 11 carries.
After playing one of the more consistent games, Wright was asked how he feels about the approaching playoffs.
“I feel like we are shooting ourselves in the foot lately. We need to work on not having penalties and be more focused to win the day,” noted Wright.
Caleb Ryder pulled in five receptions for a game-high 121 yards in receiving. Cordell Hastings, who was kept off the score clock had three catches for 55 yards.
Darcy Tibaudeau posted eight solo tackles for the Axemen, while Garvin Cius had two interceptions and defensive secondary teammates Rory Kelly and Riley Gabriel each had one.
The Axemen improve to 3-3 and are headed to Sackville, N.B. to take on Mount Allison and wrap up the regular season at home on Oct. 27 against the league-leading Saint Mary’s Huskies.