(WOLFVILLE, N.S.) – Cody Cluett's (Cole Harbour, N.S.) record-tying 36 completions in a single game was the key in the Axemen's 27-10 victor over the visiting Bishop's Gaiters.
Cluett completed 36 of 44 attempts for 302 yards in the air as the Axemen rebounded from a season-opening loss to Mount Allison in Sackville, N.B. last weekend.
Acadia opened the first quarter at the 2:49 mark with a 21-yard touchdown pass from Cluett to Ben Meek (Peterborough, Ont.) to give the Axemen a 6-0 lead after the convert was missed.
Brandon Jenning's (St. Albert, Alta.) first-quarter, 33-yard field goal extended the Acadia lead to 9-0 heading into the second frame.
A five-yard reception by Dale Wright (Markham, Ont.) for Acadia's second touchdown of the first half, pushed Acadia into a 16-0 advantage with 4:15 remaining in the second quarter. Just over a minute later, a team safety was added, giving Acadia an 18-0 lead heading into halftime.
Nearly two minutes into the second half, Gaiters' Vincent Dube (Montgamy, Que.) nailed a 32-yard field goal to give Bishop's their first points of the game.
Wright scored his second and Acadia's final touchdown of the afternoon on an eight-yard run in the third frame, pushing the lead to 25-3.
With five minutes remaining in the third quarter, Trevon Millings (Chomedy, Que.) closed the gap to 25-10 on a 25-yard pass reception from Dylan Tucker (Campbell River, B.C.). Bishop's capitalized on a fumble recovery on the Acadia 25 and scored their first and only touchdown of the game.
A team safety with 1:38 remaining in the game, gave the Axemen a 27-10 win after regulation time.
Named the Subway Player of the Game, Cluett's performance tied a record of 36 completions set by former Axemen pivot Keith Lockwood on Sept. 22, 2007 versus McGill in Montreal.
"We just stuck with the process we've known all year. We know we didn't come and play as well as we could have last week. We obviously wanted to bounce back and every day in practice we got a little bit better and sticking with what we were doing," said Cluett after the game.
Eugene McMinns (Nassau, Bahamas) led the way for the Axemen receiving core with seven catches for 64 yards. Cordell Hastings (Calgary, Alta.), Caleb Ryder (Moncton, N.B.), Ben Meek added 49, 47 and 42 yards respectively.
Cluett was appreciative of his receivers following the game. "It makes it easy when you have guys like that running around catching the ball. I just have to put it in a spot and they will go and run and catch it for me. Those guys making plays makes it really easy for me," he said.
While the air attack was impressive, senior running back Cameron Davidson (Kentville, N.S.) spearheaded a ground attack with 145 net yards on 24 carries. Gaiter Trevon Millings had a team-high 74 yards rushing on 14 carries.
Defensively, the Gaiters' Arnaud Dandin (Paris, France) posted nine solo tackles and three assisted while second-year Axemen linebacker Bailey Feltmate (Moncton, N.B.) had 13 solo tackles and two assisted.
The Gaiters head home to host the 1-0 Saint Mary's Huskies next Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. (EST), while the Axemen travel to Antigonish, N.S. to take on the 1-1 StFX X-Men next Saturday at 2 p.m. (AST).
NOTES: Acadia and CFL Hall of Famer Bob Cameron was present at today's game. Cameron is second in the AUS record book with 35 completions in a single game in 1977.
Today's game was the first for the Bishop's Gaiters, the newest addition to the AUS football conference. Bishop's had no exhibition games prior to the game at Acadia.
Source: Acadia Athletics Communications