(WOLFVILLE, N.S.) Dale Wright's 193 net yards on the ground helped the Acadia Axemen clinch an AUS playoff berth, as the Axemen handed the visiting StFX X-Men a 35-17 loss Saturday afternoon in Wolfville, N.S.
Wright credited the work of his offensive line in Acadia's win over the X-Men.
"The O-linemen put in so much work today. Such a good day from all fours. I appreciate them and love them, the quarterback, we did our job. They grind it, they pushed through, they drove guys, they kept going until the whistle," said Wright following the game.
Acadia improves to 5-2 and the win over StFX clinches a playoff berth for the Axemen, who finished last season with a 2-6 record.
With one more game remaining in the regular season, scheduled for next Saturday against the Saint Mary's Huskies, Wright noted that today's game is the past.
"We just got to move onto next week," he said. "This is going to be a good time with Homecoming and all, but we just have to forget about this game and move onto the next game against Saint Mary's."
The X-Men got on the scoreboard on the opening kickoff after Acadia conceded the rouge for the single StFX point.
The Axemen wrapped up a 10-play, 75-yard opening drive for the first of two first half touchdowns by second-year receiver Cordell Hastings. Hastings' 16-yard reception for the touchdown, gave Acadia an early 7-1 lead.
A three-and-out drive by the X-Men was followed by an 11-play, 70-yard drive that fell short in scoring a major and the Axemen settled for a 10-1 lead from a 10-yard field goal by first-year kicker Jarett Saumure.
A 16-yard punt and a no-yards penalty by StFX in the drive that followed setup Acadia's four-play touchdown drive that started from the Axemen's 54-yard line. Hastings would score his second and final major of the day on an 18-yard pass from pivot Cody Cluett only seconds into the second frame.
With a 17-1 Acadia lead, the X-Men responded on a 40-yard toss from Dylan Fisher to a wide open Kaion Julien-Grant two minutes into the second quarter.
Wright would conclude a 65-yard drive on a 'hard-earned' five-yard touchdown run to push Acadia ahead 24-8. The kickoff that followed was recovered by Acadia and the Axemen would capitalize on the great field position for Wright's second major of the day, off of another five-yard punch into the end zone in the closing minute of the first half.
With a 31-8 halftime lead, the Axemen only scored four additional points in the second half that included a third-quarter rouge and Saumure's 37-yard field goal at the 8:00 mark of the fourth quarter.
A team safety and Jordan Socholotiuk's 38-yard rush for a touchdown with 1:42 remaining in the game would be the only points scored following Acadia's third quarter field goal.
Socholotiuk would finish the game with 91 yards on 12 carries compared to Wright's 193 yards on 30 carries.
Cordell Hastings led all receivers with two touchdowns and 132 yards on eight receptions. Teammate Glodin Mulali added 61 yards on four catches to the mix.
The Axemen compiled 511 yards on the ground and in the air and in doing so, dominated the possession clock with over 38 minutes controlling the ball. The only statistic the Axemen fell short in was penalties, that included nine for 78 yards.
The Axemen will conclude the 2017 regular season at home next weekend against the 5-1 Saint Mary's Huskies. The X-Men will head into their bye week and will reconvene on their home field on Sat. Oct. 28 against Bishop's.
Dale Wright leads the AUS in rushing yards and rushing yards per game.
Cordell Hasting leads the AUS in total receiving yards and second in touchdowns
Bailey Feltmate leads the AUS in tackles
Adam Melanson leads the AUS in sacks
Jadin White-Frayne leads the AUS in interceptions
Source: Acadia Athletics Communications