X-Men win Bigg Bowl for third straight year

Photo by Emery G Photography
Photo by Emery G Photography

LENNOXVILLE, Que. – It was a thriller on Friday night in Lennoxville as the No. 6 St. Francis Xavier X-Men topped the No. 10 Bishop's Gaiters 34-31 in triple overtime in Atlantic University Sport football action.

Ben Hadley kicked four field goals including three in overtime capped off by a 31-yarder to win 34-31 and lay claim to the Bigg Bowl for the third straight year.

It was back and forth in the first quarter with the visitors holding a 7-4 lead after Silas Fagnan connected with Ben Harrington on a 37-yard pass and catch.

Bishop's grabbed the momentum in front of their fans in the second stanza.  They outscored the two-time defending Loney Bowl champions 17-0 in the quarter highlighted by a 25-yard pass from Justin Quirion to Oliver Burnett in the final minute for a 21-7 lead at the break.

Gary Waterman's troops came out of the break on fire. Fagnan led the X-Men on an 8-play 78-yard touchdown drive to cut the lead to 21-14.  Hadley booted his longest field goal of the day from 45 yards just under 3 minutes later to get the X-Men even closer.  Bishop's kicker Xavier Gervais responded in the final minute to re-establish the Gaiters seven-point lead with 15 minutes left.

A Gervais rouge gave Bishop's an eight-point lead and again Fagnan responded with a long drive, this one 8 plays and 75 yards to pay dirt.  He connected with Devaughn Blackwood for a spectacular 2-point conversion to tie the game.

Hadley attempted a 57-yard field goal on the last play of regulation, but to no avail, and the teams headed to extra time. 

The two kickers took centre stage as they matched each other through the first two overtimes.  In the third extra frame, Gervais' attempt came up short and Hadley made no mistake as he connected from 31 yards to keep the X-Men's win streak alive.

The win gives StFX a convincing lead in the AUS standings at 5-0 while Bishop's falls to 3-2 but remains in second place.

Fagnan finished 21-38 for 267 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He added a pair of QB-sneak majors on the ground.

For Bishop's Quirion went 22-32 for 249 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game with an injury at the end of the third stanza. He was replaced by Mason McGriskin who went 6-10 for 43 yards while adding 44 yards on the ground.

Gervais was 5-for-8 on field goals to round out the scoring for Bishop's.

Gabriel Royer led the Gaiters defense with 6.5 tackles and an interception to earn player of the game honours for the hosts.  Hadley was named player of the game for the X-Men.

Next up, Bishop's will travel to Halifax to face the St. Mary's Huskies (1-3) on Saturday while StFX will host Acadia (1-3) also on Saturday.

Today's game marked the ninth Bigg Bowl game. The Bigg Bowl was established in 2002 by the family of the late Reverend H. R. Canon Bigg, and has been awarded after competition between the StFX X-Men and Bishop's Gaiters in U SPORTS football. The grandson of Bigg, Mr. Brian McA'Nulty, who has ties to both schools, along with his wife Mary Adams, presented the trophy to the captains of the STFX X-Men following the game.


Recap courtesy Bishop's Athletics

View: Mobile | Desktop