By John DeCoste
For a second straight year, the football Axemen season came to an end in the national semifinals. The Axemen dropped a 42-7 decision to the Laval Rouge et Or in the Uteck Bowl Nov. 17 on Laval’s home field.
The Axemen, who trailed 18-0 at halftime and 35-7 after three quarters, were outmatched the entire game by the powerful Rouge et Or, who ran their home field winning streak to 58 straight regular season and playoff games.
Acadia was held to 260 yards of total offense in the game, while Laval managed 581.
The Rouge et Or showed early the top defense in the country against the run was in fine form, holding Acadia to just 90 yards on the ground, 69 of which were courtesy of fifth-year quarterback (and CIS Player of the Year nominee) Kyle Graves.
On the other side, Laval’s top runner, Maxime Boutin, ran for 213 yards on 25 carries.
Graves ended up completing nine of 20 passes for 130 yards, 73 of which came on one play – a scoring pass to Andrew Healy in the third quarter for the lone Axemen touchdown that was converted by Ryan Begin to round out the Acadia scoring.
Backup quarterback Evan Brown was 4-4 in limited action.
Positives were few and far between for the Axemen in the game, but conference all-star Drew Morris capped an outstanding season on defense with 10 solo and seven assisted tackles, one tackle for a loss and one forced fumble. Martin Pesek and Jesse St. James both had quarterback sacks.
Laval moved on to face McMaster in Friday’s Vanier Cup game, a rematch of the 2011 championship won by McMaster in overtime.