The Acadia Axemen’s football season is over.
The Axemen lost 45-21 to the McMaster Marauders Friday night in the Uteck Bowl national semifinal game in front of 3,726 fans in Moncton. McMaster will play Laval Friday in the Vanier Cup after the Rouge et Or defeated Calgary 41-10 in the Mitchell Bowl.
Acadia got off to a great start Friday night and had a 14-0 lead after nine minutes. Zack Skibin got the Axemen going with a 17-yard touchdown run and A.J. Durling hauled in a 21-yard pass from Kyle Graves for the other major.
But McMaster didn’t quit, responding 90 seconds later on a Matthew Peressi 12-yard touchdown run to cap off a six-play, 63-yard drive. The Ontario champs would score three more touchdowns and a field goal before the half to lead 31-14.
Michael Squires scored the Axemen other touchdown on a 19-yard pass at the end of the third quarter.
Acadia who has won a lot of games on the ground this season lost this one as the Marauders backfield rushed for 265 yards compared to the Axemen’s 95. McMaster also won the battle through the air, amassing 370 yards passing compared to 292 for Acadia.
Skibin led the Axemen running backs with 46 yards on 10 carries while Graves was 19-for-31 for 292 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He was sacked five times. Taylor Renaud caught eight passes for 102 yards.
Chris Cull led the defence with eight tackles. Luke Fallwell forced a fumble while John Wilson and Jerrett Laycock had sacks.