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Acadia suffers devastating Uteck loss but celebrates successful season

Oliver Grant gets a hug from his mom Marie-France LeBlanc, as brother and fellow Axeman Tommr Grant stands in the back right corner. “We’re so proud of them,” she said.
Oliver Grant gets a hug from his mom Marie-France LeBlanc, as brother and fellow Axeman Tommr Grant stands in the back right corner. “We’re so proud of them,” she said. - Sara Ericsson

Uteck Bowl lost 81-3 to the Western Mustangs, who advance to the Vanier Cup

WOLFVILLE, NS – Acadia’s football team has had a devastating loss at the end of their amazing season, but it’s not going to get them down.

The Uteck Bowl national semi-final championship was held today at Acadia University.

Acadia’s Axemen faced the Western Mustangs, and it was a rough match, with the Mustangs scoring over 49 points before the first quarter had finished.

The game’s score came in at 81-3 for the Mustangs, who set a new record for highest points ever scored in the Uteck Bowl, beating the previous record of 63 points.

Acadia’s fans stayed loud in the stands, cheering on their team despite the huge difference in score, and players stayed motivated, charging the Mustangs, but couldn’t shake the other team’s lead.

Acadia Axemen quarterback Cody Cluett.

After the game’s end and award handouts, players gathered on the field with friends and families to celebrate a victorious season which saw them win the controversial Loney Bowl – a game they almost didn’t get to play – defeating the Saint Mary’s Huskies 45-38 in overtime.

“To be able to play my last game on home turf with friends and family around… meant a lot. I’m proud of what we’ve done, despite this loss,” said defensive tackle player Adam Melanson, who’s been with Acadia for five years.

Of the loss, he simply said the other team was the better man.

The Axemen quarterback as he’s about to receive the ball.

“We felt good and we were ready to go – they’re just an awesome football team. It just wasn’t our day today,” he said.

Team quarterback Cody Cluett agreed today wasn’t his team’s day, and instead said he’s focusing on what they did achieve – a great season as the first place team in the Atlantic University Sport standings.

“The build up to this game was so exciting. After this result, the Loney Bowl was definitely the highlight for us. Playing and winning that game was everything we wanted – we went hard and we earned it,” he said.

“Everyone is disappointed – we didn’t want to come out here and feel embarrassed on our home field – but at the same time, I think the guys will hold their heads high and know they will not be defined by one game.”

The Axemen and Mustangs shook hands as heads hung low on the Acadia side after the loss.

Players Tommy and Oliver Grant were both on the field celebrating with mom Marie-France LeBlanc, dad Gus Grant and younger Robbie Grant.

LeBlanc felt nothing but pride as she watched her sons play hard.

“They did themselves proud. It’s unfortunate it ended this way, but what a season. They kept their heads up through the [Loney Bowl] ordeal last week, and we’re so proud,” she said.

“The whole team takes being student athletes so seriously, and they’re like a family. We’re so proud of them.”

The thinned out crowd that stayed and cheered for their Axemen.

The Western Mustangs will now advance to the Vanier Cup and will play the winner of the Mitchell Bowl between Laval and Calgary.

Coach Jeff Cummings declined comment after the game.

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