University Football

Acadia Axemen win the Loney Bowl football championship in overtime

Acadia ends football championship game 45-38 in overtime with an interception

Saint Mary’s University fans board a bus to Acadia to cheer on the Huskies earlier Tuesday.   Jessica Sundblad

Acadia University took home the title of Atlantic University Sport football champions on Tuesday after winning the Loney Bowl 45-38 in overtime.

Acadia played the Saint Mary’s University Huskies at home in Wolfville, N.S. The game ended in double overtime with an interception. Acadia will host the national semifinal game Saturday against Western University for the chance to become national champion.

Tuesday’s game between Acadia and Saint Mary’s was up in the air just 48 hours ago.

The game was originally scheduled for Remembrance Day. It was cancelled by the AUS, the governing body of university sports in the region, last Thursday due to an investigation into player eligibility at Saint Mary’s. The AUS said Acadia advanced to the national semifinal by default.

In response, Saint Mary’s turned to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court to try and regain its chance at victory. A hearing was held over the weekend, and on Sunday, Associate Chief Justice Deborah Smith ruled that the two universities should play the championship game by Tuesday.

The Saint Mary’s University Student Association arranged a last-minute coach bus to take 50 students to Wolfville to cheer on their team.

Student organizers handed out Huskies scarves and noise makers. Many students said they were excited to watch football and have not been following the court case.

“I feel it’s pretty fair that they get a chance to play,” said Marius Burkardt, a Saint Mary’s student, before boarding the bus Tuesday morning in Halifax. “It’s better to have a real game played, instead of just saying Acadia won and going straight to the semifinal. I’m not sure how all that works, but the court decided, so we play.”

Cameron Davidson, a player on the Acadia team, was happy to play.

“I think there is a lot of excitement that we do get the opportunity to kind of experience the championship atmosphere, the championship game,” he told The Signal Monday night.

Complaint about player eligibility

U Sports, the national body overseeing university sports, was investigating a complaint that Saint Mary’s had an ineligible player: wide receiver Archelaus Jack.

Justice Smith did not address the issue of player eligibility in her ruling on Sunday.

Ossama Nasrallah, Saint Mary’s student president, said SMU students are not concerned with the legalities of the game, only that the game is happening.

“I don’t think anyone feels that SMU had an unfair advantage,” Nasrallah said before the game.

Acadia will host the national semifinal game against Western University on Saturday in the Uteck Bowl.

With files from Nicholas Frew

 

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