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Hurricanes comeback stifled by 110-yard kickoff return, lose 30-23 to Seawolves

October 14, 2013

By Thomas Becker

Charlottetown, PE – In 10 seconds a Holland College Hurricanes 15-point comeback was quickly forgotten following a 110-yard kickoff return late in the fourth quarter giving the UNB Saint John Seawolves a 30-23 victory in Atlantic Football League action Sunday afternoon at the UPEI Alumni Canada Games Place.

The Seawolves improve to 4-1 while the Hurricanes fall to 1-4 on the season.

“We showed that we can compete with any team in the league. I’m happy that the guys kept battling and never gave up,” said Hurricanes offensive co-ordinator Andrew Hickey.

In the first quarter defence and turnovers by both teams halted drives, leading to a 2-0 advantage for the Seawolves, on a conceded safety by the Hurricanes.

Early in the second quarter, the Seawolves would score on their next two possessions to extend their lead 16-0 on a 6-yard run by running back Curtis MacMillan and a 45-yard touchdown reception for the score.

Late in the second, the Hurricanes found their offence. Following 30-yard receptions by Jeff Hillier and Rodney Blaise, quarterback Christian Hackney crossed the goal line on the 1-yard keeper to cut into the lead 16-8 before halftime.

Both teams played to no score in the third quarter, leaving all the drama for the fourth.

Late in the fourth quarter the Seawolves scored on a 25-yard touchdown catch, increasing their lead 23-8. Typical of this year’s Hurricanes team they kept battling, never giving up. With 3:51 remaining, the Hurricanes needed two scores to stay in the game and they did just that.

Following a catch on a quick slant route, Eugene McMinns used his athleticism to dodge tackles, carrying the ball 45 yards for the score, cutting the lead 23-15.

On their next possession, Hackney found Hillier for a 17-yard touchdown grab. Needing a two point conversion to tie the game, Hackney went to Blaise, who snatched the ball in the end zone to tie the game 23 apiece.

With 53 seconds remaining the Hurricanes comeback came up just short as the Seawolves 110-yard kickoff return gave them the 30-23 win.

“We just need to clean up mistakes and be able to play for all four quarters of football. We are improving every week and that’s very encouraging as we approach the playoffs,” Hickey said.

The Hurricanes now look ahead to October 19, when they face their next opponent in Halifax, the Dalhousie Tigers, who defeated the Hurricanes 31-10 in their last meeting.

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