Hurricanes outscored 18-0 in second half, lose 31-10 to Tigers
September 30, 2013
By Thomas Becker
Charlottetown, PE – Former Holland College Hurricanes Nick Hunsley, Robbie Tufts, and Luke Williams returned to the UPEI Alumni Canada Games Place on Saturday and spoiled the party, as members of the Dalhousie Tigers. A couple key turnovers and an efficient second half by the Tigers led to a 31-10 loss for the hometown Hurricanes.
For the second game in a row, the Hurricanes struggled in the second half as they were outscored 18-0 by the Tigers. Over the last two games, opponents have outscored the Hurricanes 37-8 in second halves.
“I think it’s important to focus on execution. We can’t worry about the points, that will take care of itself. Scoring has a lot to do with confidence. We need to build that steadily over the next three weeks,” said head coach Mark MacDougall.
It was an evenly fought first half. Both defences were in top form, and scores were hard to come by. By the end of the first quarter, both teams traded field goals and the score was tied at 3-3. The Tigers scored 10 unanswered points late in the second quarter following a field goal and an interception by defensive back Salah Al-Misleh, who carried the ball to the house for the pick-six.
However, the Hurricanes didn’t let the turnover bring them down. With a short clock and unfavourable field position, the Hurricanes looked to get points in a hurry. Quarterback Christian Hackney found receivers Rodney Blaise and Jeff Hillier for eight and 35-yard receptions respectively. Following a facemask penalty, Hackney heaved the ball 45 yards to the end zone, where wideout Eugene McMinns made an athletic grab for the touchdown, trimming the lead to 13-10 before halftime.
Defence made its mark again in the third quarter, as both teams struggled to score points. The Tigers scored on a single, extending their lead to 14-10 after three quarters of play.
In the early seconds of the fourth quarter, the Tigers converted a touchdown on a third down run by running back Sam Lebanski. Lebanski was hard to handle for the Hurricanes defence all afternoon. The 21-10 lead quickly turned to 28-10 after a Hurricanes fumble was returned for a touchdown.
With a 28-10 deficit and 10 minutes remaining, the party had already ended for the large crowd that had turned out on a beautiful fall afternoon. The Hurricanes fell to a 1-2 record after the 31-10 loss, and will look to turn their fortunes around on October 5 when they face the UNB Red Bombers in Fredericton.
“We have seen all three teams now and we need to plan for each one differently moving forward,” MacDougall said.
“Talent wise we are just as good, if not better than any team we play. It just comes down to execution and focus. There’s no doubt in my mind that we will be where we need to be by the end of the year,” added offensive coordinator Andrew Hickey.
In the other AFL game on Saturday, the UNB Saint John Seawolves defeated the UNB Fredericton Red Bombers 47 -14.