Season Opener – Tigers 43 – Red Bombers 17
For the Dalhousie Tigers it was a game of two different halves. Head coach, Mark Haggett said, “We’ve got to learn how to come out fast” and they did that in the second half. Even though Dal scored the first eight points of the game on a missed 39-yard field goal and a 12 yard TD run by Zach Kuhn. Turner Kinal made the PAT to give the black and gold an 8-0 lead over the defending AFL champs, the UNB Red Bombers.
Two unnecessary roughness penalties in the second Q extended a Bombers’ drive and allowed Urquhart to kick a field goal. Earlier on that drive, William Keneford’s deep interception was negated by a penalty. Keneford would make up for it with two other INTs on his close coverage. An unfortunate end zone touch ended in a deflection TD for Nathaniel Johnson on a bomb from QB, Greg Brown. UNB lead 10-8 at the half.
The second half found the Tigers firing on all cylinders and two minutes in, QB Chris Duplisea showed he could not only throw darts for completions, as he ran 17 yards for 6 points. Kinal’s convert gave Dal a 15-10 lead and they would not look back. Duplisea connected with Morgan Laws and a little later Alistair Chauhan with Kinal adding the singles to give the Tigers a 29-10 margin.
Dalhousie’s defence was devastating through the second half with the Manson brothers, Liam and Connor, Samuel Jennings-Lindsay and Nick Bartolacci hearing their names called frequently on tackles.
The offensive line popped especially in the later Qs, giving for Duplisea completions and gaping holes for runs. Kuhn scored his second TD on a one-yard plunge while Jason Watts had a number of notable carries, one a 32 yard TD blast. Malcolm Gascoigne took over for Kinal and his two converts ended up in the parking lot. Tigers 43 – Bombers 10.
Backup QB, Justin Morgan, had some good reps but he wished he had one pass back. His interception eventually lead to a UNB major, Brown to Matt Lafleur. The game ended in a final score of Dal 43 – UNB 17.
This was the season opener against the defending AFL champs. Haggett, OC Evan Brown and DC, Dave Kelly, have to be happy with the results, but would say there is room for lots of improvement. Next weekend the Tigers hope to return from Fredericton with the Alunmi Cup. This trophy goes to the winner of the two-game total point series between the two former AUS football teams.