A Perfect Regular Season Led by O Line (Tigers 40 – Seawolves 0)

– By Rick Rivers

Game in and game out, the offensive line does their thing but with very few accolades.  For the most part, these unsung heroes are happy with it and don’t complain.  But on a day of extreme wind, rain and sea squalls, Dal’s O line’s performance must be noted.  The Tigers ran for over 250 yards, led by Jason Watts (20/149 yds, 1 TD) and Vid Feher (14/90 yds).

But let’s give credit where credit is due, to the guys in the trenches: Cal Zeran, Tommy Panther, Max Martin, Connor Paquette, Nicolas Pompeo and Liam Gould (DL) who filled in after one of the starting five went down.  Oh, and let’s not forget Kyle Kelly and Casey Jones, the line coaches who put it all together.

Wind and wet were evident, especially in the first three quarters.  Malcolm Gascoigne first two kickoffs went for singles and he scored on the first two PATS.  With the worst wind seen in ages, the Tigers forced two safeties and scored two touchdowns to go up 20-0, at the end of the first Q.  QB, Chris Duplisea was involved in both scores, as he ran for a six-yard major and connected with game leading receiver, Guillaume Bernier (6/114 yds – 2 TDs), on a 15 yarder.  Workhorse Watts scored the black and gold’s third Q Td on a one-yard plunge which Gascoigne converted, putting Dal up 27-0 at the half.

Needless to say, the Tiger D was perfect in pitching the 40-0 shutout.  Connor Manson led all tacklers with 7 tackles and 3 sacks while Samuel Jennings-Lindsay (6 and 1), Nathan Whidden (6), Jack Hamilton (5) and Eric Purcell (4 and a fumble recovery) led the hit parade.  In the fourth Q, the Seawolves, on the running of Spencer King came as close as the Tiger 9, but Dal closed the door.  Other Tiger highlights saw Niko Davies block a punt and William Keneford intercept a pass.

Justin Morgan, taking over for Duplisea in the third Q, threw a 35 yard TD strike to Bernier on his first pass.  In the fourth, Gascoigne made the previous convert and showed his versatility, hitting Alistair Chauhan who was hugging the sideline, for a 22 yard aerial major.  Gascoigne missed the extra point and the Tigers finished the regular season with a perfect 6-0 record.

Head coach Haggett was very demonstrative in his post-game speech, saying “the real hard work begins when we get off the bus in Halifax”.

The Dalhousie squad looks to duplicate their 2016 perfect championship season by winning the remaining two games at home.  The Dal Atlantic Football League semi-final will be held at Wickwire Field on Saturday, October 27th at one o’clock.  Let’s have another great event supported by hundreds of exuberant black and gold fans!

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