Gaiters’ happy haul from Halifax

By: 
John Edwards

The Bishop’s Gaiters football team hit the win column for the first time this season, as they came from behind to upend the Saint Mary’s Huskies 23-17 in Halifax, Saturday.
With the win, the Gaiters improve to 1-3 on the year while Saint Mary’s falls to 0-3, and their overall losing streak now sits at 12 games, dating back to 2013. Saturday was the Gaiters’ first win over an AUS opponent since Sept. 24, 2011, when they defeated Mount Allison 36-23, and their first win over the Huskies in school history.
The Gaiters got off to a disastrous start, as turnovers on their first two drives led directly to touchdowns by the Huskies’ D’Shawn Miller and Derek Pisani, putting SMU up 14-0 with only 4:08 gone in the game.
Bishop’s cut the lead in half thanks to a turnover by Saint Mary’s. On the last play of the first quarter, Shayne Cowan-Cholette intercepted Huskies quarterback Trevor Erdmann and gave the Gaiters the ball on the Huskies’ six-yard line. After the teams switched ends, Jamall Hyman-Hamilton carried the ball to pay dirt on the first play of the second quarter.
On the ensuing drive however the Huskies extended their lead to 17-7 on a 23-yard field goal by Ideen Samadi as they headed into the locker room at the half.
In the second half the Gaiters’ defence took hold and the Huskies didn’t trouble the scorers for the remainder of the game. At the same time, their offence began to ignite.
The Gaiters forced SMU into a safety touch late in the third quarter, and a Vincent Dubé 38-yard field goal cut the lead to 17-12 with 13:38 to go.
After Bishop’s forced a two-and-out, a poor punt by Samadi gave the Gaiters the ball on their only 52. Five plays later, Mathieu Demers had his first career touchdown pass, a 43-yard strike to Trevon Millings. After a two-point conversion pass to Mike Cleghorn, the Gaiters now led 20-17.
The Gaiters held on the Huskies’ final three possessions, keeping SMU on their own side of midfield, and a 27-yarder by Dubé with 5:00 left rounded out the scoring.
Demers, who is now 1-1 as a starter, went 13-for-28 for 146 yards with a touchdown, but threw three interceptions. Michael Nelson was his favourite receiver, with five catches for 58 yards while Millings had two catches for 44 yards. On the ground, the Gaiters put up 138 yards. Hyman-Hamilton was largely bottled up, carrying 12 times for 53 yards and the major, but Vincent Pruneau had 13 carries for 70 yards.
Saint Mary’s quarterback Trevor Erdmann was 12-for-23 for 140 yards with a touchdown pass and two interceptions. Pisani was the Huskies’ leading rusher with 55 yards on 11 carries, including one touchdown. Rick LeMoignan was the Huskies’ leading receiver, with three catches for 63 yards while Miller had three for 28 yards.
Defensively, Ryan Hector and Cowan-Cholette had interceptions for the Gaiters, while Theo Thompson and Mathieu Breton had Bishop’s two sacks.
SMU slightly outgained the Gaiters, 268 yards to 249, but Bishop’s had 17 first downs to only 14 for the Huskies. A lack of discipline cost the Huskies, as they took 22 penalties for 188 yards. The Gaiters were flagged 11 times for 83 yards.
The Gaiters’ win was part of a perfect weekend for the Quebec conference in their annual interlock weekend with the Atlantic league. McGill demolished the visiting, and No. 10-ranked, Acadia Axemen 45-15, while Sherbrooke cruised to a 31-7 win over the Mount Allison Mounties in Sackville, N.B., and No. 2-ranked Laval shut out St. F.X. 64-0 at home.
Up next for the Gaiters is their annual Homecoming game on Saturday at Coulter Field against McGill. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m.

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