LENNOXVILLE, Que. – St. Francis Xavier kicker Keiran Burnham booted through a 31-yard field goal with seven seconds remaining in the game to lift the X-Men to a 12-11 victory over the Bishop's Gaiters in AUS football action on Coulter Field on Saturday afternoon.
The win clinched second place in the conference for the X-Men and gave them the Bigg Bowl for the second consecutive year while Bishop's season ends at 0-8.
How it Happened
StFX tallied 12 points without scoring a touchdown. Burnham was 2-for-2 on field goal attempts, connecting from 24 yards in the third quarter and again on the game winner.
Game winning Field Goal
A Bishop's conceded safety was the only score in the first quarter. Things heated up in the second. After StFX conceded a safety, Gaiters' pivot Mathieu Demers connected with receiver Melvin Palin for a 37-yard touchdown.
Bishop's conceded another safety but held a 9-4 advantage at the break.
Burnham's 24-yard field goal was the only points in the third stanza.
The X-Men gave up another two points early in the fourth frame and Bishop's led 11-7, then crunch time provided fireworks.
With 1:40 remaining, Bishop's defensive back Jordan N'Gantsi broke-up a pass in the back of the end zone and the Gaiters took over.
Bishop's was not able to move the sticks on the ensuing drive and they made the decision to give up another two points. They held an 11-9 lead.
The X-Men turned to their all-Canadian receiver Kaion Julien-Grant and he made the Gaiters pay on a 33-yard catch and run that set-up the eventual 31-yard field goal winner.
For Bishop's, linebacker Keagan Hughes was named game MVP. He recorded 10.5 tackles. Jordan Sochnolotiuk earned player of the game honours for StFX. He rushed 22 times for 105 yards.
The Bigg Bowl was donated in 2002 by the family of H. R. Bigg and is awarded after competition between the StFX X-Men and Bishop's Gaiters in university football competition. With the Gaiters' move to the AUS, one of the annual matchups between the team is designated as the Bigg Bowl game. StFX now holds a 4-1 mark over the Gaiters when the Bigg Bowl is on the line.
2002 – StFX 22, BU 7
2004 – StFX 50, BU 17
2009 – BU 33, StFX 12
2017 – StFX 27, BU 14
2018 – StFX 12, BU 11
Bishop's is 1-7 against StFX all-time.
Coach Cherif's Corner
"I think our guys fought hard against a very good team, we just didn't have enough to finish," said Gaiters head coach Cherif Nicolas. "What's important now is to get on the recruiting trail and start looking ahead to next year."
Today's game marked the final one of the AUS season for the Gaiters, who finish 0-8 and out of playoff contention. The second place X-Men (5-2) will finish regular season play at home on Saturday, October 27th when they host Mount Allison at 2:00 pm.
The Subway AUS semifinal game will be played at StFX on Saturday, November 3rd as the X-Men host the Acadia Axemen in a 2:00 pm kick-off. The winner will advance the following week to play first place Saint Mary's in the Subway AUS Loney Bowl championship at Huskies Stadium in Halifax on November 10th.
Courtesy BU Sports Information