A first-place finish is within reach for the Saint Mary’s Huskies.
The Huskies beat the McGill Redmen 39-23 in Canadian Interuniversity Sport football interlock action on Saturday afternoon and are now 5-1 and tied for first in Atlantic University Sport with the St. Francis Xavier X-Men.
The X-Men, who beat the Huskies opening week, lost for the first time all season Saturday, 33-12 to the Bishop’s Gaiters.
The Huskies host the X-Men Friday at 7 p.m.
It’s a game that will likely determine the first-place AUS finisher.
“It’s going to be one heck of a game, that’s for sure,” said Huskies head coach Steve Sumarah.
“We’re pretty excited to be in this situation after our opening-game loss.
“There were a lot of what-ifs and uh-ohs, but we’ve given ourselves a chance to compete for first, and that’s all we could ask for.”
Running back Devon Jones rushed for a pair of touchdowns on Saturday, while quarterback Jack Creighton ran in another while going 11-of-27 for 171 yards and a TD.
Receiver Carl Hardwick hauled in a touchdown pass and fourth-year kicker Justin Palardy broke the AUS career field-goal record of 56 by booting 43-, 33- and 10-yarders.
It was a good test for Saint Mary’s against McGill (3-3).
“We had to play well to win,” Sumarah said.
Sumarah said the focus in practice this week will be getting defence, offence and special teams ready for Friday.
The Huskies have had their moments in each area through six weeks, but haven’t had them working together.
“We need three stages of the game all working together for us,” Sumarah said.
“If we can get that going, we can be tough to beat. But the question is: Can we get to that point?”