The Sherbrooke Vert et Or tested the mettle of Jack Creighton and the Saint Mary’s Huskies on Saturday.
They passed, albeit by the smallest of margins.
The Huskies snuck past the Vert et Or 27-23 in a highly entertaining Atlantic University Sport football affair, winning on a quarterback keeper by Creighton with just 6.2 seconds remaining before a crowd of 4,610 at Huskies Stadium.
That play capped a six-play, 68-yard drive that took just 76 seconds to execute, and came as a direct response to Sherbrooke’s go-ahead TD drive with 85 seconds left.
It’s the sort of win that can galvanize a team, especially one such as the Huskies that had not fully shaken an opening-weekend loss to the St. Francis Xavier X-Men.
“We’re winners — we don’t like losing,” said Creighton, a second-year pivot who went 18-for-27 for 198 yards and a touchdown. “We lost that first game and we knew we didn’t want to do that again. We don’t like that feeling.”
Things looked grim for the Huskies early as they allowed a pair of majors in the first quarter and were gouged by the country’s top running back, Pascal Fils, who had a 205-yard day.
But the defence — a strength of the team this season — put a stop to that and held on long enough for Creighton and the sputtering offence to overcome a 16-3 halftime deficit.
“They stepped up when they needed to,” the 6-foot-4 Creighton said of the defence. “I have a lot of faith in them, and hopefully they have a lot of faith in us now.”
The win was especially important because the St. Francis Xavier X-Men stayed unbeaten at 3-0 with an 19-17 road victory over the Concordia Stingers. The Huskies are second in the AUS at 2-1 and host the Mount Allison Mounties Friday.
“It was an eye opener,” said Huskies linebacker Karl McCartney. “We’re still not where we need to be and hopefully sometime we’ll be there … Sooner rather than later.”