UNB Saint John comes out on top over Holland College in season opener

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Seawolves win a wild one over Hurricanes

Football season kicked off this weekend in Saint John. The Holland College Hurricanes visited the Seawolves at the Canada Games Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 17.

The match was highly offensive and saw the lead switch hands multiple times. Ultimately, the Seawolves were able to hang on and win 38-34.

The offense started early in the game. After winning the coin toss and electing to kick, the Seawolves booted the ball far into the Hurricanes’ end zone. Holland College was unable to bring the ball out of their territory.

UNB Saint John swarmed the ball carrier and the home team was awarded with a single point for the rouge.

The Seawolves’ offense continued in the first quarter, when they kicked a field goal. This gave UNBSJ a 4-0 lead. However, late in the quarter the Hurricanes made a touchdown. UNB Saint John dropped the ball off of a Holland College punt. The Hurricanes recovered the ball and ran it into the end zone for the game’s first touchdown. The Seawolves headed into the second quarter trailing 7-4.

The second quarter was a see-saw of offence, that saw both teams get on the board with touchdowns. The Seawolves came out firing to start the quarter, scoring a touchdown less than one minute into the quarter, to take the lead 11-7. However, Holland College quickly answered three minutes later with their own touchdown, to retake the lead 14-11.

Later in the quarter, a dropped punt would again affect the course of the match. However, this time it was in favour of the Seawolves, as they recovered a dropped punt off of the Hurricanes. UNBSJ would take advantage of this error, scoring a touchdown just two plays later, to again re-take the lead 18-14.

Holland College bounced back from this turnover with a few points of their own. The Hurricanes first added a field goal to their tally, to bring the score to 18-17 for UNBSJ. However, the Hurricanes weren’t done there. With just under a minute to play in the second quarter, Holland College was able to force the Seawolves to fumble to ball. The Hurricanes recovered the ball and were able to capitalize on the turnover, by kicking another field goal with time expiring in the quarter. UNB Saint John headed into the third quarter down 20-17.

The third quarter was full of turnovers. Around the five minute mark, the Seawolves fumbled the ball. The Hurricanes recovered the ball and ran it all the way down the field for a touchdown. A penalty against Holland College negated the touchdown and gave the ball back to UNBSJ.

While the Seawolves avoided a scare in this instance, just three plays later the Hurricanes stripped the ball from UNBSJ and ran it down the field for a touchdown, this time with no penalties on the play. But all was not lost for UNBSJ, as the Seawolves were able to block the point after an attempt from the Hurricanes, resulting in only six points being awarded to Holland College. In spite of this, the Hurricanes expanded their lead to 26-17.

Looking to get back on the ball, the Seawolves went back on the offense and were rewarded with a touchdown with one minute remaining in the quarter. The Seawolves then elected to go for the two point conversion, instead of kicking a point after an attempt for a single point. Holland College intercepted the pass and UNBSJ failed to convert on the two point conversion. They still picked up six points for the touchdown and narrowed the score to 26-24.

A quick turn of events with seconds remaining in the quarter would once again benefit the Seawolves. With the clock counting down, Holland College snapped the ball, but fumbled it. The Seawolves recovered the ball and stormed down the field for the easy touchdown. The point after attempt was good, and UNBSJ headed into the final quarter, back in the lead 31-26.

The fourth quarter proved to be another with turnovers. Early on, the Hurricanes were unable to get a first down and turned the ball over to the Seawolves on downs. The very next play saw UNBSJ fumble the ball and Holland College recovered to regain possession. The Hurricanes would convert on this turnover with a touchdown, bringing the score to 32-31 and retaking the lead in the process. However, the Seawolves would not go down without a fight.
Just a few plays after the Holland College touchdown, the Seawolves scored their own touchdown, to retake the lead 38-33. The Seawolves later conceded a rouge of their own against the Hurricanes, to bring the score to 38-34. However, this would be the last scoring play of the game, as Holland College was unable to get their offense going late and the game and the Seawolves hung on to win a barn-burner 38-34.

The Seawolves are back in action next week, when the Dalhousie Tigers visit the Seawolves on Sunday, Sept. 22 at the Canada Games Stadium. Kickoff is at 4:00 p.m.