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Loney Bowl Must Be Played Tuesday

By RENALDO DORSETT

Tribune Sports Reporter

rdorsett@tribunemedia.net

EUGENE McMinns, Shelton Williams, Arrien McDonald and their Acadia Axemen were prepared to contend for a conference championship last weekend but after a lengthy dispute, the title will now be decided Tuesday afternoon.

The Atlantic University Sport Conference ruled last Thursday that the St Mary's Huskies were ineligible due to a player eligibility issue and cancelled the Loney Bowl, scheduled for November 11.

The Huskies then decided to take the matter to court to challenge the decision.

The game's cancellation would have meant the Axemen would be automatically awarded the conference championship and right to represent the conference in Uteck Bowl against the Ontario champion, the Western Mustangs.

The winner of that game will advance to the Vanier Cup on November 25.

Sunday afternoon, Justice Deborah Smith approved the motion to reinstate the Huskies and ruled that the game must be played Tuesday, November 14.

According to the AUS statement issued in a press release the eligibility issue "has resulted in ongoing controversy and discord in reference to which team has earned its rightful place as a participant in the AUS football championship final game."

The organiation said time was a factor and did not allow for another resolution to be met.

"We are disappointed a final resolution to this situation could not be reached in time," said AUS executive director Phil Currie. "Cancelling the AUS Loney Bowl is unfortunately the only avenue we feel we can take as a conference at this time. However, we believe this decision protects the integrity and fairness of the 2017 AUS football season."

Acadia looks to win the conference title since 2012.

The Axemen finished the regular season at 6-2 and undefeated at home (4-0). They averaged 28.3 points per game and gave up just 24. They will enter the conference championship game on a four-game winning streak.

It will be the fourth time the teams have met this season.

The Huskies won an exhibition matchup which was eventually overturned in favour of Acadia due to St Mary's use of ineligible players.

The Huskies then won a September 15 matchup 17-10 while the Axemen won their regular season finale, 33-23.

McMinns ended the regular season ranked third in all-purpose yards in the AUS with a total of 1,232 yards and 154 per game. He was also the second leading punt returner in the division with an average of 14.3 yard per return and one 94 yard touchdown. He also returned 19 kicks for 437 yards and an average of 23 yards per return.

He finished second on the team in receptions and yardage with 28 catches for 322 yards and three touchdowns.

McDonald has also had an impact in the return game as well. He returned four kicks for 85 yards and had eight tackles on the defensive end.

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