It’s not the most crucial football game to win for the Holland College Hurricanes because all wins are crucial in the Atlantic Football League.
Sunday, the ‘Canes home-opener fires up at 1 p.m. at UPEI against the NB Fredericton Red Bombers (0-1) in a must-win game for two winless teams.
It’s a short season in the AFL, only six games, so every game counts regardless of at what point in the schedule it is, said ‘Canes quarterback Christian Hackney, because there's a first round playoff contest at stake.
“It will be the most hyped game, but it’s just as important. Every game is important,’’ said Hackney, a 21-year-old Windsor, Ont., native. “(That said) winning would definitely set the tone.’’
Holland College lost its first game of the season 38-34 to the UNB Saint John Seawolves last week in Saint John, N.B., and sits in third place ahead of Fredericton.
A ‘Canes win drops the Red Bombers, last year’s champs, to 0-2 and damages its chances for a home game in the post-season. The other league game Sunday has the Dalhousie Tigers (1-0) at UNBSJ.
Holland College scored 16 points of its 34 on offence last week. Hackney wasn’t too pleased about that, but that’s a QB’s prerogative even if he gave kudos to the ‘Canes defence and special teams for doing the rest of the work.
“We sputtered a little bit. Our defence and special teams did a good job. Our (side) has got to play better,’’ said Hackney.
“We just have to execute. Little mistakes kill you in the end. We do the little things right and (we'll be right there).’’
It's different ‘Canes team this year with several new players including Hackney, a first year sports and leisure management student.
Not new is cornerback and special teamer Garvin Cius.
The second year construction technology management student from Malden, Mass., was with the 'Canes last year when Fredericton downed Holland College 14-7 in the AFL final.
He knows his side of the ball has to improve as well and there’s not much time to do it.
“We can improve on our tackling. Got to be crisp on our tackling, less mental mistakes,’’ said Cius, 19. “There’s no extra pressure to win (the home opener), but we have to come out fired up. We don’t have too many weeks.’’
On the web at www.atlanticfl.pointstreaksites.com.