Seawolves score winning touchdown on kickoff return in final minute
Holland College Hurricanes quarterback Christian Hackney spots receiver Eugene McMinns open during Atlantic Football League action Sunday against the Saint John Seawolves.
The University of New Brunswick Saint John Seawolves returned a kickoff 110 yards in the final minute Sunday to defeat the Holland College Hurricanes 30-23.
The play took all of 10 seconds to erase the Hurricanes’ 15-point comeback in Atlantic Football League action at the UPEI Alumni Canada Games Place.
The Seawolves improve to 4-1 while the Hurricanes fall to 1-4 on the season.
“We showed that we can compete with any team in the league. I’m happy that the guys kept battling and never gave up,” said Hurricanes offensive co-ordinator Andrew Hickey.
In the first quarter defence and turnovers by both teams halted drives, leading to a 2-0 Seawolves advantage on a conceded safety.
The Seawolves would score on back-to-back possessions early in the second quarter to extend their lead 16-0. Running back Curtis MacMillan ran in a major from six yards while quarterback Sean Galbraith threw for 45-yard touchdown.
Late in the second, the Hurricanes found their offence. Following 30-yard receptions by Jeff Hillier and Rodney Blaise, quarterback Christian Hackney crossed the goal-line on a one-yard keeper to cut the lead to 16-8 before halftime.
The third quarter was scoreless, leaving all the drama for the fourth.
Late in the fourth quarter the Seawolves scored on a 25-yard touchdown catch, increasing their lead 23-8.
With 3:51 remaining, the Hurricanes needed two scores to stay in the game and they did just that.
Following a catch on a quick slant, Eugene McMinns used his athleticism to dodge tackles, carrying the ball 45 yards for the score.
On their next possession, Hackney found Hillier for a 17-yard touchdown grab and Blaise on a two-point conversion to tie the game 23-23.
With 53 seconds remaining the Hurricanes comeback fell short as the Seawolves 110-yard kickoff return gave them the 30-23 win.
“We just need to clean up mistakes and be able to play for all four quarters of football. We are improving every week and that’s very encouraging as we approach the playoffs,” Hickey said.
The Hurricanes now look ahead to Saturday when they face the Dalhousie Tigers, who defeated the Hurricanes 31-10 in their last meeting.