Hurricanes Open AFL Season with Win

The Holland College Hurricanes defeated the UNB Saint John Seawolves 36-13 in the Atlantic Football League season opener played in Saint John, N.B., on Saturday afternoon.

The first quarter featured numerous turnovers as both teams appeared nervous. The Seawolves led 8-0 at the end of the quarter by virtue of a single on a missed field goal attempt and a 55-yard reception for a touchdown by Andrew Healey.

Early in the second quarter, a blocked punt by the Hurricanes set up a 35-yard touchdown pass from Christian Hackney to a wide-open Eugene McMinns. The missed convert left the score at 8-6 for the Seawolves. Both teams conceded two-point safeties later in the quarter to make the score 10-8. On the ensuing kickoff, following the Saint John safety, rookie running back Jamaal Storr returned the ball all the way to the Seawolves’ 25-yard line. On the very next play, Hackney hooked up with veteran receiver Jeff Hillier for the major. The Hurricanes took a 15-10 lead into the intermission.

Storr was the story in the third quarter, racking up big gains on the ground. He also scored two touchdowns. Between those two majors, the Seawolves recorded a 25-yard field goal. The score stood at 29-13 at the end of the quarter.

The Hurricanes defense closed the door in the final quarter, stopping the run and denying the pass with tight man-to-man coverage. Rookie receiver Steve Knapton scored on a 95-yard catch and run with just over six minutes to play to secure the 36-13 victory over a tough Seawolves team. In other AFL action on Saturday, the Dalhousie University Tigers defeated the UNB Red Bombers 31-25.

The Hurricanes home opener is next Sunday, Sept. 21, at 1 p.m., when they host the Red Bombers at UPEI Canada Games Place.

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