By Bernie Puchalski - August 26, 2019



Chase Bowden scored a TD in his opening games with the St. Francis Xavier X-Men football team. Photo by Bryan Kennedy/St. FX Athletics.

Chase Bowden got off to a great start in his university football career.

Chase Bowden
The Stamford grad rushed for 116 yards on 25 carries to lead the St. Francis Xavier X-Men to a 16-6 victory over Mount Allison Mounties in university football play.

The former Westlane Spartans and Niagara Spears player scored the lone touchdown as the X-Men began their defence of their Atlantic university football championship. For his efforts, Bowden was named the university’s offensive football player of the week.

The 19-year-old Niagara Falls native found out about he was going to start in the opener about five days before the game.

“The depth chart was moving around a lot and they were getting looks at everybody and I guess they decided to roll with me,” he said.

Offensive coordinator Dave Van Den Heuvel told him news during practice.

“He told me that it was my shot and not to let it go to waste. ”

It was an amazing moment for Bowden.

“To be honest, it felt very surreal. I saw it as an opportunity first and foremost and when it really hit me was when the game happened.”

Bowden went into his first university game not knowing what to expect.

“I never came into university expecting anything at all,” he said. “I came in with the mindset that I would work as hard as I could and I was going to hope that it paid off at the end.

“I still can’t believe it. It is insane.”

That hard work started on the first day of training camp.

“It was an experience unlike any other,” Bowden said. “It was intense and a lot of football; more football than I had ever been used to.

“It went very well, I had a great time and I tried as hard as I could.”

His goals for the season are to play as hard as he can and see what happens on the field.

“I want to set the bar high, something like hoping for 1,000 yards (rushing),” he said. “I am going to try for it but, like I said, I am going to continue to work hard and do what I do best which is play football.”

Bowden had 19 touchdowns last season to help Westlane reach the Niagara Region High School Athletic Association finals. For the Niagara Spears, he had 74 rushes for 548 yards and four touchdowns.

Below is a list of how some of the local players did during the first week of Ontario University Athletics’ action.

Waterloo 33 Toronto 30

Tre Ford (A.N. Myer), completed 24-36 for 225 yards and a pair of short TD passes for Waterloo. The reigning OUA MVP also had eight carries for 83 yards.

Brother Tyrell Ford (A.N. Myer) had four punt returns for a 104 yards, including an 80-yard punt return for a major. He also had a 15-yard interception return, three solo tackles, two assisted tackles and a 26-yard kick return to help Waterloo record the win.

Also for Waterloo, Jack Andrews (Denis Morris) had a pair of solo tackles.

Western 32 Laurier 19

Cole Majoros (Lakeshore Catholic) had five catches for 54 yards and Antonio Valvano (Saint Francis) added two receptions for 11 yards helping the Western Mustangs open with a 32-19 victory over the Laurier Golden Hawks.

Majoros added eight punt returns for 55 yards and a kick return for 13 yards.

On the defensive side of the ball, Jake Andrews (A.N. Myer) had four solo tackles.

McMaster 25 Guelph 10

Jordan Terrio (Saint Paul) had three catches for 38 yards for Guelph while teammate Greg Corfield (Saint Paul) had three assisted tackles.

Carleton 18 Queen’s 12

Anthony Federico (Saint Michael) had three solo tackles, five assisted tackles and a sack for a loss of 18 yards for Queen’s.