SMU O-line in charge
Still with no healthy Glavic, Huskies depend on offensive linemen
By MONTY MOSHER Sports Reporter
Fri. Sep 19 - 6:50 AM

Bryan Jordan, Thomas Elinesky, Kyle McNeil and Derek Weber arenít household names, but they are the pistons driving the Saint Maryís Huskies offence.

In the absence of Hec Crighton Trophy-winning quarterback Erik Glavic, head coach Steve Sumarah has turned to his senior offensive linemen to carry the freight.

All they did last week was tear open a 46-carry, 372-yard rushing attack, with Allistair Blair powering for a career-high 223 and Craig Leger for 100, in a 35-27 road win against the Bishopís Gaiters. SMU has 583 yards on the ground in its 2-0 start.

Glavic, who had surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in February, will be a game-time decision for a second week as the CIS No. 3 Huskies host the winless Mount Allison Mounties tonight at Huskies Stadium. The Huskies have won the last 17 in the series since 1998.

"That will be the plan again," Sumarah said of his continuing desire to run the football. "Weíll definitely be attacking on the ground."

As of Thursday night, Sumarah planned to start quarterback Nathan Marsman with Ted Abraham as his back-up. He said that would change if Glavic tells him heís ready to take the ball, in which case Glavic immediately gets the keys to the offence.

The Huskies remain a work in progress despite the wins. They could easily have lost their home opener to Acadia and let a big lead nearly slip away on the road last week.

Highly touted speedster Glen Downs will dress at tailback for the first time. He missed his first two seasons at SMU with knee injuries and started this year with a pulled hamstring.

The Mounties, under interim head coach Kelly Jeffrey, have had tough luck, losing fourth-quarter leads at St. Francis Xavier and at home last weekend against Sherbrooke. The Vert et Or scored the final nine points in a 23-22 win.

"Itís been frustrating," said Jeffrey. "But I think when we look at the film we see weíre a couple of mistakes away from being 2-0."

The Mounties were hurt by inefficiency in the red zone. They had six drives stall in field-goal range.

"Weíve got to come out quicker," said Jeffrey, who knows the key will be stopping the run. "We got down 14-3 and we canít do that against good football teams."

Axemen (0-2) at X-Men (1-1)


At Oland Stadium on Saturday afternoon, it will be a clash of two teams in need of some positives.

Acadia got taken apart at home last weekend 47-1 against CIS No. 1 Laval. With the Huskies paying a visit to Wolfville in Week 4, the Axemen can ill afford another misstep.

"I wish there was something I could say that we did well, but we didnít," said Acadia head coach Jeff Cummins. "You canít play poorly against a great football team and if you do you get embarrassed like we did."

The only bright spot for the scuffling Axemen, losers of six in a row since last fall, is the return of No. 1 tailback Cale Inglis to the offence after missing two games with a leg injury.

But the defence, already minus all-Canadian free safety Elliott Richardson (torn triceps), will be missing back-up free safety Mike Rostance (concussion), cornerback/returner Najja Coley (ankle), linebacker Andrew Oake (ankle), middle linebacker Mike Leahy (back) and defensive lineman Joe Nwabuzor (disciplinary).

St. F.X., which beat the Axemen three times last season, allowed 10 turnovers in a 33-9 loss at Montreal. Quarterback Steve Snyder threw five interceptions and the X-Men fumbled six times, losing five, against one of the nationís top defences.

( [email protected])