1981-82 Men’s Football Team

The 1981 football season represented the twenty-fifth anniversary of the game on the Acadia campus. Consequently, on the afternoon of October 17th, at Raymond Field, the University celebrated this event as the John Huard-coached Axemen defeated St. Mary’s Huskies, 13-3. Appropriately enough, Don MacVicar who had scored the first-ever Axemen touchdown back in ’56, performed the ceremonial kick-off. On the field of action, Jim DiRenzo and Quentin Tynes starred offensively for the victorious squad.

Following a very successful season in Conference play, and a 34-11 playoff win over Mt. Allison, the Axemen qualified for their sixth Atlantic Bowl appearance.

In combat against the Queen’s Golden Bears, Larry Priestnall, who was destined to be named the game’s best player and winner of the prestigious Don Loney trophy, was outstanding as he gained 220 yards on twenty-seven carries, while scoring three touchdowns. Quentin Tynes ran for 69 yards in the game and scored a touchdown. Quarterback Steve Repic and Jim DiRenzo, who converted all Acadia majors while adding a 36-yard field goal and two singles, were other Axemen offensive stars.

In subsequent action against the Alberta Golden Bears for the CIAU title, the Huard-directed charges staged a tremendous comeback to win their second National football title in three years. Entering the contest as definite underdogs, the Axemen delighted their followers by posting a last-minute 18-12 triumph.

In this exciting contest, the Alberta team struck first, registering a 27 yard field goal with only a minute plus remaining in the first quarter. The Axemen countered late in the second quarter with a Jim DiRenzo field goal that was quickly followed by a 64 yard Steve Repic to Hubert Walsh touchdown pass with only 1:18 remaining in the half.

In the second half, the Golden Bears overcame an 11-3 first half deficit as they scored a 66 yard touchdown with ten minutes to play.

Then with 2:35 remaining, Reg Gilmour kicked a 22 yard field attempt wide but through the end zone, giving Alberta an apparent winning point. The Axemen, however, in one of their most courageous comebacks ever, put together a touchdown march as Repic completed four consecutive passes, three of which went to Don Clow for a total of 52 yards, allowing the Atlantic Conference champs to advance to the Alberta twenty-one.

Halifax native Quentin Tynes then added the final action to a dramatic script, running the ball for 19 yards and then capping off his heroics with a two yard touchdown run –giving the Axemen an 18-12 margin and ultimate victory.

Fittingly, Steve Repic captured the College Bowl M.V.P. and top player-of-the-game award. Named Ali-Canadians at the CIAU Banquet were Stuart MacLean, Tom Johnson and Chris Rhora, while John Huard received the Frank Tindal trophy as the top coach in Canadian Intercollegiate football.

What an honour it is to welcome back for induction to Acadia’s Sports Hall of Fame the coaches and players of the ’81 football team – victors in one of the most dramatic-ever CIAU championship contests.