Back to the Drawing Board
Stingers’ 11-Year Winning Streak Against the Redmen Comes to an End
Over the past decade, the Concordia Stingers football team has known that when all else fails, it’s at least assured a win against crosstown rivals the McGill Redmen.
That isn’t the case anymore.
The Stingers saw their 15-game winning streak against the Redmen come to a screeching halt on Friday, losing 32-19 in the 45th annual Shaugnessy Cup at Percival Molson Stadium.
“The strongest point? I don’t think there was a strongest point,” said quarterback Reid Quest, who completed 27 of 39 passes for 312 yards and one touchdown with one interception on the night. “We were shitty.”
The last time the Redmen claimed a victory over the Stingers was in the 2002 provincial championship game, when they snagged the Dunsmore Cup in a 10-8 decision.
The Shaughnessy Cup, named after McGill sports hall of famer Frank Shaughnessy, is the annual matchup between the longtime adversaries. The winner takes home not only a trophy, but
bragging rights as well.
Unlike last season’s 43-40 thriller, this year’s edition got off to a slow start, with neither team finding the end zone in the first half. Redmen kicker Samy Rassy opened up the scoring with a 29-yard field goal five minutes into the first quarter. A Concordia single, a McGill safety, and a pair of Keegan Treloar field goals later, Concordia led 7-5 .
As is apparent from the score, neither team seemed to reign supreme by halftime.
But all that changed come the third quarter.
A 32-yard Rassy field goal just under three minutes into the second half saw McGill regain the lead 8-7 before Redmen running back Luis Guimont-Mota scored the game’s first touchdown moments later, taking the handoff from quarterback Jonathan Collin 21 yards into the endzone.
To end the quarter, receiver Joel Brtka added another touchdown for the Redmen, catching a 15-yard pass from Collin to increase McGill’s lead to 22-7.
But the Stingers showed they still had some fight left in them, with Quest completing a perfectly thrown 35-yard touchdown pass to slotback Kris Bastien on an out-and-up route early in the fourth quarter, narrowing the gap to 22-13 following a failed two-point conversion.
It’s as close to a comeback as the Stingers would get, however. At the quarter’s 2:35 mark the Redmen scored on a 21-yard field goal before Guimont-Mota scored his second touchdown of the game 44 seconds later, blowing past the Concordia defence untouched for 28 of his 111 yards on the night and extending McGill’s lead to 32-13.
For the second straight week, François Dessureault stepped in at quarterback for Concordia in the game’s dying minutes, completing a six-yard touchdown pass to Bastien with 25 seconds left to play to make the final score 32-19.
Despite the loss, wide receiver Shayne Stinson nonetheless found some positive aspects about the team’s performance.
“Our strongest point was probably our defensive backs tonight,” he said. “We had an interception, good coverage—defence overall held it down.”
Concordia now stands at 0-2 this season. While that puts the Stingers at the bottom of the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec conference, they’re not pushing the panic button just yet, and rightfully so—the last time they started off 0-2, the Stingers wound up winning three of their last four regular season games to make the playoffs in 2009.
“We just have to come together as a team,” said Quest. “The brothership part is there. We just need to execute it on the field.
“It was like there was a lid on the end zone and we couldn’t get in there,” he continued. “So once we figure that out, we should be alright.”
Bastien, who scored both Concordia touchdowns and finished the game with a team-leading 90 receiving yards, agreed that while they were deficient in some areas of play, they didn’t get outplayed entirely.
“It was unbalanced,” he said. “It was like a roller coaster ride. I think at some points, defence played really well, at some points offence played really well, and special teams were up and down.
“So really we just have to come together in the three phases of the game; offence, defence, and special teams for us to have a successful outcome.”
The Stingers will get the chance to exact their revenge over their rivals in red this season when the two teams meet at Concordia Stadium in two weeks for the Shrine Bowl.
Until then, there’s only one thing on Concordia’s mind: Week 3, when they’ll take on St. Francis Xavier university at Concordia Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 14 for a 1:00 p.m. showdown.