Carabins 26, Stingers 18: Concordia’s Football Team Lose Season-Opener to Defending RSEQ Champs
Stingers’ Lack of First and Third Quarter Momentum Cost Them Their First Win
“We made errors and [UdeM] capitalized.” said Concordia Stingers’ head coach Brad Collinson after Saturday’s loss to the Université de Montréal Carabins.
In the first quarter, the Carabins’ offence was ball dominant. They controlled the clock through runningback Bertrand Beaulieu's rushing, and short completions from quarterback Jonathan Sénécal helped them march down the field. Sénécal connected with receiver Carl Chabot for a 15-yard touchdown. Going into the second quarter, The Carabins led 7-0.
The second quarter is where the two offensively gifted teams showed their true colours. The Carabins scored on a corner route touchdown pass to receiver Alexandre Jones-Dudley, making it a 14-0 game with the extra point.
Concordia’s offence had its struggles up to this point. Drives stalled as the run game was stagnant, and the Carabins' secondary draped all over the Stingers’ receivers. If it weren’t for UdeM’s penalty troubles halting their offences momentum, the score may have reflected a different result.
Enter Stingers’ runningback Dwanté Morgan. After two changes at the position, Morgan stepped in and became the catalyst the Stingers’ offence needed. His 50 yards on the ground not only extended the drives by obtaining first downs, but also bit off huge chunks of yardage with plays of 20 yards rushing and 29 yards through the air.
“Coach [Brad Collinson] says ‘everything comes together as a team’,” remarked Morgan post-game. “I read what the line gave me, read what the defence gave me.. Just took [the ball] and ran with it. Just trying to make a play for my team.”
Stingers quarterback Olivier Roy would finally connect with slotback Jacob Salvail in the endzone on a one-on-one ball. Salvail’s smaller size helped him slip behind the Carabins defender. A last-second field goal from Stingers' kicker Ali El-Sehemawi made it a 15-10 game in favour of the Université de Montréal Carabins at halftime
We have to capitalize on momentum. Out of the first quarter and third quarter, we have to come out with a bang. — Jaylan Greaves, Concordia Stingers’ receiver
UdeM made their adjustments coming into the third quarter. The game plan was the same as in the first quarter: control the time of possession. The Carabins executed lengthy drives and marched down the field eating away 11 minutes from the time in the third quarter. UdeM were kept out of the end-zone due to a crucial goal-line stand by the Stingers' defence. The Stingers’ defensive efforts only delayed the Carabins from scoring more points, as Concordia’s offence surrendered a safety immediately after. Sénécal would deliver a 30-yard touchdown pass to a streaking UdeM receiver William Legault. The score after the third quarter was 24-10 for UdeM.
“We have to capitalize on momentum.” Stingers slotback Jaylan Greaves said post-game. “Out of the first quarter and third quarter, we have to come out with a bang.”
In the fourth quarter, Concordia gained that momentum. Although the Stingers gave up a second safety when being pinned deep in their own end, Roy took the reins and marched the offence down to the Carabins goal-line. Back-up quarterback Adrien Guay punched in a touchdown running around the edge. Roy converted the two-point try by lacing a pass to receiver Jeremy Murphy on an out route to make it a 26-18 game.
Roy marveled post-game that having Murphy back for the 2022-23 campaign felt great, saying, “He’s a big piece on offence for us. He takes a lot of attention away from the defence.
Unfortunately, this effort was all for naught. After a late game drive stalled, the Carabins wasted valuable minutes off the clock. With time on their side, the Université de Montréal celebrated a win in their season opener. Final score: UdeM 26, Concordia 18.
“I think next week as a defence, we have to stay together as a unit, as we do.” said Stingers’ safety Dawson Pierre post-game. Pierre himself had eight tackles in the game. “Today was just one of those days where we didn’t come out with the win, but we’re going to come out with the best of our capabilities next week on defence to make sure we shut down Sherbrooke.”
The Stingers look to face the Sherbrooke Vert et Or next week on Sep 3. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.