Carabins 31, Stingers 19: Concordia will have to wait another week to clinch playoff spot
Awful weather provides sloppy football from both sides
Half an hour before game time, a torrential downpour that persisted the entire contest began at the Concordia Stadium on Saturday. In a matchup with some serious playoff implications, the Université de Montréal Carabins handed the Concordia Stingers football team a 31-19 loss.
It wasn’t all bad for Concordia as they welcomed back fifth year player Vince Alessandrini to their lineup. Alessandrini had missed the previous three games after sustaining an injury against the McGill Redbirds in week four. “It felt amazing [to get back out there], I don’t know how much longer I have [to play] this game so I wanna make the most of it,” said Alessandrini.
Montréal got the scoring started on their first drive. All they needed was 36 seconds and two plays to give themselves a 7-0 lead on a 59-yard touchdown reception to star receiver Hassane Dosso. In typical fashion, the Stingers were beginning a game trailing from behind.
However, one thing that has been consistent all season long has been the team’s resiliency. On their first play of the drive, following the Carabins touchdown, quarterback Olivier Roy found Jaylan Greaves on a 72-yard reception. Two plays later, Roy found slotback Jacob Salvail on a seven yard touchdown completion to even the score at 7-7.
Montréal conceded a safety, then they hit a field goal to regain the lead 10-9. Some well-played defence and the wet conditions made offence extremely difficult for both sides. The Carabins managed to march down to The Stingers’ one-yard line to close the first quarter.
UdeM’s powerful running back Bertrand Beaulieu made no mistake rushing the ball into the endzone from the one yard-line, to give his team a 17-9 lead after a successful extra point by their kicker. Beaulieu finished the game with an impressive 156 yards and two touchdowns.
A touchback led to another point for Montréal putting them up by two possessions, 18-9. The Stingers were having difficulties fielding punts and kickoffs. This has been an ongoing issue this season which was magnified under the weather conditions of Saturday.
Just when it looked as though UdeM would run away with this one, a pass that went through a receiver’s hands bounced right into the lap of Stingers’ defensive back Khadeem Pierre, who picked up his first interception of the season. “I was waiting for it for a long time,” said the fifth-year Pierre. He nearly had another interception later on in the game but the ball slipped away from him.
The Stingers had a great opportunity to inch closer, with a couple of great runs from Olivier Roy, and some tough catches by Alessandrini brought them all the way to the Montréal 6-yard line. A few plays later, a dropped snap led to a turnover on downs.
Concordia wasn't the only team playing in these weather conditions though. The Carabins fumbled the ball on their first play after the turnover. A recovery by the maroon and gold on the 1-yard line led to a rushing touchdown for backup quarterback Adrien Guay. A successful extra point by Andrew Stevens brought the Stingers to within two points. 18-16 Carabins.
A flurry at the end of the first half on both sides led to Concordia giving up a safety, stretching the Montréal lead to four points at halftime.
Some defensive stands held the score where it was until the 9:48 minute mark of the third stanza. Beaulieu rushed for his second touchdown of the day and the extra point was good, giving Montréal the 27-16 lead.
A field goal for Concordia made it 27-19 with 13:30 minutes left in the game.
UdeM got an important touchback with just under 10 minutes to play extending their lead to nine points. This made it a two possession game. A late field goal by the Carabins essentially iced the contest and gave them a 12-point lead with 4:25 minutes to go.
Concordia was defeated by first-place Montréal but head coach Brad Collinson was able to take some positives from the loss. “I think our defense did well today on first glance,” said Stingers head coach Brad Collinson. “We can [compete] with this team, we just have to play a clean 60 minutes.”
The Concordia Stingers football team will look to clinch a playoff spot on Oct. 23 against McGill at Concordia Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.