Carabins 43, Stingers 12: Concordia loses in season home-opener

A big second half allows Montreal to pull away with the win

Nicholas Roy being double-teamed by two Carabins offensive linemen in the Friday night matchup at the Stinger Dome in Montreal. Photo Dorothy Mombrun

The Université de Montréal (UdeM) Carabins dominated in the second half of their Friday, Sept. 1 matchup against the Concordia Stingers, sealing a win for the visiting team at the Stinger Dome.

Both offences demonstrated their might in the first quarter. Duelling quarterbacks Jonathan Sénécal and Olivier Roy lasered in completion after completion, while their running backs assisted in marching downfield. Despite their efforts, neither team found the end zone, settling for field goal attempts. Montreal made one out of two kicks, while Concordia missed their sole boot and would settle for the rouge. The quarter ended with Montreal leading 4-1.

The aforementioned offensive prowess that Concordia displayed was thanks to an exceptional opening quarter by Concordia Stingers’ receiver Ezechiel Tieide, who amassed three receptions for 42 yards in the 15-minute frame. Tieide was a focal point heading into the game given that two of Concordia’s starting receivers–Jaylen Greaves and Jacob Salvail–did not suit up for the maroon and gold. 

“It’s a work in progress for all the receivers basically,” said Roy. “It’s a much different group from last year and it’s a ‘next man up’ mentality. Some guys are going to have to make plays.”

The two teams finally punched home touchdowns in the second quarter. UdeM short-yardage quarterback Rakim Canal-Charles attained the first with a one-yard sneak, and Stingers’ running back Dwanté Morgan followed suit by high-stepping in for the score. Montreal kicker Philippe Boyer tacked on two field goals to extend his team’s lead, but Concordia mounted a phenomenal last-minute drive to score a field goal of their own. The Carabins led heading into halftime by a score of 17-11.

The close-game storyline utterly disappeared in the second half. Concordia’s offence stalled when receivers dropped passes and the run game faltered. 

“Second half, things went downhill,” explained Roy. “Missed assignments, stupid penalties, missing open guys; a lot to clean up for next weekend.”

The Carabins scored twice. By the end of the third quarter, Montreal held a 31-12 stranglehold over their opponents.

The Stingers’ luck did not turn for the better in the final frame. Roy, who looked sharp all game up to this point, threw consecutive interceptions to Montreal’s Édouard Doyon and Kaylyn St-Cyr. UdeM capitalized off of the turnovers, scoring yet another touchdown, as Sénécal and his offence tallied 376 yards passing on the day.   

Sénécal shared post-game that the lack of film on Concordia meant settling into the game and adapting as a result. The stud quarterback acknowledged the level of maturity and chemistry the UdeM offence has, given the multiple years he has worked with his receivers. Sénécal currently leads all of U Sports this season with seven touchdown passes and an average of 386.5 yards passing per game.

Concordia could do nothing but watch as the clock ticked down, trapped twice near their own goal line in the final minutes of the game. UdeM forced two safeties as they romped their opponents by a final score of 43-12.

“We didn’t make enough plays tonight, in my opinion,” said Roy, reflecting on the turbulent second half. He continued by saying that timing between quarterbacks and receivers will improve as the season progresses. 

The Stingers look to bounce back when they face off against the Université de Sherbrooke Vert et Or during their first away game on Friday, Sept. 8. The kick-off is set for 7 p.m.