Preseason success

Football team starts out slowly,  gets job done

QB Rob Mackay (above) led his team to a preseason win over the Guelph Gryphons on Thursday. Photo Ozgur Veysel Demirtas

The Concordia Stingers’ football team overcame heavy wind and rain in its 40-23 romp over the visiting University of Guelph Gryphons during preseason action at Concordia Stadium last Thursday.

“We got off to a bit of a slow start [and] the weather didn’t help,” said Stingers quarterback Rob Mackay.

The Gryphons got on the board first when receiver Dave Honig found his way into the end zone to score early in the opening quarter.

Guelph then added a field goal in the second to take a 10-0 lead.

In that same quarter, Stingers running back Michael Donnelly broke away from the pack en route to a 48-yard touchdown.

Slotback Liam Mahoney then picked up a 62-yard pass from Mackay for the team’s second touchdown moments later.

Before the half was over, the Stingers added another touchdown and went into the break with a commanding 24-10 lead.

 Once the third quarter came around, the Gryphons decided to make some noise as wide receiver Keith Walker responded with a touchdown. Giuliano Tropea and Brett MacDonald added one field goal apiece.

The Stingers quashed any hopes for a Guelph comeback as they added three field goals and a touchdown in the fourth.

 While the Gryphons didn’t get the win they were looking for, head coach Stu Lang saw this as a learning experience.

“The Quebec league is known for having excellent talent and excellent teams. [This] was a good opportunity to test ourselves against some good players and it’s nice to play out of conference,” Lang said. “So we’re experimenting with a team we don’t have to play with later in our league.”

As for the Stingers, head coach Gerry McGrath was pleased with his team’s overall performance.

“I thought our starters performed quite well. They got the rust off after the first few series and played quite well. I thought [Mackay] was masterful in the second quarter,” said McGrath.

Mackay passed for 192 yards. He sees this victory as a sign of things to come.

“It shows where we are right now,” he said. “It was a good test for us to let us know where our game is at the moment. Especially for our defence; they played really well today.”

 While the team was all smiles with the victory, McGrath was quick to point out some of his team’s flaws.

“We’ve got to stay focused. Today we had a few silly penalties, which cost us. Ball security was an issue. We fumbled a couple of times. Those things kill you.”

The Stingers will open their season next Saturday on the road versus the Bishop’s Gaiters at 7 p.m.

This article originally appeared in Volume 31, Issue 03, published August 31, 2010.