To Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Tested
Stingers Get Throttled In Second Straight Loss of the Season
Concordia Stingers defensive back Michael Asare is usually a man full of energy, looking for any opportunity to pump his team and the crowd whenever he can. This past Saturday, however, he wasn’t, as he brushed off a reporter’s question.
“Look at the score, bro,” he said, pointing at a scoreboard far in the distance that flashed 36-3, in favour of the Université de Montreal Carabins, who slaughtered the Stingers on their own turf in front of a mostly pro-Carabins crowd.
“It was a bad game by the whole team,” said Asare. “They were a better team than us today.”
“Too many mental mistakes,” added head coach Mickey Donovan. “Guys were in position to make plays and they just didn’t.”
After a dream 4-0 start to the season, and despite having already clinched a playoff spot, the Stingers are currently enduring some hardships.
They suffered their first loss of the season last week against the undefeated Université de Laval Rouge et Or, and entered their game against the Carabins with numerous players shelved due to injury, including six starters on offence.
“What we’ve faced the past two weeks are the best of the best in this conference. To take that, and to play them back-to-back weeks, it’s not easy, even for those two teams,” said Donovan.
“These were definitely our toughest two games,” said slot back Kyle Santana, who made his first start of the season due to the injuries at his position.
Among the walking wounded were starting quarterback François Dessureault, slotbacks Jamal Henry and Alexandre Hebert and wide receiver Jean-Christophe Benny.
Worse still, since suffering a concussion against Sherbrooke on Sept. 19th, their starting running back, freshman Gunner Tatum, has been sent home to his native Texas to recuperate.
Stingers quarterback Colin Sequeira threw only seven completions for 68 yards as well as two interceptions on overthrown balls. He was later replaced in the second half by third-string quarterback Mario Porreca.
The injuries on offence hampered the Stingers, as they were forced to start a number of backup players, including Sequeira and Santana.
During the game, the team had to use three different running backs, as one after the other kept succumbing to injury, going with Kevin Wade and Oliver Dupont before finally giving Ty De Rayos time.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t pick up the slack, much to the distress of offensive coordinator Matt Connell, whose frustrations could be heard in the press box.
“With games like this it’s [on] us as coaches to prepare them and get them ready to play,” added Donovan. “The reason why [Connell] is getting upset is because there [are] guys in for the first time [starting], and they’re going to make mistakes.”
“As a coach you prep them all week for what they need to do, and [when] they don’t do it you’re going to show a little anger.”
The Stingers were facing an uphill battle following the opening quarter, after already being down 20 points. The Carabins scored their first points on a 75-yard punt return from Mikhail Davidson, before missing their extra point.
UdeM later added another score, courtesy of a two-yard run from Sean Thomas-Erlington, before Davidson scored again, this time on the receiving end of a 42-yard pass touchdown pass from Gabriel Cousineau.
Concordia finally registered points in the second quarter, thanks to kicker Keegan Treloar’s 46-yard field goal, but it would ultimately be the only points scored by the Stingers in the game.
The Stingers would allow one more touchdown in the game, a 46-yard touchdown pass from Carabins quarterback Gabriel Cousineau, and would only allow nine more points going forward, but the deficit was just too much for the team to come back from.
Concordia will enter their bye week on a two-game losing streak and won’t play again until October 25th, on the road against Sherbrooke.
In the meantime, the Stingers will look to recuperate and make a push for the playoffs. The Stingers know they’ll be in the postseason, for the first time since 2011, and they’re set on moving up from their third place standing.
“We’ve got to put more time in,” said Donovan. “[The players] need to stay on top of their school work but at the same time we’ve got to demand a little more out of them, especially as we’re getting closer to the playoffs.”