In the end, the Concordia fans cheered louder.
The Concordia Stingers football squad pulled an impressive 28-25 win over the Laval Rouge et Or at Concordia Stadium last Saturday afternoon before 2,900 enthusiastic spectators. A big number of these people included a large contingent of Laval fans that made the trip down from Quebec City.
Following a pair of field goals by Stingers kicker Simon Rodgers, the Maroon and Gold jumped to a 6-0 lead by the end of the first quarter.
The Rouge et Or came out on fire in the next quarter as quarterback Mathieu Bertrand threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Jean Frederic Tremblay, putting them ahead 7-6 with 13:53 to play in the opening half.
With 31 seconds until halftime, Laval’s backfield went to work, resulting in a short touchdown run by Nicolas Bisaillon.
The Stingers retreated to their locker rooms at halftime down 14-6.
As the sun came out in the second half, so did the Concordia offence, which wasted no time getting back into the game. Four minutes into the third quarter, pivot Jon Bond burned Laval’s red zone and hooked up with Richard Martin, whose 15-yard touchdown reception put the home team within a point of the lead.
Shortly after a field goal by Laval kicker Nicolas Racine that increased his team’s lead by four points, Concordia’s offensive line made Laval’s defence squirm in the red zone halfway into the third quarter.
Bond made a short pass to receiver Alexis Charpentier that resulted in a five-yard touchdown completion, putting them up by a field goal. They added another two points later in the frame following a conceded safety by Laval.
The safety resulted in Laval kicking off to Concordia, giving the Maroon and Gold a chance to add to their lead.
On first down, Bond had the ball stripped from his hands by defensive lineman Miguel Robede, who recovered the fumble for the Rouge et Or, giving them first and ten on Concordia’s 25-yard line.
U of Laval wasted no time in getting the lead back. After a 22-yard pass by Bertrand to receiver Jean-Francois Romeo that put the Stingers defence on their heels, running back Dimitri Kiernan plunged into the end zone for a three-yard rushing major, giving Laval six points.
Instead of kicking the extra point, Laval opted to go for the two-point conversion. The two-point play gave Laval a three-point lead.
Rodgers tied the game at 25 with eight minutes to play in the game on a 35-yard field goal that sailed through the uprights.
The winning points came with under a minute to play in the quarter when Rodgers easily converted on an eight-yard chip shot that put the Stingers up 28-25. It was his fourth field goal of the day.
However, the excitement persisted within the stadium. Bertrand and the Laval offence drove down the field to Concordia’s 31-yard line. Racine came out to try and tie the game with a field goal and struck the left upright, which had the Concordia faithful celebrating a victory.
Racine would get another chance though as Concordia called a time out barely before the ball was snapped. The play was null and void.
On the next attempt, Racine did not even come close, missing the kick wide and to the right. The kick was also short, as Stinger cornerback Christian Giguere caught the errant kick at the two-yard line and downed the ball safely.
Bond completed 18 of 38 passes on the day, with two touchdown passes and an interception. In total, he amassed 250 yards of offence in the air.
“This is a big win for the program,” Bond said.
An additional source of motivation for the Stingers may have come from RDS, who televised their game, so the atmosphere got a significant boost with the cameras and the sideline reporters.
Coach Gerry McGrath was also pleased with the outcome of the game. “The offensive players really were up to the challenge this week. “We had good pass protection today. There is nothing magical about today’s victory. Our kids worked harder and prepared better.”
The win puts the Stingers (4-3) within striking distance of second place in the QIFC, which is currently held by Laval (4-2).
To keep their second place aspirations alive, the Stingers must beat the St. Mary’s Huskies this weekend and Laval would have to lose to the Acadia Axemen. Should this happen, the Stingers will have a reasonable shot at finishing second in the QIFC.