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Mid-season report signals failing grade for stingers

by Archives September 29, 2009

With their playoff hopes slowly trickling through their fingers, Concordia’s football players have to be wondering why a team that finished 5-3 last year finds itself at the bottom of the Quebec standings with four games left to play in the season.
There are so many answers to that question, but I suppose the first would have to be injuries. The Stingers are currently functioning without the likes of running back Michael Donnelly, linebacker Bryan Charleau and slotback Eric Throop, just to name a few. Injuries have been especially felt on the Stingers defense, so much so that Devon Mitchell Jr., whose usual position is fullback, was forced to start as a defensive end against St. Francois Xavier.
With so many players out of position week after week, Concordia’s defense has struggled. Coverage has been mediocre and the oppositions’ quarterbacks are having little to no trouble finding open men on their offensive lines. That isn’t to say that there aren’t any bright spots on the defensive line. Cory Greenwood, who was recently named a top prospect for the 2010 CFL draft, leads his team with 31 solo tackles. Greenwood is once again having a stellar year after being named to the Quebec University all-star team last October. His performance this season still hasn’t prevented the Stingers from giving up 135 points this year.
Concordia’s offensive line hasn’t fared much better. By this time last year, the Stingers had scored a total 101 points. Although not great, it still bests the 49 points they have put on the board so far this season. If Concordia hopes to win its last four games, players like Cory Watson, Liam Mahoney and Corey Greenaway have to step up their game. Only five players have scored touchdowns this year, one of them being quarterback Rob Mackay, and in order to keep their playoff hopes alive, the entire offensive line has to pitch in. The good news is that Mackay, who showed rust in the opening game of the season, is making the big plays his team needs. The problem is, some of the risks he’s taken have cost his team the ball. Mackay will also have to work on the force of his passes, which have often gone too long and out of reach for his players.
If one thing has sunk Concordia into a 0-4 record, it is orange flags flying left and right. Selfish and game-changing penalties have cost the team a total of 393 yards and more often than not, the Stingers have been forced to move back in do-or-die situations. If the team continues to take useless holding and false start penalties, it can kiss its dream of avenging a Dunsmore Cup final loss goodbye.

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