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Stingers Sink Home Opener

by Archives September 15, 2009

In any sport, a rally is a promising thing but if the team can’t finish the job it’s meaningless. Despite showing promise throughout most of the game, the Stingers dropped their second in a row, against a Carabins team that outweighed, outperformed and eventually outlasted Concordia en route to a 41-18 victory at Loyola Stadium on Sunday.
Concordia could blame a first quarter that saw the Carabins take a 20-0 lead over a seemingly helpless home team whose fans were rarely, if ever, behind them. In fact, Carabins fans were louder and more than happy to show their white and blue colours.
The fans aren’t to blame however, and in a way, neither are the Stingers. The football team is an extremely young one and freshman have replaced the leaders.
“We’re missing maturity, but we have to get through that and concentrate on winning games. We have to understand how the game is played”, said slotback Cory Watson, who scored one of the team’s only two touchdowns.
The massive amount of injuries that have plagued the team since training camp didn’t help. Bryan Charleau and Michael Donnelly are players whose absence is being widely felt. Slotback Liam Mahoney, whose reception on punt returns was excellent during the first quarter of the game, went down early in the second quarter with a possible concussion.
Things could have been worse for Concordia, and fans could take comfort in the fact that Concordia strove for a comeback throughout most of the game.
The first Carabins touchdown came at 10:40, when wide receiver Frank Bruno completed a 94 yard full return off a Rene Paredes punt.
With 6:26 left to play in the first quarter, the Stingers defence was completely disorganized and scattered. With wide open players left and right, Carabins quarterback Marc-Olivier Brouillette had no trouble finding Rotrand Sene, who ran 39 yards and scored his team’s second touchdown of the day. Add two Carabins field goals, and the Stingers left out to dry going into the second quarter.
The second quarter saw a more determined and organized Stingers team hit the field. Although Concordia was dealt a blow with the Mahoney injury, Scott Mironowicz stepped up and did an adequate job of returning for the remainder of the game.
Cory Watson broke the ice for the Stingers by receiving a 28 yard pass from Rob Mackay, who was already beginning to look more comfortable on the field. The Stingers were set back once more however when Brouillette completed a 32 yard pass for wide receiver Youssi Pierre with only 1:28 left to play in the first half.
It looked like the Pierre touchdown seemed to spell the end for the Stingers, but they refused to give up so early. Midway through the third quarter, Eli Aramouni received an incredible 29 yard pass from Mackay, narrowing the gap between the two teams by only ten points.
But as tensions mounted on the field, Concordia simply couldn’t handle the pressure and crumbled during the final quarter of the game. Unable to gain any significant yardage, the Stingers allowed the Carabins to run away with two more field goals and a touchdown.
By the end, you could see the exhaustion and heartbreak in the players’ eyes. The Stingers clearly lost the game too early.
“I thought my team played really hard. We’ve got so many injuries and so many guys playing out of position and I’ve never seen anything like it. We’re like a walking infirmary. I was really proud of the way our guys played,” said head coach Gerry McGrath.
Although McGrath always has kind words for his bruised and battered team, he naturally had some problems with the overall performance of the Stingers.
“I was a little disappointed at our lack of composure. We took a lot of penalties when the game was on the line. There will be disciplinary actions for those things.”
The Stingers have less than a week to regroup for their next game when they square off against the Vert et Or in Sherbrooke on Saturday.

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