The Stingers were finally able to close out a game at home, defeating the McGill Redmen 21-11 to move up to 3-3. By doing so, the Stingers kept their playoff hopes alive and dashed McGill’s hopes. Concordia scored 13 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to defeat their rivals for the 12th straight time.
With Robert Mackay still out with a concussion and showing no signs of returning soon, Terrance Morsink once again started for the Stingers. In his fifth straight start, Morsink went 14-of-31 for 104 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Morsink also rushed for a touchdown late in the first half.
Morsink had a slow start to the game, as a few key drops by his receivers wiped out potential big plays. But the Stingers stayed in the game and Morsink eventually made some big plays using both his arm and his legs.
“Every game I feel like I’m getting more comfortable with the offence and we’re starting to gel,” said Morsink.
Trailing 11-8 early in the fourth quarter, the Concordia defence forced a big turnover as McGill fumbled inside their own 30-yard line. Morsink took over with a short field and found Michael Harrington with a go-ahead 13-yard touchdown. Harrington was able to find open space behind McGill’s linebackers for his first touchdown of the season. It proved to be the winning points of the game for the big rivalry win, but for Harrington, it was just another game.
“We go into every game with the same approach,” said Harrington. “We just have to believe in ourselves, execute and avoid mistakes,it’s the same philosophy for any opponent.”
Concordia missed some opportunities early in the game. With McGill leading 5-0 in an uneventful first half, Concordia’s special teams came up big, forcing a fumble on a free kick following a McGill team safety. The fumble allowed Concordia to take over at the 20-yard line and Morsink accounted for all 20 yards en route to the end zone. After a big 18-yard run to bring the ball to the two, Morsink again scrambled up the middle and took a big hit at the goal line. The hit was worth it as Morsink gave the Stingers their first lead with just over a minute left in the first half.
The Stingers again started the second half slow, but their big fourth quarter got them the win for their home crowd. The true heroes of the game were the Stingers’ defence. They forced six turnovers, including three interceptions and three fumbles lost by the McGill offence. That kept the Stingers in the game and gave their offence time to find a rhythm.
Concordia’s special teams made some timely plays as well, recovering a fumble that led to Concordia’s first touchdown. Leading by three in the fourth quarter, it was the return team that gave the Stinger offence good field position with a 52-yard punt return by Kris Robertson to the McGill 22. With the short field, the Stingers put
the game away with a 7-yard run by Michael Donnelly. The Stingers shut it down from there, holding on for the remaining five minutes.
The Stingers are now 3-3 and still alive in their playoff push. “We’re a very young team and the guys are playing hard,” said coach Gerry McGrath. “You can’t buy experience but these guys are doing everything we (the coaches) are asking of them. Hopefully as every week goes along, we can keep improving.”
Concordia now leads the all-time series with McGill 35-34. The Stingers are on the road at Sherbrooke next week as they try to go over .500. Kickoff is Oct. 16 at 1 p.m.