The Concordia Stingers and McGill Redmen football teams faced-off at Percival Molson Stadium for the 45th annual Shaughnessy Cup last Friday night. Looking to get their first win of the season, the Stingers lost 32-19 and fell to 0-2 for the year.
The game started out as a defensive battle as the first touchdown was not scored until the second half. McGill got on the board first with a 29-yard field goal by kicker Samy Rassy. Rookie Stingers punter Clark Green put up Concordia’s first point of the night with an impressive 57-yard punt for a touchback. Then, late in the first quarter, kicker Keegan Treloar showed off his leg strength with a 42-yard field goal to give Concordia a 4-3 lead.
In the second quarter, after the Stingers conceded a safety, the Redmen took a 5-4 lead. The Stingers offense finally found some traction late in the second quarter when they had their best drive of the half. Starting on their own 47-yard line, Concordia put together a six-play drive that ended with a 17-yard field goal by Treloar. Quarterback Reid Quest had three completions on three attempts that accumulated for 33 yards. The biggest play of the drive was an 18-yard completion to Stingers’ slotback Jamal Henry. The Stingers went into the locker room at the end of the half leading 7-5.
In the second half, the Redmen gave the home crowd something to cheer about as their offense came alive and defense stood strong. McGill scored 17 unanswered points in the third quarter and gave the Redmen a 22-7 lead. After a 32-yard field goal by Rassy, the first touchdown of the night was scored off a 21-yard rush by McGill running back Luis Guimont-Mota.The Redmen scored their second touchdown of the quarter when quarterback Jonathan Collin found Joel Brtka for a 15-yard touchdown completion.
The Stingers scored their first touchdown of the night, and the season, on a 35-yard pass from Quest to Kris Bastien. After a failed two-point conversion, the Stingers trailed 22-13 but had life for the first time in the second half. Concordia’s momentum quickly ended as Rassy kicked his third field goal of the game for the Redmen, restoring McGill’s double-digit lead. Shortly after, Guimont-Mota found the endzone for his second touchdown of the game with a 28-yard run.
Stingers’ Bastien got his second touchdown reception late in the fourth quarter off a pass from backup quarterback François Dessureault to make the score 32-19. Including his two touchdown catches, Bastien reeled in six receptions and had 90 yards receiving on the night. Despite Bastien’s touchdown, it was too little too late.
McGill’s offense came to play in the second half while the Stingers offense was inconsistent. Concordia’s defense had a solid start, keeping the Redmen out of the endzone and gave the Stingers a chance to win. As the game went on however, the team as a whole did not execute.
“It was a tough game and our players played hard,” said Concordia’s assistant offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Bryan Chiu. “You have to give credit to McGill, but we have to get back to work as soon as possible.”
The frustration on the Stingers sideline was evident by the end of the game. In the final three minutes, the Stingers took four unnecessary roughness penalties and an objectionable conduct penalty.
The loss marked the first time since 2002 that the Stingers have fallen to the Redmen in the Shaughnessy Cup game. The annual Cup given at the beginning of every season is named after Frank Shaughnessy, who was a football coach for both the Stingers and the Redmen. He was known as a Canadian university football innovator as he was the first coach to adopt the forward pass in 1931. Shaughnessy was the first full-time Canadian university football coach when he was appointed head coach of the Redmen in 1912. Shaughnessy was later inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1963, and the McGill Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.
Concordia’s next game is this Saturday at 1 p.m. at home when they host St. Francis Xavier.