Concordia’s football team led a second half charge against Bishop’s to pick up their third win of the season
Despite being down by one point at halftime, the Concordia Stingers football team put on an offensive onslaught in the second half, propelling them to a 50-34 win against the Bishop’s Gaiters in the Shrine Bowl on Oct. 1 at Concordia Stadium.
“It felt like we were so close in the first half but in that third quarter we finally broke out,” said Stingers quarterback Trenton Miller. “It’s just really nice to play at the level we know we can. I think [this performance] gives us a lot of confidence going into the last stretch of the year.”
The first quarter started out in Bishop’s favour as the team nabbed a field goal on the first drive of the game. Concordia’s defense looked shaky at times on that first possession, while Gaiters quarterback Jaeden Marwick and running back Trey Millings were in a groove.
Later in the quarter, with the score 3-2 after a Bishop’s safety, Miller led his team down the field for the team’s most impressive offensive possession in the game up to that point. Miller capped off the drive with a 40-yard touchdown pass to running back Jean-Guy Rimpel. The Stingers went for a two-point conversion, but missed, making the score 8-3 in favour of the home team.
In the second quarter, Concordia and Bishop’s both scored touchdowns. After a rushing touchdown by Rimpel, the Stingers were up 15-10. The lead did not last long, however, as Bishop’s ended the half with two field goals by kicker Vincent Dubé, making the score 16-15 in their favour.
According to Stingers head coach Mickey Donovan, the team knew going into halftime they needed to stop taking penalties, and that the only way to win was to play their own game.
“We need to stop with the dumb penalties but we still got more of them,” Donovan said. “The guys just have to believe in each other and not lose that trust. They have to come out, fly around and know that the guy next to them is going to do their job. We just have to play our game and we did that in the second half.”
Indeed, the Stingers came out flying in the second half with a touchdown on the first possession of the third quarter. On second down and eleven yards to go, Miller stepped back and threw a long ball to receiver Justin Julien who went 81 yards down the field for a touchdown, giving the Stingers a 22-16 lead.
Late in the third quarter, up 27-19 after trading field goals with Bishop’s, Miller took matters into his own hands deep in the Gaiters zone, running nine yards for a touchdown. Three minutes later, Miller threw another touchdown pass, this time to wide receiver Yanic Lessard, to make the score 41-19 in favor of Concordia.
“Just executing and doing our job is nice. It felt really good,” Miller said. “I think our receivers played excellent, and my offensive line gave me a lot of time to throw, so to get the offense finally going was really nice.”
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Stingers put the game away as Miller gave Julien his second touchdown of the game. With the Stingers up 50-19, Miller was taken out and replaced with Colin Sequeira to avoid injury. With the game out of reach, the Gaiters scored two touchdowns, making the final score 50-34. The win was the Stingers third straight Shrine Bowl victory.
Gaiters head coach Kevin Mackey was disappointed with his team’s performance in the second half.
“If we could play 60 minutes instead of 45, the score would be a lot closer,” Mackey said. “The first half was a good half but the third quarter really hurt us.”
The Stingers will not play next weekend as the league is on its bye week. The team’s next match will be away from home against the Université de Sherbrooke on Oct. 15 at 4 p.m.