Quarterback Trenton Miller sets school record with six touchdown passes in 68-16 win
There’s a good chance the McGill Redmen football team will be having nightmares about their recent game against the Concordia Stingers.
In their first meeting of the season on Sept. 16, the Concordia Stingers, wearing their classic maroon and gold uniforms, beat the McGill Redmen, in their vintage white and red jerseys, by a score of 68-16. Concordia scored 30 points in the first quarter.
On the opening drive, Trenton Miller, the fifth-year quarterback, found receiver Jarryd Taylor downfield for a 56-yard pass that put the Stingers at McGill’s one-yard line. On the next play, running back Jean-Guy Rimpel gave the Stingers the lead, scoring his first of two touchdowns in the game. Rimpel also finished the game with 78 yards rushing.
The early offensive burst brought fans to their feet, and the rest of the game kept giving them reasons to cheer.
It was a lead that would go unchallenged by McGill, as the Stingers continued to make play after play, both on offence and defence. The defensive line, led by six-foot-five Wade Leeroy Cyr, swarmed McGill quarterback Frédéric Paquette-Perreault. The Stingers defence disrupted plays all game, with two sacks and two interceptions. Meanwhile, the McGill offence only generated 377 total yards on 63 plays, versus Concordia’s 589 yards on 64 plays.
The Stingers played in front of 4,813 fans at Concordia Stadium as part of their homecoming event. It was the perfect day for the homecoming game, with the unmistakable energy of one of the oldest university rivalries in the country.
“This rivalry has been going on for so long. It’s always a battle,” said Stingers defensive end Lukas Redguard. He added that the atmosphere of the game had an impact on how the game was played. “It’s great. We need this every game. It was awesome, the turnout was awesome, the fans are great. They got loud when we needed them to get loud. It was a good day.”
Last season, the Redmen beat the Stingers 21-8 when they played at Concordia. Stingers head coach Mickey Donovan said that loss stayed with him all year.
“This week, I properly prepared these guys the hardest I’ve done all year,” Donovan said. “We rode them this week. This win shows me that we have a group that is willing to listen, and that can perform.”
While the offence was putting up points like they had discovered a glitch in the latest Madden video game, the stands were electric. The homecoming didn’t disappoint fans and alumni.
Brent Bodkin, the Stingers announcer and a former player, talked about the heated rivalry between the cross-town universities.
“This is the biggest rivalry in university football in Canada,” Bodkin said. “It doesn’t matter what the records are, what the rosters are—when it’s Concordia versus McGill, whether it’s here or at Percival Molson Stadium [McGill’s home stadium], the intensity always gets picked up.”
Concordia University also honoured the 1967 Loyola College Warriors and Sir George Williams Georgians football teams as part of the homecoming game. The former members of the Concordia athletic family proudly walked onto the field after the game and saluted the current roster.
Former Concordia football player and business graduate, Bob Jones, commented on how the game has changed since his time as a player, and talked about the team’s performance.
“The quality of football now is a lot better than when we played,” Jones said. “The team is a lot better than our group of guys.”
Jones added: “It was a super game. They brought us in for a reunion, and they put on a performance that we’re very appreciative of.”
The lopsided score left McGill fans obviously disappointed, but they continued to cheer their team on.
“I think it’s pretty cool,” said McGill fan Sylvain Dethier. “Both sides are cheering for their team, and I think that’s fair.”
Miller made Stingers history at Saturday’s game, breaking the school’s previous record for most passing touchdowns in a game. The record was previously set by Sean Hoas in 1998. With six passing touchdowns, Miller was just one touchdown pass short of matching the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec’s (RSEQ) record of seven passing touchdowns in a single game.
“It’s sweet. But while my name might be in the record book, unfortunately, the names of our offensive line won’t be in there,” Miller said. “They were giving me all day to throw, and our receivers were making plays.”
The Stingers offence was efficient against a McGill defence that seemed confused at times and completely unable to defend against passing plays. Miller found receivers down the field almost unopposed, with McGill’s defensive backs and defensive line unable to put enough pressure on the quarterback. He threw for 472 yards and passed his six touchdown passes to four different receivers. Taylor, Vince Alessandrini and Kyle Greenbaum each caught a touchdown pass, while Sam Nadon had three touchdowns.
However, it seems Miller and the Stingers are already looking forward to the next matchup against the McGill Redmen on Oct. 14 at Percival Molson Stadium.
“Anytime we can beat our rival McGill, it’s one of those games you’re circling [on] your calendar,” Miller said. “Hats off to them, they played well. I know they’ll come back strong next game so we can’t take anything for granted.”
The Concordia Stingers next game is away on Sept. 24 against the Laval Rouge et Or.
Main photo by Alex Hutchins