James Tyrrell hauls down game-winning touchdown as time expires
The Concordia Stingers football team managed to pull off a massive comeback as they beat the Sherbrooke Vert et Or 22-20, thanks to a game-winning touchdown catch by wide receiver James Tyrrell.
— Matthew Coyte (@MatthewCoyte16) September 9, 2018
Heading into the second half down 9-0, the Stingers’s chances of beating the Vert et Or didn’t look good. They had been held to mostly ineffective plays, and any time momentum got moving their way, it was quickly negated by penalties and turnovers.
Stingers quarterback Adam Vance said that the team just kept shooting themselves in the foot during the first half. Head coach Brad Collinson was not impressed with how his team came out in the first half.
“I told them they had to look themselves in the mirror,” said Collinson about his halftime locker room talk with the team. “They had to make a decision coming out to that second half if they wanted to play or not.”
The Stingers came out strong in the beginning of the second half. Vance was finally able to get his rhythm going, and found chemistry with his receivers. Despite a slow first half, the air attack was deadly for the Stingers in the second half. Vance finished the game 20/34 passing for 441 yards and one touchdown. Wide receiver Jarryd Taylor had eight receptions for 258 yards.
“Our whole offence [was clicking],” Taylor said. “We have the best receiving corps in all of Canada and we showed it today. I went into the locker at half with [one] catch. I’m the type of player who wants the ball in my hands every play.”
Sherbrooke made sure to vary their coverages in order to throw off the Stingers offence, but Vance was able to adjust and connect with his receivers. “Second half, we definitely came out with some anger behind us,” Tyrell said, who finished the game with 78 yards and the game-winning touchdown catch.
Sherbrooke didn’t rack up as many yards in the game, but they made sure to take advantage of their chances. Quarterback Joé Hudon finished with 108 passing yards and a touchdown, and running back Gabriel Polan had 55 rushing yards. Sherbrooke’s play-action wreaked havoc for most of the game, and often left Stingers defenders losing sight of the ball.
The red zone was not a friendly place for the Stingers, as they were able to convert only a field goal and touchdown throughout the whole game. This frustration came to a point when the Stingers found themselves on the one-yard line in the fourth quarter, but fumbled the ball. That fumble was recovered by Vert et Or defensive back Anthony Chagnon, who took it the length of the field to score, extending their lead to 20-5 with six minutes left.
The Stingers seemed out of touch, especially after such a potentially demoralizing play. But a touchdown run, and two safeties later, the score was suddenly 20-16 with about 1:30 left in the game.
With six seconds left on the clock, Vance snapped the ball, and Sherbrooke had four defenders deep in the endzone. The quarterback was forced out of the pocket, took a couple of steps forward, and tossed a high ball to the back corner of the endzone towards Tyrrell.
“I knew from the snap that I was going to him. His vertical is crazy,” Vance said. Tyrrell leaped up with two Sherbrooke defenders, and somehow managed to bring the ball down as time expired.
Stingers win on the last play of the game! Final score 22-20. pic.twitter.com/EmaSYJwuPd
— Matthew Coyte (@MatthewCoyte16) September 8, 2018
The packed crowd exploded, as both fans and the entire Stingers team rushed onto the field to celebrate.
“I used to jump up and play ‘Jackpot’ when I was little, so it just came down to that,” Tyrrell. “This is the stuff you dream of. It’s just you and the ball, you don’t hear anything else, you just have to catch it.”
The Stingers will take on the McGill Redmen at McGill on Sept. 15 in their next game.
Main photo by Mackenzie Lad.