Concordia takes 23 penalties in loss
The Concordia Stingers football team started their game against the McGill Redmen with a 10-0 lead before even going on defence. Despite this, they still lost their fourth-straight game 31-19 at the Concordia Stadium Saturday afternoon.
“We stopped playing,” said head coach Brad Collinson. “We got complacent when we had the lead.”
After Andrew Stevens scored a field goal on the Stingers’s opening drive, Redmen returner Pearce Dumay fumbled on the ensuing kick-off. The Stingers capitalized with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Yanic Lessard to grab a 10-0 lead before having to play defence.
The Stingers played strong for the rest of the first quarter, and took a 17-2 lead when linebacker Samuel Brodrique returned a fumble 70 yards for a touchdown. Their lead grew to 17 points in the second quarter before McGill scored two field goals and a touchdown to go into halftime down 19-15. That’s when the Redmen started gaining momentum in the game.
“[McGill] started playing and we were sitting back on our laurels,” Collinson said. “We were happy that we were up and we just didn’t continue playing. That’s what it comes down to, it’s not rocket science.”
The Stingers didn’t score at all during the second half. The Redmen won the game with the strong running plays, as running back Donavan Martel led the game with 112 yards on 15 rushes. Quarterback Dimitrios Sinodinos also rushed for a touchdown in the third quarter, which gave the Redmen their first lead of the game.
#Stingers forced a fumble with Redmen in the red zone, Khadeem Pierre returned it for a touchdown. But two flags on the play
— Nicholas Di Giovanni (@n_digiovanni) October 20, 2018
Penalties were another big factor in the loss. The Stingers had 23 penalties for a total of 215 yards—almost two lengths of the field. The Redmen had 11 penalties for 105 yards, which upset the home fans. Collinson said the undisciplined play wasn’t the deciding factor in the game, but offensive lineman Maurice Simba said it was demoralizing.
“We had three or four bad drives [with penalties] and obviously we got down,” Simba said. “But we just had to tell ourselves to keep playing.”
Despite the rivalry between McGill and Concordia, players on both teams were reminded that football is just a game. In the third quarter, Sinodinos threw a pass for wide receiver Jeremy Sauvageau in the end zone, who had to dive to try to make the grab. He couldn’t catch it, and as the players were going back to the line of scrimmage, he remained down, motionless. McGill’s trainers ran to attend to him right away, and he eventually walked off the field.
“Those are unfortunate moments that you don’t want to see on the playing field,” Collinson said. “But it is the reality of the sport.”
“No matter the colours he’s wearing, it hurts us to see it,” Simba added. “I can’t imagine what they went through seeing their teammate like that. I hope he’s okay.”
With the loss, the Stingers now have a 2-5 record, tied with the Redmen. They sit in the fourth and last playoff spot, ahead of the 1-5 Université de Sherbrooke Vert et Or, who they beat in September. The Stingers travel to Sherbrooke on Oct. 27 in the last game of the regular season.
“We’re still in it and we still have a chance to make the playoffs,” Collinson said. “It’s up to [the players] on whether they want to pack it in or come out ready for another hard-fought battle in Sherbrooke next week.”
Main photo by Hannah Ewen.