The Concordia Stingers drop their second game in a row, losing to McGill in the 51st Shaughnessy Cup by a score of 40-14.
McGill was led to victory off the backs of receiver Pearce Dumay, who made six catches for 116 yards and two touchdowns, and running-back Donavan Martel who gained 135 yards and a touchdown on 14 attempts.
Adam Vance and the rest of the Stingers offence had a tough start to the game, throwing two interceptions and fumbling the ball in the first half.
“We came here with the wrong mindset,” said Vance, the Stingers’ quarterback. “We were really happy with the way we played last week [against Les Carabins] and thought McGill would just roll over.”
Starting left-tackle Damien Constantin went down in the first quarter with an injury that saw him sidelined for the rest of the game. Constantin is a big part of the Stingers offensive line and his injury was certainly felt by Vance, who was sacked five times in the game.
Here are three things we learned from the loss against McGill:
- If the Concordia Stingers want to have any type of offensive success, it starts with the offensive line giving Vance time to get the ball down field. The Stingers offence had a lot of trouble getting any sort of production on the run, or through the air, in the first half against a McGill side that came out ready and determined. If one were to just look at the box score of the game, you’d think the blame would lie on Vance, who turned over the ball four times; twice by interception and twice by fumble. However, a lot of that blame falls on the offensive line. Vance spent the majority of the game under pressure, forcing him to take a handful of sacks, which forced some poor decisions from the fifth-year quarterback. A reason why this happened was Constantin going down early in the first quarter. The offence started to see more production in the second half, when Vance had more time in the pocket to go through his reads and allow his receivers to get down field.
- On the other side of the ball, the defensive line has to be able to get more pressure on opposing quarterbacks. McGill’s gunslinger, Dimitrios Sinidinos, had loads of time to go through all his reads and find someone to complete passes to. McGill’s offensive line also had a very easy time creating large gaps for their running back, Donavan Martel, to tear apart the Stingers from the ground. Run stopping was a big issue of the Stingers’ last season and unless something changes, their defense will be spending a lot of time on the field again.
- One major bright spot for the Stingers in the game was rookie running back and kick returner, Kevin Foster. Foster hasn’t had many touches with the offence so far this season, but has made the most of his opportunities. In the third quarter, Foster had a 74-yard kick return touchdown, where he made a couple of McGill defenders miss before breaking up the sideline for the beautiful return. Foster has a lot of speed and skill, and will surely become a big part of the Stingers’ offence in the future. Right now, however, he still needs to adjust to the physicality of U Sports football.
Feature photo by Laurence BD