The Concordia Stingers football team falls to 0-3 on the season after losing 41-3 to the Laval Rouge et Or in the 33rd annual Shrine Bowl.
“We shot ourselves in the foot there,” said head coach Brad Collinson after the game. “We missed assignments, we threw a pick…it’s unfortunate but we gotta regroup and we’re going to get better.”
The defending U Sports champs were quick to put points on the board against the Stingers. On the first drive of the game, Laval running back Vincent Breton-Robert ran 42 yards for a touchdown. Five minutes later, they added a field goal. Another five minutes later a bad snap resulted in a safety against the Stingers. They added a 27-yard touchdown pass in the first minute of the second quarter.
It wasn’t until midway through the second quarter that Concordia managed to get some points of their own to make the score 19-3. That would be as close as the Stingers would get, only adding another Andrew Stevens field goal in the fourth quarter.
At that point, the game was mostly out of reach for the Stingers. Then the rain started coming down at the start of the third quarter.
A field goal, a touchdown and a mix of safeties and the Canadian football classic rouge, and Laval took the win with a comfortable 35 point spread.
Despite the blowout, the Stingers did show some positives. They limited Laval to 13 points in the second half. Even as Laval extended the lead, the Stingers defence continued to tackle hard and pressure Rouge et Or quarterback Samuel Chenard. Rookie receiver Tristan Mancini got his first U Sports catch on a massive 27-yard grab
“Felt great to get the first one of the way,” Mancini wrote in an interview post-game. “Hopefully I can get some more and help the team win!”
Stingers QB Adam Vance was hit hard a number of times, but still managed to go 15-28-1 for 206 yards.
“We had a better second half,” said receiver James Tyrrell who caught five passes for 97 yards. “The game showed our character, that we’re never going to stop fighting and that’s a good trait to have as a team.”
The rain only got stronger as the passing game ironically dried up. Both teams handed the ball off at almost every opportunity. Laval’s running backs had a ton of success on the ground. Vincent Breton-Robert led way with 134 yards on 14 carries, with his teammate Joanik Masses adding another 114 yards on 18 carries. On the Stingers, the run game was less successful. Glody Musangu was only able to pick up 34 yards on seven attempts.
“We want to get to fundamentals,” noted Collinson. We’re a bit banged up right now, we’re going to go into our bye week and we’re going to be okay.”
Vance looked frustrated at times, and it wasn’t difficult to see why. A late hit in the second quarter forced backup Olivier Roy into the game. Roy was then pressured heavily on his first play, threw a weak pass that was tipped and then picked off.
As the rain finally started to let up as the game ended, the two teams shook hands and lined up for the Shrine Bowl trophy ceremony. Tyrrell and linebacker Wael Nasri were named the team’s game MVPs.
The Stingers have a bye week coming up, but are back in action on Sept. 21 at home against the Sherbrooke Vert et Or.
Can I just say that on a deeply personal level, I hate the rain? Cool.
Feature photo taken by Laurence B-D