Only one word can sum up Game Five: defence.
Despite a rocky start in response to a tough schedule, the Concordia Stingers are now displaying the famous defence coaches had been raving about but that fans had never seen.
Refreshed and energized thanks to their bye week, it was a new Stingers’ team who trounced over the Bishop’s Gaiters 39-4 last Saturday at Coulter Field.
“I was happy with our defence today,” Stinger coach Gerry McGrath exclaimed.
“We do have young (defensive)-linemen on the interior, but I thought we played championship-level defence.”
The Maroon and Gold’s offence took longer than needed to open up the scoring, but it was well worth the wait.
After being sacked three minutes into the quarter, Stinger quarterback Jon Bond began throwing with sharp precision, connecting 20 of his 33 attempts.
A below-par Bishop’s performance resulted in an interception in their first possession of the game.
Several tries later, on a second and goal play, Bond displayed his versatility as quarterback when he rushed 11 yards for a touchdown.
A rouge scored halfway through the second quarter gave the Stingers a 8-0 lead, which was followed five minutes later by a touchdown when Bond connected with receiver Darrel Woods for a 20-yard major.
Flying high with a 15-0 lead, the Bee Boys kicked their performance into high gear and keeping Bishop’s from gaining any substantial yards.
Stinger defensive end Jason Brown proved himself by batting down two passes by Gaiter quarterback Simon Desrochers.
The Gaiters refused to go into the dressing room with no points on the scoreboard.
In the half’s last play, the Bishop’s boys were in field goal range and kicker Matt Gagnon blasted the ball 32 yards between the uprights, signaling the end of the first half with a 15-3 Stinger lead.
Other than another rouge attributed to the Gaiters, no points were added on the scoreboard throughout the third quarter.
Concordia’s defence played a superb game, restricting Bishop’s rushing and passing yards to 76 and 158 respectively.
“We came out and played as a team today,” linebacker Patrick Donovan stated.
“It’s very simple: when we do that, we dominate,” he said.
The Stingers’ efforts were greatly helped by linebacker Mickey Donovan, who executed nine tackles and two quarterback sacks.
Without a doubt, the Stingers made up for their lack of touchdowns in the third quarter to go on and dominate the fourth quarter.
Following an interception by halfback Dave Aiken, who returned the ball for 18 yards, the Stingers pushed onwards on this one possession for a touchdown when Bond threw a 23-yard pass to slotback Ben Ouimet only 1:28 into the quarter.
Aiken was in the spotlight again when he recovered a fumble that led to another Concordia major.
“The week break helped us and focus on fundamental football, which is blocking and tackling,” Aiken explained.
“Today was a definite improvement [over the past four games],” he said.
Inside the Bishop’s red zone, Bond displayed his speed when he faked the ball to two receivers before running 12 yards into the end zone, offering the Stingers a solid 29-4 lead.
With five minutes remaining in the game, Concordia sent in second-string quarterback Jonathan Williams to take some snaps, and he did not disappoint.
Following a 27-yard field goal by Simon Rodgers, Williams left his mark as a strong pivot by cleverly handing off the ball to Ouimet for a 30-yard touchdown in the game’s dwindling seconds, efficiently ending the game with a 39-4 win for the Stingers.
“He [Williams] was pretty darn good,” McGrath said with a smile.
“He’s quite the opposite of Jon [Bond], who’s a drop back passer. Jonathan is a good runner, so it’s good to have variation with the passers.”