Stingers survive scare from Bishop’s

Football has always been considered “the game of inches”. That statement held true Friday night in front of a packed crowd at Loyola Stadium when Bishop’s kicker Josh Maveety missed a short field goal that would have tied the game late in the fourth quarter. The miss allowed No. 6 Concordia to hold on to a 20-18 victory in front of 3,500 at Loyola Stadium.
The first half started off slow as both the Stingers and Bishop’s tried to work out the kinks from the long summer layoff. Bishop’s took the lead at the 4:47 mark of the first quarter when Maveety connected on a 13-yard field goal. The Stingers responded at the end of the first half when rookie kicker Rene Paredes sent a 17-yarder through the up rights.
In the third quarter, Concordia’s rushers began putting on a clinic in front of the home crowd faithful. Concordia’s running back Cedric Ferdinand rushed for 44 yards in their opening drive of the second half and put the Stinger’s within four yards of the major. After two attempts, Stingers fullback Blair Yachetti got the touchdown and the lead.
But the Bishop’s Gaiters were not quite prepared to go quietly into the gentle night. Before the fans had a chance to sit down, the Gaiter’s kick-return specialist Steve Turner ran 108 yards for the touchdown and the tie.
Concordia answered back in the fourth quarter with a 27-yard field goal by kicker Rene Paredes. At this point, the Stingers were clinging on to a three-point lead with 14:15 remaining in the game.
The Bishop’s offence continued to discourage the Stingers defence as Gaiter’s running back Jamaal Lee capped off a 53-yard Bishop’s drive with a 1-yard touchdown and a 17-13 lead with 9:35 remaining in the game.
Concordia needed some magic to happen in their next drive and Concordia’s kick-returner Corey Greenaway might have had some pixie dust in his back pocket as he returned the ball 43-yards and put the Stinger’s offence in Gaiter territory.
Rob Mackay, who is in his third year with the Stingers but his first as starting quarterback had a rough start before settling down. Mackay went 2 for 2 for 31 yards and rushed for 11. Mackay ended the series with a four-yard-touchdown pass to Cory Watson to take the lead 20-17.
With time playing a factor, the Gaiter’s tried desperately to move the ball as close as possible in Stingers territory. Bishop’s kicker Josh Maveety had the opportunity to tie the game with a 10-yard field goal attempt, but the ball missed the upright by mere inches and sailed out of the end zone. Bishop’s were rewarded with a single point but it was too little too late.
Stinger’s head coach, Gerry McGrath, was pleased with the victory but knew that there was still a lot of work that needed to be done.
“I think we have a lot of talent, but we’re young, (Friday night) showed me the heart of a champion, we overcame adversity time after time and I would much rather win a game this way than by fifty points.”
Mackay admitted to feeling nervous during the first half of the game but after a quick pep talk with McGrath during halftime, Mackay was ready to execute.
“(McGrath) just came up to me and said ‘Let’s Go’ and I knew what he meant, I just had to go out there and play football and I relaxed and calmed down.”
The Oakville, Ontario native completed 12 of 19 passes for 144 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Mackay also rushed for 77 yards.
Stingers middle linebacker Nathan Agadzi, a fourth-year veteran with Concordia led all defenders with 9.5 tackles. He knew that the Stinger’s victory was a little too close for comfort.
“It was a big wake up call.? A big, big wake up call.? I didn’t expect it to even be this close.? Them shanking the field goal at the end, that’s a gift.? At the end of the day we probably should have lost the game.? Bishop’s played a hell of a game, they gave us some good competition and we’ve got to think about this.? We’ve got to go home, look in the mirror and realize what we have to do to get better as a team and as an individual,” he said.
The Stingers will visit the Universit


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