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Stingers Smash Sherbrooke

By Archives November 4, 2008

The Concordia Stingers dominated their QUFL semi final game against the Sherbrooke Vert et Or from start to finish on Saturday, opening up a 41-4 lead after three quarters, before Sherbrooke cut the score to 41-20.
The win means Concordia extended their winning streak to six against Sherbrooke at home, outscoring them by more than 120 points combined in those six games. They will now move on to the Dunsmore Cup to play the No. 1 Laval Rouge et Or for the third straight year and fifth time in eight years in the Quebec final.
Last week, the Stingers used over 300 yards rushing to defeat the Vert et Or in a driving rain. Under clear skies this week, the Stingers used a balanced offensive attack and Sherbrooke could not stop Concordia consistently enough.
“I thought the game was the same as last week,” said Stingers head coach Gerry McGrath. “Our defence and special teams gave us good field position, so it was the same style of game, we just went for touchdowns more because of the weather.”
Quarterback Liam Mahoney had one of his best passing days of the season. One week after completing only one of nine passes, he completed 17 of 24 for 254 yards and three touchdown passes, including one to Cory Watson for 49 yards to open the scoring.
“We knew they were going to stack the box, because we are one of the best running teams in the country,” Mahoney said. “So we knew we’d have some things open in the secondary and it showed,” he said.
Concordia’s defence also dominated Sherbrooke keeping them at four points for most of the game until a 16 point fourth quarter fueled the Vert et Or’s final score. Most of Concordia’s starters were already sitting by that point, however.
Late in the second quarter, Sherbrooke quarterback Jean-Philippe Shoiry threw a ball up for grabs that was surrounded by several Stinger defensive backs. Nicholas Arsenault-Hum ended up with the interception that led to Concordia’s third touchdown with 33.2 seconds left in the half. It was the last pass Shoiry would throw before being replaced by backup quarterback Charles St. Martin.
“Our defence really, really played well,” McGrath said. “They’re a pretty good offence and our defence really took it to them”
Shoiry, and the Sherbrooke offence, have struggled for the last three weeks – when their season has mattered most. In two full games and three quarters on Saturday, they managed to put up a combined 10 points (a 41-3 loss against Laval two weeks ago, a 17-3 loss against Concordia last week, and four points in three quarters Saturday). Shoiry left the game going 6-for-15 for 38 yards and the interception.
St. Martin led his team into Concordia territory for a field goal on his first drive, but struggled to get anything else going until the Stingers replaced their starters on defence.
“They needed a spark, I think it was a good move for them,” said Stingers defensive halfback Bryan Charleau. “It’s always hard to adjust to a left-handed quarterback, but we did it and showed we could stop it.”
To begin the second half with the score 24-4, Concordia put any doubt left in the game away when Arsenault-Hum ran his second interception back 58 yards for the touchdown.
“It was man-to-man coverage,” Arsenault-Hum said about the touchdown. “The quarterback didn’t look at me because they were crossing the receiver and I jumped in front and ran it in for a touchdown. It was something we practiced all week and it came through in the game,” he said.
The Stingers led 7-0 after the first quarter on the Watson touchdown. A Sherbrooke single cut the lead to 7-1 before Concordia scored 17 straight points on a one-yard touchdown run by Colin Bennett, a two-yard touchdown pass from Mahoney to Tony Testa and an 11-yard Rene Parades field goal. A 44-yard William Dion field goal brought the score to 24-4 at half time.
After Arsenault-Hum’s touchdown, Mahoney found Blake Butler in the end zone for his third touchdown pass, and Parades hit a 23-yard field goal to finish up the scoring for Concordia.
St. Martin had two touchdown passes and Dion added his second field goal of the game in the fourth quarter for Sherbrooke.