On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, the McGill Redmen and Concordia Stingers battled until the bitter end for the 27th annual Shrine Bowl. After a back-and-forth afternoon, the Redmen won 53-52 in overtime, handing the Stingers a heartbreaking loss.
The opening quarter was all about field position and special teams as neither Concordia nor McGill found their way into the endzone. McGill’s kicker Samy Rassy made two out of his four field goal attempts in the first quarter to give the Redmen a 6-3 lead. Concordia’s kicker Keegan Treloar put the Stingers on the board with an impressive 50-yard field goal. Treloar had a good game going three for three, making two more long field goals from 44 and 48 yards.
Concordia scored the first touchdown of the game when Stingers’ quarterback Francois Dessureault punched in a one-yard run. Dessureault replaced starting quarterback Reid Quest midway through the first quarter after Quest threw an interception. Dessureault would end the game with 309 passing yards and four touchdowns.
Concordia would score another touchdown in the second quarter thanks to a seven-yard run by running back Kevin Wade. Going into halftime, the Stingers defense held the Redmen without a touchdown and helped the Stingers secure a 20-12 lead. Although it seemed like a defensive battle, the game was about to be blown wide open.
After McGill surrendered a safety to start the second half, Concordia scored 12 unanswered points and led 32-12. Halfway through the third quarter, it seemed as if the Stingers were going to cruise to their first win of the season but the Redmen had other plans.
McGill scored 24 unanswered points of their own and with 10 minutes left in the game, the Redmen were up 36-32. For the rest of the game, both McGill and Concordia’s offenses exchanged blows. With just over two minutes left in the fourth quarter, Dessureault marched the Concordia offense down the field. The late drive was capped off by a third down completion to wide receiver Shayne Stinson for an eight-yard touchdown. With 1:14 left in the game, Concordia was up 46-43. However, McGill stormed back with an 11-play, 60-yard drive and Rassy hit a game-tying field goal with no time left on the clock.
In overtime, McGill received the ball first on Concordia’s 35-yard line. They marched the ball into the Stingers end zone and ended their drive with a one-yard rushing touchdown by Luis Guimont-Mota. Needing a touchdown and an extra point to tie, Dessureault once again drove the Stingers offense into the end zone.
That’s when tragedy struck. On the extra-point attempt, the snap was fumbled and Concordia could not get the kick off. The game ended 53-52.
“Both teams played hard obviously and it’s always a great rivalry, I’d rather see the game won on a big play than have it end that way,” said Stingers’ head coach Gerry McGrath, “That was unfortunate but that’s why we play the game.”
After the game, awards were handed out to players from each team. Concordia’s MVP was defensive tackle Quinn Smith and Mikael Charland won the outstanding defensive player award, Dessureault won the outstanding offensive player award.