The Donovan era is off to a perfect start following the first win of the season
The Concordia Stingers football team played their home opener on Saturday, Sept. 6, against the Bishop Gaiters and came away with a 25-15 victory.
The Stingers fans and players were hoping to forget about last year’s 0-8 season and a win was just the way to do it. Under new head coach Mickey Donovan the team came out ready to play with a new attitude and noticeable energy.
The game started perfectly as Stingers linebacker Travis Bent recovered a fumble by Bishop’s running back Ron Lee King-Fileen on the Gaiters’ first drive. Stingers kicker, Keegan Treloar kicked a 24-yard field goal to cap off the drive and give the Stingers the early 3-0 led. By the end of the first, the scored would be 6-3 Concordia.
Halfway through the second quarter, Bishop scored the first touchdown of the game on a one-yard run by King-Fileen after a seven-play drive of 75 yards. By halftime, the Stingers would head into the locker room trailing 13-6.
The best player on the field was Concordia’s rookie running back, Gunner Tatum. By the end of the first half, Tatum had already racked up 144 rushing yards on 20 carries. Unfortunately for Bishop’s defense, he was just getting started.
The Stingers came out flying in the second half on defense as they stopped the Gaiters three times on third down plays. They also picked-off Bishop’s quarterback Shane McDonald three times in the second half.
With less than five minutes left in the third quarter, the Stingers regained the lead with a touchdown run by Tatum, putting Concordia up 16-13. Although Canadian football is typically a passing game, Concordia relied on Tatum who finished the day with 192 yards on the ground.
Midway through the final quarter, Concordia ended Bishop’s hopes of a comeback. Stingers quarterback Francois Dessureault connected with wide receiver Jamal Henry. Dessureault had a quietly productive day as he went 9/15 through the air and ended the day with 114 yards and one touchdown. Henry was Dessureault’s go-to receiver as he led the Stingers with five catches. Along with his touchdown reception, Henry had 82 yards in the game.
Whenever a team wins, everyone is happy. However, under Donovan, Dessureault noticed differences right away between this team and previous squads.
“In the past, people would do their own thing. This year, everyone [is] supporting each other. [It’s] just a global family-effort, which is awesome.”
Although he is new to the team, Tatum also commented on the team’s chemistry.
“The team feels like a family and [the] coaching staff loves their players, just like they love their own children”.
The Stingers will travel to McGill this Friday, Sept. 12, to play the Redmen in the annual Shaughnessy Cup at 7 p.m.