Concordia make costly mistakes in their season opener loss to Laval
The Concordia Stingers drop their season opener to the Laval Rouge et Or, 672 days after the two teams last met in the semifinals of the RSEQ playoffs in 2019.
Concordia started the game with possession but turned the ball over on their first play of the game. Olivier Roy, the Stingers’ quarterback, threw on first down into heavy coverage. The play-action was read beautifully by the Rouge et Or, who intercepted the pass and found themselves with great field position less than a minute into the match.
After the game, Roy admitted he was disappointed about the interception considering it was his first play as Concordia’s starting quarterback, but didn’t let it affect his focus and future approach to the game.
“We always say it’s important to have short term memory,” Roy said. “Whether it’s a good play or a bad play, as a team we just have to move on to the next.”
Laval was able to seize control early with their defence, and never took their foot off the gas. The Rouge et Or established their passing game early and often, which opened up their running options as the match progressed. The game was blown wide open in the second quarter, and went into halftime with Laval leading 17-2.
Laval’s potent offence was led by their second-year quarterback Thomas Bolduc, who finished the game with 267 yards and threw two touchdowns passes. Meanwhile, Roy threw for 216 yards with 19 completions but tallied a pair of costly interceptions. He said the loss on Saturday boiled down to a lack of execution.
“We haven’t played in about two years but we had a good training camp,” Roy said. “There are no excuses, we just need to be better and learn from this loss.”
Bolduc threw questionable balls into coverage a couple of times throughout the day, but Concordia failed to pull in some easy interceptions that could have turned the tides in their favour.
A 72-yard touchdown run by Laval’s Philippe Lessard-Vézina with less than a minute to go in the game padded the Rouge et Or’s rushing totals to 186 yards, as opposed to the Stingers’ 78 yards on the ground.
Roy said the atmosphere at the game felt normal despite the newly imposed rules and regulations.
“I know the crowd was less than usual but I honestly didn’t notice,” Roy said. “I think the fans were excited for the game so the energy was great and the crowd was loud.”
The Stingers’ next matchup will be against the Montreal Carabins at 7 p.m. on Sept. 10.
Photograph by Catherine Reynolds