Spoils go to Carabins in a 43-12 victory as they look to build on last year’s winning record
The Stingers kicked off the season at home with a significant loss to Université de Montréal, although our team’s talent shone through over the game’s first hour.
The team performed better in the first half. Both offense and defense were in good shape. Their performance included an electric heat-seeking-missile sack for a nine-yard loss by last year’s walk-on linebacker Nicolas Roy. The team picked up a total of 50 tackles, led by safety Dawson Pierre who totaled six tackles and two tackle assists.
When third-year running back Dwante Morgan retaliated four minutes after an early second-quarter quarterback sneak touchdown by Rakim Canal-Charles. The Carabins scored six points after a 33-yard sideline catch at the 2-yard line by Carl Chabot, who ended the game with 78 receiving yards and a touchdown. “This year I have a more universal role, and I have to make sure that everyone’s happy and that everyone does their job,” the number 13 receiver said. “I think that if everyone does what they have to do, everyone will play well.”
Morgan hooked into the endzone from four yards out to the right pylon all while showboating with a nasty celebration in LeSean McCoy fashion. The team’s starting running back finished with 47 yards by halftime, averaging 9.4 yards per carry by the fourth quarter.
Morgan also had support from fellow running back Franck Tchembe, who ended up surpassing him in rushing yards with 64. Tchembe is speedy and certainly athletic enough to evade and break multiple tackle attempts at a time, as demonstrated in the last minute of the first half.
The running back started off the Stingers’ drive by breaking two tackles after a spin move by the 40-yard sideline following a six-yard reception, picking up a first down in the next play. The drive ended in a field goal, although it was exciting to see the home team go 68 yards in a minute. Stingers’ quarterback Olivier Roy seemed grateful for the duo’s good start to the season. “If you want to beat the great teams this year you are going to have to be balanced between passing and running,” number 12 said. “It wasn’t something we were doing in the past, so that was encouraging.”
Roy impressed the crowd with his own new found elusiveness, which had been trained over the summer. Not only did he pick up more rushing yards than his counterpart Jonathan Sénécal with 20 to the Montréal quarterback’s 17, but he seemed more mobile in the backfield and in the pocket. “We do a lot of work in the offseason to be as explosive as possible, honestly I dont think it’s one of my strengths, but once in a while I escape the pocket,” Roy said. “I think I did that a couple of times tonight. I want to keep that in my game so I can bring more to the table.”
That being said, the team was viciously outplayed. Roy was sacked twice in the first quarter due to a short lapse in O-line coordination—keep an eye out for Nicky Farinaccio this season, he had nine tackles including two for loss and one of the sacks for a 12-yard loss. The Carabins managed two picks in the fourth quarter, as fatigue started hitting the Stingers.
The Carabins’ offense was simply better. Quarterback Jonathan Sénécal managed to pick up 376 passing yards going 23-32, compared to Olivier Roy’s 225 yards going 18-34. For example, Sénécal threw a 48 yard pass which receiver Alexandre Jones Dudley caught over the shoulder on a lockdown one-on-one in the late second quarter. As for the team’s run game, well, Glodi Halafu and Lucas Dembele claimed 119 rushing yards alone.
Roy doesn’t seem phased by the season closer against the Carabins on the Stingers’ home field on Oct 28. “The place where we play the game doesn’t change too much,” the playmaker emphasized. “Obviously it’s a loud environment, but we still have a long way to go before we get there. Right now, we’re focusing on Sherbrooke, and we’ll see how it goes.”