Football Sports

Stingers Football lose Home Opener to Université de Montréal

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. 

Stingers Running Back Dwante Morgan (maroon) celebrates as he scores a touchdown
Credit: Reuben Polanksy-Shapiro / Concordia Athletics 

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.”  


Colour Commentary: The allure of college sports

The NCAA College Football Playoff National Championship was last Monday and it was not exactly a game that will be remembered as one of the best matchups.

As a Bengals fan it was incredibly exciting to watch Joe Burrow tear up yet another top defence in the Clemson Tigers, throwing for 463 yards and five touchdowns.

But I digress.

Forgetting about the evil organization that is the NCAA, the players themselves are so amazing to watch; the sheer emotion and passion being evoked by them.

For most of the players in the final, it was their last chance to play in a primetime sports game with millions upon millions watching them. It’s why the wins are that much sweeter and the losses are that much harder to swallow.

According to the NCAA’s statistics, only two per cent of division one football players get drafted to the NFL. That number does not include actually getting a contract or playing time. The odds of making it as a pro are very slim.

Personally, watching college sports is a reminder of the dedication that so many put into the sports they love. For many players, it is a culmination of the early morning practices, long road trips and heavy enrollment costs to play amateur sports.

Forget the NCAA—the same holds true for university sports across Canada as well. I’ll never forget when the Concordia Stingers were eliminated by the Queen’s Gaels in the 2018-19 OUA East Division playoffs. It was captain Philippe Hudon’s last game as a Stinger.

When the Gaels scored their overtime series clinching goal, Hudon’s tears immediately started to flow. I could only imagine what was going through his head at that moment.

The amount of sacrifice that goes into a student athlete playing for their school is quite astonishing. After the University of Connecticut Huskies won the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, Shabazz Napier, the team’s point guard, said in an interview with Fox Sports that he had had a lot of hungry nights.

This is why so many people love college sports. Yes, the NCAA is a disgusting organization; it cannot be said enough. The players’ stories resonate with so many and show us how much they sacrifice to play a game they love.

Watch some highlights of either college football or basketball national championship finals, and take a look at the players’ faces. That’s how much sports mean to them.

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