Football: Recapping Week 5 (special focus on Guelph's collapse


Laval 36, Concordia 13:
One play in the second half showed that Benoît Groulx is no system quarterback.

It was a second down, good coverage by the Stingers, and Groulx stepped into a throw and found Matthew Leblanc, who was double-covered, along the sideline. It didn't have a tight spiral on it, but it was a hell of a throw.

D-tackle Étienne Légaré had a monster game for Laval with 3½ sacks.

Concordia had eight penalties for 80 yards, and also settled for a field goal after being set up inside the Rouge et Or 35-yard line by a Nicholas Arsenault-Hum interception. Those were killers, and they get Laval at Laval next Sunday.

Sherbrooke 37 Montréal 20: Congrats are in order for the Vert et Or, who will be ranked. They're a high-powered offence, but the D still has to catch up.

( commenter Bizz has a great breakdown of the Q after three weeks.)


McMaster 32, Guelph 31:
The Marauders, aided and abetted by some Gryphons gaffes, got off the schneid thanks to Ryan Fantham (24-of-42, 283 yards, 4 TD) tossing two touchdown passes inside of the 3-minute warning.

The Stef Ptaszek revolution was televised. McMaster (1-3), on offence, is starting to move the ball somewhat like Ptaszek's old Laurier offences did, just not with as good an offensive line. One of its staples is the long handoff -- short, timing routes designed to let the receiver run after the catch. Running back Joey Nemet set up a field goal in the first half with a 24--yard scamper off a draw-trap play, that looked a lot like the ones Nick Cameron used to run during the Golden Hawks' championship years.

Mac has a couple of run-and-shoot style receivers, 5-foot-9 Matt Giordano and 6-foot Matthew Peressini (seven catches today). It's a complete 180 from coach Greg Marshall's style of power football, where the prototype Mac receiver was a big guy like Vaughan Swart and the inside receiver spot usually went to a tight end like Konrad Gloge, who looked like an extra offensive lineman -- until he started running.

Mac's a long way from a complete team, but it has York, Toronto, Laurier and Windsor in the second half. Their force unit, with Ryan Chmielewski, Simon Binder and James Edwards, did a job, holding Guelph's Nick Fitzgibbon to 62 yards rushing (take away a 44-yard cutback run, and he was under two yards per carry).

Slamming Dunk?

It is totally Tall Poppy Syndrome to say the Gryphons' Justin Dunk was diminished in many eyes.

It's just that Dunk is phenomenal, yet his team blew a 13-point lead against a winless team on Homecoming. He's someone whom the OUA and The Score look at to put an appealing face on football, with good reason. He's also a fourth-year starter who contributed significantly to Mac's comeback by tossing a very bad interception -- throwing back into the middle of the field when he was close to going out of bounds.

The Score (Tim Micallef, Mike Morreale and D.J. Bennett had a very good broadcast) also showed a particularly damning replay of the play that preceded the 45-yard field-goal try that Rob Maver missed with less than 20 seconds to go.

Fitzgibbon was out in the flat, wide open, and Dunk somehow did not see him. Instead, he tried to run and only got a couple yards, forcing Guelph to try a field goal that was very tough to make on a grass field.

It wasn't the QB's fault that Guelph strugged for 2½ quarters. A fumbled punt by Sean Riley inside the Gryphons 10-yard line also set up Mac for its second touchdown.

Dunk wasn't on the field when Guelph, which has a young secondary, did not have a defender within a postal code of Mac's Andrew Ross on the game-winning 52-yard touchdown pass with 58 seconds left. The fact remains that Guelph is 1-3 (two losses by a combined three points, but that only means they're leaving points on the field).

The only stat that matters for a QB is the W-L record. Well, not really, and it's a truth that a few peope who saw the last minutes of Guelph-Mac would have said, "Wow, what a crazy, exciting game." It would be boring if no one ever made a mistake.

It's also true that the reality OUA teams, on average, are younger than they were a decade ago, which means things that coaches and fans cannot be so sure of things they used to treat as immutables.

Guelph will end up no worse than 4-4. Just check the schedule. A top-4 finish and home-field advantage for an OUA quarter-final -- which in fairness, they did not need last season -- could be out of reach. Laurier and McMaster

One also wonders how a loss like this will stay with the Gryphons until they get in a tight spot again.

Laurier 33, Windsor 18: Your younger brother's Golden Hawks are set up well for a 5-3 finish and a No. 4 playoff seed in the OUA.

Luke Thompson (17-of-25, 302 yards by air, 47 by land) seems to offer something more than Ian Noble did, although Laurier could always back. The offensive line is of bigger concern, and it did manage to spring Ryan Lynch for a 40-yard run (but other than that, he was below four per carry).

Freshman wideout Shamawd Chambers scored the day's first touchdown and put Laurier ahead to stay with a 15-yard scoring run in the third quarter.

In the first half, Windsor apparently had to kick a field goal after being goal-to-go inside the five and passing twice. 'Tis better to have run and lost, than to have never run at all.

Chances are, the OUA rookie of the year played in this game. He would be either Windsor QB Sam Malian, who threw 26 times for 248 yards, Lancers safety Daryl Townsend, or one of Laurier d-back Courtney Stephen, linebacker Mitchell Bosch or Chambers.

Ottawa 59, Waterloo 0: The Gee-Gees' Josh Sacobie and the Warriors' Evan Martin are believed to be the first aboriginal Canadian quarterbacks to start in the same CIS game.

Waterloo's inside linebacker, Jordan Verdone, is also getting some pub for OUA rookie of the year honours. Verdone came in leading the OUA in tackles, alhtough tackling statistics don't tell you everything.

Gee-Gees receiver Ron Kelly got a chance to test the ankle that had been bothering him. He abused Waterloo's young secondary (six catches, 128 yards).

(Hat tip to Rogers 22 Ottawa's play-by-play man Richard Zussman -- a CFRC 101.9 alumnus -- for the historical nugget.)

Queen's 58, Toronto 14; Western 71, York 0: There's really not a whole lot to say when Andrew Bucholtz has a Queen's-U of T recap and also liveblogged the game. Jeff Chan also has a photo gallery.

The Golden Gaels' Mike Giffin, according to the game summary, ran 16 times for 212 yards. Quoth Mike Toth, on the CFRC halftime show, "He runs like an angry young man."

As for Western, super safety Matt Carapella played and made an interception. Western's a different team when he's at 100%.

What are the odds of York giving up exactly 71 points twice in a season?

Are York's freshmen RB Ryan Rowe and DB Brandon Rowe twins? They're each first-year players from Cathedral in Hamilton, within one inch and five lbs in same size.


Simon Fraser 20 Calgary 3: Co-ordinator of the week honours go to SFU's Lou DesLauriers, whose unit has given up just a single and a field goal in its past six quarters.

Bad luck (Calgary's) played a part, but Simon Fraser ahad six takeaways, including a strip-and-score by Christion Folk for the only TD of the game. The only dark lining was that Bernd Dittrich did not have a great statline and that Gabriel Ephard, the tailback, got nicked-up, according to the dot-org.

Calgary is a hurtin' unit on offence without Anthony Woodson. No doubt the Dinos would have preferred to make it through September before someone felt obligated to console people with the thought that Dalin Tollestrup will be back next year. Tollestrup was Canada West rookie of the year in 2006 as an 18-year-old quarterback straight out of high school before he began his Mormon mission.


St. FX 20 Acadia 13 (OT): X now has wins over Acadia and Mount A, giving it a leg up in the race to have a puncher's chance vs. Saint Mary's in the Loney Bowl.

James Green capped a 169-yard day with a 26-yard run on the second series of overtime. No Acadia running back or receiver had even 50 yards from scrimmage.

No disrespect to the school or the voters, but X had better not be ranked on Tuesday just because it's 2-1.

Is Manitoba a default No. 10 for being defending champions, or do you rank Calgary because it beat Manitoba by 20 before going two games without an offensive touchdown?
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