Football Week 8 digest: Bad day for the Dogs

Atlantic-Québec crossover

Montréal 37, No. 3 Saint Mary's 20:
Overheard in the newsroom, "What's French for meltdown?" A blocked punt returned for a touchdown contributed greatly to the great Huskie unravelling on a rough day for the Atlantic conference in general.

Saint Mary's should be able to rise above this, but ten turnovers from a No. 3-ranked team? (We won't mention the team that had 11 two weeks ago when it was ranked No. 2).

I don't have any stats, but Hantz Bouriquot and Frank Bruno looked like they had good days for Les Bleus. The cognoscenti are mostly a-twitter over the Carabins' conduct.

No. 1 Laval 41, Bishop's 10: The Benoît Groulx update — he was 25-of-32 for 327 yards for two touchdowns and was interception-free, and raising his completion percentage to 77.7% for the season.

Jamall Lee was held to 70 yards, but that was enough for him to go over 4,000 in his career. He's only the seventh player to do that in his fourth season.

The CIS has had some website issues today (that, friends, is another post). The other Atlantic-Québec matchups (Concordia 66-13 over Mount Allison; Sherbrooke 32-2 over Acadia and St. Francis Xavier 40-7 over McGill) went more or less as expected.

Canada West

Manitoba 20, Saskatchewan 17:
The Bisons, who still face an uphill battle to get into the Can West playoffs, evidently got a huge lift from Matt Henry, who gutted out a 32-carry, 168-day, along with making a 16-yard TD catch that put the U of M ahead for good late in the third quarter. Henry also got a vital, time-consuming first down in the final two minutes to help run out the clock.

It's not clear what the root cause is, but Saskatchewan has blown two-touchdown leads in both of its losses. The upshot for the Huskies is that they control their own destiny, with Simon Fraser coming in next week. Dathan Thomas rushed for 109 yards but left the game due to injury.

This site showed Huskies QB Laurence Nixon some love and he ended up having a tough day, throwing 24 times for 141 yards.

Calgary 31, Regina 5: Dinos D-lineman Andrew Obrecht had a key forced fumble that set up a touchdown during Calgary's first-half onslaught. Between the defence and the running game, with Matt Walter accounting for 200 of their 292 yards, this added up to an easy win for the Dinos (4-2).

Calgary, which seems to have flown under the radar all season, can still finish as high as second in Canada West. Next week at Manitoba should be tough, especially since the Bisons showed today they can still be a rough, tough team, especially in their home stadium. (Can they do it consistently, though?) Blake Nill's Dinos, 4-0 at home but 0-2 in away games, need a big road win to show that they're bona fide.


No. 2 Queen's 38, Ottawa 16:
The big takeaway from the early University Rush game is that The Score's Sid Seixeiro related late in the game that Gee-Gees coach Denis Piché had stated that he believes the Golden Gaels are better than Laval.

"They're a more complete team, they make less mistakes and they're better," was how Seixeiro summarized Piché's comments.

The argument Ottawa (3-4) could be this year's Western is fast becoming theoretical. Justin Wood-Roy (concussion) did not complete the game and neither did fellow receiver Alex Fortier Labonte and defensive end Ian Hazlett. Josh Sacobie's understudy, Brad Sinopoli, was playing wide receiver and actually did yeoman's work filling in. The bottom line is that Ottawa is out of excuses; injuries and inexperience can either make a team indomitable or make them individuals. (How's that for a stab at coach-speak?)

There was a liveblog over at Out of Left Field. Queen's, on the strength of its passing offence (Dan Brannagan was 21-of-33 for 341 yards and accounted for all five Gaels TDs) and pass defence (JSacobie threw 38 times for 202 yards and no TDs), rolled up a 31-0 halftime lead and cruised home, more or less.

Mike Giffin ended up with totals — 21 rushes for 72 yards — almost identical to the Western game. Similarly, he was contained for 3 1/2 quarters before breaking loose for a couple nice gains late in the game against a dinged-up and demoralized defence. It must be pointed out that one of Giffin's 200-yard games came against a good Guelph team, which has allowed only one other 100-yard game this season (to Daryl Stephenson, who needed 29 carries to get 115 yards).

Believe it or not, it's Queen's first home win over Ottawa since Sept. 14, 1996 — my frosh year.

No. 10 Laurier 50 McMaster 31: Golden Hawks QB Luke Thompson accounted for 431 yards and five TDs (three by air, two by land), meaning Laurier will host an OUA quarter-final game on Nov. 1. There was 1,033 yards total offence; basically, it sounds like Mac's defence is taking October off, like it did last season.

Guelph 48 York 2: What's mostly notable is that Jedd Gardner had punt and kick-return touchdowns (128 and 83 yards, respectively) and the Lions' scoring drought ended at 15 quarters. Gardner averaged more than 40 yards per touch (326 on eight receptions, rushes and returns), but again, it's York.

Now, if Western could just go right ahead and play backups against Guelph, that would help tremendously. Figuring out the tiebreakers between Ottawa, Mac and Windsor would be so much easier if Guelph can finish 5-3.

  • Ottawa and Mac win — they're in
  • Ottawa and Windsor win — they're in
  • Toronto and Mac win — Marauders and Lancers (who have the tiebreaker over Ottawa) advance
  • Toronto and Windsor win — Lancers and Gee-Gees go through
Seriously, who would thought we would have had to contemplate Ottawa needing to beat Toronto just to get in the playoffs?
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1 comment:

  1. If you're curious Neate, I did some other math. If Guelph, Mac and Ottawa are all 4-4 (and that means Mac beats Windsor) Windsor is out at 3-5 and Guelph finishes fourth, Ottawa fifth and Mac sixth . . . I think. :)