Football Week 4: Rouge et Or roll, no 'O' in Ottawa, Bisons not extinct

Notes from a football Saturday:
  • Laval has not given up an offensive touchdown in its first 16 quarters of 2009.
  • Sherbrooke's Pascal Fils scooted for 279 yards, helping the Vert et Or drop Concordia to 0-3 for the first time since the formation of the current QUFL.
  • Western QB Michael Faulds' 307-yard night vs. Windsor moved him into No. 3 all-time on the OUA career passing list with 8,693 yards. Faulds passed injured Queen's pivot Dan Brannagan (8,690).
  • One Devon Jones had a 100-yard rushing day and another Devon Jones had a 122-yard missed field-goal return TD in the Saint Mary's-Acadia game.
  • Dry cool wit of the day: Queen's coach Pat Sheahan telling Shomari Williams (two sacks, one fumble recovery in his CIS debut), "That was a pretty good start."
  • To first touchdowns: Laurier wideout Alex Anthony and Waterloo tailback Matt Socholotiuk each broke their end-zone maiden in the University Rush game.
  • To death and taxes, add Windsor coming down to earth after a 2-0 start.

Summaries below the jump:


No. 1 Laval 30, No. 5 Montréal 8 —
The real drama might have come off the field in the first leg of the teams' home-and-home (they pick it up again Oct. 4 in the Carabins' backyard).

The Rouge et Or defence made it 12 quarters without a touchdown to start the season — 16 counting the Western exhibition game — against a depleted Carabins team which attempted a grand total of two passes all afternoon. It's hard to fault Montreal; who's budgeted for having three quarterbacks injured?

César Sánchez-Hernández had a nice afternoon, throwing 20 times for 191 yards while subbing for an injured Benoît Groulx.

Allez Les Bleus has a recap from a Montréal perspective. So, do you penalize the Carabins in the Top 10 voting? Three quarterbacks hurt is almost something beyond their control. They also gave Laval its closest game thus far.

Sherbrooke 24, Concordia 14 — The Stingers got their "Fils" of the Vert et Or, who controlled the clock for 35:25 with Pascal Fils rushing 32 times for 279 yards and J-P Shoiry mixing in passes, throwing 30 times for 255 yards (8.5 avg.). Sherbrooke ended up trying eight field goals on the night (William Dion made five), so with a few more second-down pickups, it could have been a blowout.

This is how it seems to be going for the Stingers, who are 0-3 for the first time since 2000, the last season of the old O-QIFC. It was 14-14 in the last minute of the first half when Concordia was unable to get a punt off on third-and-10 from its own 37. (Not sure if it was a bad snap or a planned fake.) Sherbrooke ended up taking over

Early in the third quarter, Cedric Ferdinand lost the ball at the end of a 19-yard run deep into Sherbrooke territory. That must have stung, since a sack by Corey Greenwood and a no-yards penalty had given the Stingers a short field and a chance to re-take the lead. They never scored again.

(Wouldn't you know that in 2000, Queen's and Concordia, both 1-6 and eliminated from the playoffs, had to in the last game of the season. Guess who was trying to call that game from the old open-air crow's-nest press box, with the wind whipping in off the St. Lawrence River? It was actually fun.)


No. 10 Saint Mary's 38, Acadia 10 —
The Huskies came back from their loss to St. FX with a thorough win, putting up 216 yards rushing and 284 passing from Jack Creighton, who connected with Joe Doherty on the game's only offensive TDs. Saint Mary's had more sacks (7) than Acadia had pass completions (6), really.

Creighton was only sacked once and did not have an interception after throwing four picks vs. St. FX. How much of that was repetition and how much of it was the competition, we don't know.

Doherty, Carl Hardwick and Aaron Racioppa each had between 78 and 83 yards receiving. Nice balance.

As noted up top, Devon Jones' 122-yard TD was the highlight for Acadia (1-1).

No. 8 St. FX 27, Mount Allison 21 — Probably a closer outcome than most expected. There is little more to go off than a press release, but it might be notable that X had a 20-point lead after three quarters before the Mounties rallied behind some great catches by Gary Ross, who pretty much cannot be covered 1-on-1.

The X-Men also kicked three field goals in the first half, so there might been some points left on the field. You know the saying: Coaches prefer to have their team kicking extra points.

St. FX is at Concordia for an interlocking game next week, which will be a good litmus test for both programs.

Canada West

Manitoba 36, UBC 10 —
A lot of returners have been affecting games big-time — Simon Fraser's Jeff Thompson, Allin at Queen's, Bishop's Steven Turner, to name a few. Wideout Jeremy Botelho helped the Bisons break it open in a three-touchdown third quarter. Botelho toted a punt back 43 yards to the UBC 40 set up the go-ahead TD, and also had a 19-yard catch on the next scoring drive.

All three Bisons' TDs in that onslaught were one-yard runs, but none by Matt Henry (20 rushes, 139 yards), who had the largest share of the U of M's 320 rushing yards. This might have been more a case of Manitoba just wearing down the younger Thunderbirds.

Anyway, it's a mug's game trying to figure out the wacky Canada West. Only Saskatchewan is unbeaten (and the Huskies have only played twice and could have lost either game but for the grace of...). Four teams are tied for the final playoff spot with 1-2 records.

UBC is the one which needed a desperate second-half comeback to beat Alberta by one. Everyone else in that group has a decisive victory.


No. 2 Western 60, Windsor 7 —
No one saw that coming, except everybody. Michael Faulds threw for 300-plus yards and now stands an excellent chance of passing Josh Sacobie and Ben Chapdelaine for the most career passing yards in the OUA.

Nathan Riva scored a school record-tying five touchdowns, so suffice to say the La Salle, Ont., native had a better homecoming than the Lancers. Second-year QB Sam Malian was again out for Windsor.

Western, incidentally, led 48-7 at halftime. They might have gone into the 50s, but Greg Marshall elected to have Faulds take a knee from the Lancers' three-yard line on the final play of the half. That's right: Western could have won by much, much more.

No. 6 Queen's 20, Ottawa 8 — There was not a whole lot to see except a lot of laundry and Queen's rush end Shomari Williams looking like the real deal in his first game since becoming eligible.

Williams had two of the four Golden Gaels sacks as Queen's defence looked very fast and talented, making it two games in a row without a touchdown surrendered. Jimmy Allin had two second-half interceptions and Josh Sultana took down another for the Gaels, who had seven takeaways.

The Gaels made some positional and logistical changes — moving Osie Ukwuoma inside to tackle and playing Alex Daprato at sam linebacker. Williams, who played scarcely little end prior to coming to Queen's — and mostly in 3-4 alignments where he was sometimes asked to drop back into pass coverage — was very fast coming off the edge. Daprato also had a key sack-forced fumble in the fourth quarter which led to a field goal which allowed Queen's to open a two-score lead, 15-6.

Defensive coordinator Pat Tracey was in the spotters' booth in the Guelph home opener where Queen's gave up 49 points. The past two weeks he's been on the sideline and Queen's has not given up a touchdown.

Queen's offence without Dan Brannagan? There was not much to see, but Jimmy Therrien ground out a 30-carry, 147-yard day. Queen's only had one play longer than 20 yards, and that was on a tipped ball that slotback Devan Sheahan grabbed before it hit the turf.

Our own Andrew Bucholtz had the line of the year, "This is supposed to be university football, not flag football."

Ottawa shot itself in the foot — what, you heard this before — with 14 penalties for 141 yards, including 55 yards' worth of flags on the only touchdown drive of the afternoon late in the first quarter.

One really wonders how Ottawa can hope to beat a good team with the penalty problems. Some have also wondered about the play-calling; it seemed like everything was either a run up the middle (Jordan Wilson-Ross rushed 17 times for 72 yards, barely four per carry) or a swing pass to JWR, whom Queen's did a good job of tracking. Brad Sinopoli was in a lot of second-and-longs in the second half and seemed to be pressing, forcing throws into coverage. His receivers had tough drops, including a potential touchdown pass that was in and out of Cyril Adjeity's hands in the fourth quarter. Ottawa's defensive backs were snakebitten too, with field cornerback Lee Shaver having three near-interceptions.

Queen's is still having protection problems in the punting game. Dan Village only had a 35.7-yard average for the day after having two punts deflected and a couple other wobblers. He did have a career punt, putting one out-of-bounds on the Gee-Gees' 4-yard line with about five minutes to play. Ottawa was two-and-out and had to give up a safety.

Both Sun Media and the Kingston Whig-Standard have game stories posted. The Ottawa Citizen refers to Queen's as "very beatable," as if the Gaels were just touched by Fate to get all those turnovers.

No. 9 Laurier 29, Waterloo 18 — The Golden Hawks gave the Jordan Verdone-less Warriors a lot of Mike Montoya (28 carries, 204 yards) and a peaks-and-valleys passing game.

Waterloo deserves credit for keeping within two touchdowns. The Score looked smart for airing it instead of the defence-dominated Queen's-Ottawa game.

Luke Thompson (4-of-12 for 95 yards) and left-hander Ewan Pawliuk (7-of-17 for 94) were each under 50% passing. Freshman wideout Alex Anthony had his first CIS touchdown, but Laurier's passing game needs to be better. Eleven-of-29 for 189 vs. a defence which gave up 97 points in the first two weeks and was missing its middle linebacker is not good enough.

At this point, Guelph might grade out better than Laurier in Always OUA's next set of power rankings.

McMaster 49, York 8 — Mac coach Stefan Ptaszek opted to give equal time to QBs Ryan Fantham and Kyle Quinlan, who combined to pass 32 times for 394 yards (12.3 avg.). McMaster was never in jeopardy, nor should it have been.

Jacob Appiah (14 rushes, 75 yards) is establishing himself at tailback for York, whose rash of injuries include a season-ender to promising second-year running back Ryan Rowe (knee). QB Nick Coutu switched his jersey to Rowe's No. 2 and ended up throwing a touchdown pass wearing it, which is good for all you sentimentalists.

Steven Reading (12 tackles) and André Clarke (nine) were all over on the field on defence for York.
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  1. I hate taking shots (unconstructive shots anyways)at those who bring Canadian university athletics to us but the play-by-play team from Western's CHRW are absolutely brutal.

    At their best the Western Boothe sounds like two guys at the Ceeps talking about football. At their worst, they talk over each other, while neither one is contributing anything worth while. Look, I don't expect to hear Brent Musberger when I tune in but a little bit of structure in the play call would be appreciated.

    For God Sakes, there are numbers on the field. Use them to tell us where the play is. Ok, that's enough, I'm not going to flog a horse to death (particularly since it is a purple pony).

    Final Score: Western-60, Windsor-7

    Go Stangs Go

  2. My basic advice to anyone doing football on radio ... give the down-and-distance before every play, give the position of the ball on the field before every first-down play.

    If there's video, still give the down-and-distance. I don't care if you can turn in a soliloquy worthy of Olivier as Hamlet, I want to know where the ball is on the field.

  3. Not a good night at all for Windsor vs. London, seeing as the Fratmen lost to the Beefeaters as well..

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Wait till the Rouge & Or come to our CEPSUM two weeks from now... It's going to be the "game of the year" in the QFUL - And we will have 2 healthy passers, a real matchup...

    BTW, for your CIS Top Ten vote, don't forget that the Carbs held Laval to the same differential as UWO in the preseason, with no QB!

    As for ConU, if they cannot get that humongous #72 Maurice Forbes back at the center of the D-Line (he had a knee problem in the first game against QC city), their participation in the playoff of the Q looks thinner by the minute...

  6. Tim in London9/20/2009 10:12 am


    Couldn't agree more. I listened to about 10 minutes of last week's game and I had no idea what the score was, who had the ball, where they were on the field etc. Actually, I couldn't tell it was football they were describing. I didn't listen last night and had a better grasp on what was happening.

  7. The same can be said about the people who do the Waterloo (home) games, or are rumoured to do them. We were in the stands against Ottawa, picking up the signal, but there was no indication that what we were listening to beared any resemblance to what we were seeing. (And there was also a 13-second delay--I mean, really?)

  8. Interested to see the CIS Rankings this week. Last week SMU lost to X and went from #4 to #10. So both Montreal and SFU both lost but I bet they will not drop 6 spots. Laurier has look down right terrible this season and should not be in the top 10 especially when they are playing in the OUA.

  9. Laurier beat Toronto and Waterloo, got creamed by Western, which is 3-0.

    Guelph beat York and Toronto, had a close loss to Queen's, which is 3-0.

    Sherbrooke has beaten Concordia and Bishop's, but lost to McGill which had lost 17 games in a row.

    How do you weigh those 3 teams? I would like to hear arguments.

  10. Sager

    Personally, I believe for the exception of Western and Queens Sherbrooke can compete or even beat all the other teams in the OUA. (who I think will have their hands full with Saint Mary's this weekend). At the end of the day you have to rate teams with wins over teams with losses even if the team you beat is a weak one (that is the point with above as SMU lost to X both good teams yet SMU drops down to number 10, that does seem a little excessive for losing to a good team)

  11. How do you weigh those 3 teams?

    My computer, restricting itself to 2009 results, says Sherbrooke, Guelph, Laurier, but I'd switch the first two. (McGill is screwing everything up...since when do they win?)

    For top 5 overall, it says Laval-Montreal-SMU-Calgary-Western, which seems good enough.

  12. "Personally, I believe for the exception of Western and Queens Sherbrooke can compete or even beat all the other teams in the OUA. "

    Just for the sake of argument I would point out that Ottawa beat Sherbrooke by a narrow margin on Sherbies home field in a pre-season game.

  13. Lets look at this

    Sask beats Calgary
    St.oX beats Smu
    Mac beats York

    that being said does Mac get rated above Calgary and Smu because they won their game even though those 2 temas are clearly superior to Mac?

  14. I agree with the above comments about the poor quality play calling on Waterloo's radio station. I listened to the second half of the game v. Ottawa a couple of weeks ago and found it practically impossible to follow what was going on. They would spend 35 seconds trying to figure out who made the play before mentioning that a touchdown was scored. Also, I understand home team bias but to be positively thrilled when an opposing team player gets injured just makes you seem slightly pathetic.

  15. I am from Western's radio station, just doing some web research if there were any comments on our coverage. "Superfun happy slide", to address your concerns, the broadcast team was composed of the normal color man doing play by play and a guy that hadn't done radio before. I agree it was pretty unorganized. Hopefully you listened to some of our other broadcasts this year and your comments about those were different :)