Concordia's Thursday Report

Vol. 28, No.5

November 6, 2003


Stingers and Laval set for the clash of the Titans

by John Austen

Photo of  Jon Bond

Quarterback Jon Bond pushes away from a Carabins player to help lead the Stingers to victory against Université de Montréal on Saturday.
Photo by Andrew Dobrowolskyj

It should be quite a showdown Saturday as the Concordia Stingers travel to Ste. Foy to take on the Laval Rouge et Or for the Quebec Intercollegiate Football Conference championship.

The battle has been looming from the start of the season with both teams going 7-1 and each beating the other in league play.

Concordia will not only be playing against a tough Laval team but the Stingers will have to do it in front of a highly partisan crowd of Rouge et Or supporters expected to number 15,000.

“It’s going to be tough for them to play in our place,” said Sebastien Denon, a Laval student who was in Montreal to scout Concordia’s 35-8 semi-final win over the Université de Montréal last Saturday. “I would say it can be a visiting team’s nightmare.”

The Stingers hope that history repeats itself since they upset the Rouge et Or in the playoffs last season. 

Laval, which was awarded first place in the league on points differential, had no trouble with the McGill Redmen, winning the other semi-final 47-7 in front of 10,000 fans at their PEPS stadium.

As befitting their stature as the class of the league, Concordia and Laval scooped up the major individual awards this week with Gerry McGrath of the Stingers being named coach of the year.

He was joined by Stingers linebacker Mickey Donovan who won the Alouettes Alumni Association Trophy as the top defensive player of the year and Rouge et Or quarterback Mathieu Bertrand who won the Jeff Russel Memorial Trophy as the top offensive player.

Bertrand was nominated for the Hec Crighton trophy as the top player in the country for the second year in a row, and Donovan is a candidate as the outstanding defensive player in the CIS.

Winning the Coach-of-the-Year award is a “really great honour for Gerry,” said Concordia quarterback Jon Bond. “He really deserves it. He puts a lot into preparing us for our games every week. I think he’s proved that when you look at our record and the way we played against Laval. Also, he’s a great teacher and he really looks after his players.”

Against the upstart Carabins, quarterback Bond helped lead his team to victory. He completed 25 of 42 passes for 382 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Rookie receiver Nick Scissons caught 11 passes for 189 yards, and Carlton O’Brien caught six passes for 86 yards and two touchdowns.

The offence combined for 451 total yards, while the top-ranked Concordia defence was at its stingy best. Montréal could only manage 178 yards of offence in the game. Leading the way on defense were Rudy Hage and Troy Cunningham. Bond was on fire early completing pass after pass before Patrick Donovan ran the ball in for the game’s opening touchdown at 3:27 of the first quarter.

The Stingers led 22-0 at halftime and 32-0 mid-way through the third quarter.