By Alexander Cole
The Concordia Stingers football team lost their annual homecoming game to the reigning Canadian Interuniversity Sport champions, the Université de Montreal Carabins on Saturday by a score of 41-29 at Concordia Stadium. Despite an early lead, the Stingers committed crucial mistakes on special teams that cost them the win.
“Our kids came out fast and came out flying,” head coach Mickey Donovan said. “We won two sides of the ball today and the one we lost was on special teams. I’m not putting that on the team, I’m putting that on the coaches and particularly myself.”
Throughout the game, the Stingers also suffered injuries on offence and on defence. Even their kicker/punter Keegan Treloar was injured, and had to be replaced by Stingers quarterback Trenton Miller.
Before the barrage of injuries and special teams blunders, the game began positively for the Stingers when quarterback Miller stormed out of the gate and led the team 100 yards down the field for an impressive opening drive that ended successfully with a 22-yard touchdown pass to running back Jean-Guy Rimpel.
Later in the quarter, Carabins quarterback Gabriel Cousineau connected with receiver Phillip Enchill for a touchdown that tied the game at seven. After an UdeM field goal, the Carabins took a 10-7 lead into the second quarter.
In the second, Miller threw another touchdown to Rimpel, a five-yard score, which gave the Stingers back the lead.
“It was definitely a shock that we were up,” receiver James Tyrell said. “We were expecting to come out strong and fast all week and we were prepared for the challenge. They came in a little confident and we tried to take that to our advantage.”
The Stingers added one more touchdown in the quarter but their lead didn’t last long, however, as UdeM scored two touchdowns in the quarter, one off a Stingers turnover, and scored two field goals to give themselves a 27-21 lead by halftime.
“We kept our cool together,” said Enchill.
The second half of the game started with a third quarter that saw no points scored. The Stingers had a promising drive after an interception by third-year cornerback Rashawn Perry. However, the Carabins managed to keep the Stingers offense at bay.
The Stingers began to run into special teams trouble once they reached the fourth quarter. A 38-yard punt from UdeM was recovered by their own punter at the Stingers two-yard line after ConU’s returner, Justin Julien, couldn’t hold on to the ball. The mistake proved costly as Carabins running back Sean Thomas Erlington ran the ball into the endzone to give his team a 34-21 lead.
Less than two minutes later the score would become 41-21 after UdeM forced a fumble off the ensuing kick-off. Carabins quarterback Gabriel Cousineau would later score off a one-yard touchdown run.
“We got a couple bad breaks,” said Stingers centre Marc-Antoine Sevigny. “We’ve got a young team, we’re inexperienced. But we’re going to fix those mistakes. Tomorrow we’re going to examine them on tape and we’ll be fine.”
The Stingers will face the Laval Rouge et Or in their next match on Oct. 4 in Quebec City.