On Sept. 28, two weeks after suffering a heartbreaking defeat at Sherbrooke (1–4–0), the McGill football team (2–3–0) took their revenge on home turf. With a lively Homecoming crowd in attendance, the home side fought their way to a 20–13 victory.
McGill’s offence was off to a quick start with third-year quarterback Dimitrios Sinodinos dissecting the Vert & Or’s defence on a 76-yard scoring drive. The sequence ended with a five-yard touchdown reception by fourth-year receiver Mathieu Soucy. This was, however, the only time that McGill would be able to reach the end zone for a touchdown during the game.
“We play against very good players in this league,” second-year tight-end Simon Crevier said after the game. “But if we keep on plugging, stacking, and executing, good plays will eventually come.”
While McGill’s offence struggled for the remainder of the game, the defence flourished. Fourth-year defensive back Jean-Philippe Hudon and third-year safety Tristan Fleury were defensive stalwarts on the field, punishing ball-carriers play after play, while McGill’s defensive backs covered receivers like blankets. In a post-game interview, third-year cornerback Markens Valcourt praised coaches Joe Hagins and Ron Hilaire.
“We’ve got to give them props,” Valcourt said. “[The coaches] prepared us very well all week, and we were put in a position to win. All we had to do [was] execute, and that’s what we did. At the end of the day, [Sherbrooke] wasn’t able to move the ball on us.”
McGill went into half-time with a 10–3 lead. Coming back from the break, the home team looked grim. Sinodinos was strip-sacked, and Sherbrooke recovered the ball on the seven-yard line. On the next play, McGill’s defence caved and the game was back to even. In response, both sides tightened up their defence, leading to an uneventful third quarter.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, McGill gained a 14–10 advantage thanks to back-to-back safeties. With their lead restored, the home side focused on holding on to it: McGill’s defence swarmed the ball on every play, while the offence finally began to gain some momentum. Late in the game, McGill got into field goal range twice and fourth-year kicker Findlay Brown delivered both times. Brown completed his hat-trick with 1:18 left in the game to bring the score to 20-10. On the ensuing kickoff, Findlay “The Enforcer” Brown made a touchdown-saving tackle to cap off his impressive afternoon.
First-year running-back Laurent Sansalone was a bright spot for McGill’s offence, collecting 63 yards in only nine touches of the ball. Sansalone hopes that his hard work will inspire other rookies on the team.
“I worked my butt off every practice, which gave the coaches confidence in me,” Sansalone said. “Early in the game, they got me the ball, so I ran vertical and got a few first downs.”
McGill will take on the undefeated Montreal Carabins (5-0) at Stade du CEPSUM on Oct. 4.
Moment of the Game:
With the fate of the game still in the balance, fourth-year kicker Findlay Brown hammered home a 44-yard field goal to seal McGill’s victory.
“When we play at our full potential, there is no doubt in my mind that we are the best defence in the league.” – Second-year defensive tackle Thomas Trépanier on the team’s homecoming performance.