The McGill Redmen (1-5) struggled to move the ball in the annual Homecoming football game on Oct. 13 in a 57-13 loss to the Université Laval Rouge-Et-Or (7-0).
McGill opened the scoring seven minutes into the game when third-year kicker Findlay Brown kicked a 12-yard field goal. The field goal turned out to be the Redmen’s only lead of the contest, and Laval took care of things from that point on.
With just under five minutes left in the frame, a Laval wide receiver caught a pass and took it to the McGill end zone to put the Rouge-Et-Or ahead 7-3. The Redmen took a safety on their next possession, pushing the Laval lead to six and the momentum firmly over to the visitor’s side.
The Laval onslaught continued in the second quarter. They scored their first touchdown of the quarter after one minute and added another only 48 seconds later. Laval subsequently carried in a third touchdown and a pair of safeties, pushing the score to 34-3 in Laval’s favour by halftime.
The Redmen showed perseverance and powered out of the gates to start the third quarter. Third-year wide receiver Jeremy Sauvageau broke through the Laval defence to put McGill in scoring position and then took another pass into the end zone to raise his team’s score into double digits. Still, Laval wasn’t done; the Rouge-Et-Or scored a touchdown at the end of the third quarter to push the score to 41-10. Two fourth-quarter touchdowns rounded out Laval’s barrage of scoring. A last-minute field goal added to McGill’s tally, and the contest ended 57-13 in Laval’s favour.
Despite the score, it was not a hopeless afternoon for the Redmen. Laval, winner of five of the last 10 Vanier Cup Championships, is one of the best teams in USports football, and the McGill team put forward a strong effort against the tough opponent.
“We wanted to come in here with the mentality that we will make the playoffs, and [this] is one of our possible opponents,” Head Coach Ronald Hilaire said. “We wanted to show that we are a team that is going to come out and play for four quarters and be combative, and I think we showed that.”
The Redmen sit teetering on the edge of a playoff berth with two games remaining in the season. If they make it, first-place Laval would likely be their opponent.
Coach Hilaire also praised his team’s defensive play and special teams throughout the game, a sentiment reiterated by fourth-year linebacker Maxime Rouyer.
“On special teams, we did a really good job to tackle and respect our assignments,” Rouyer said. “Offensively and defensively, we did some good things, but there’s still a lot of things that just need work.”
Fourth-year linebacker Kamba Katchelewa agreed that his team’s unrelenting effort was notable, even in a tough loss.
“We just kept playing until the end,” Katchelewa said. “I think we made a few mistakes, but we still came back to our game.”
Moment of the game
McGill quarterback Dimitrios Sinodinos completed a pass to Jeremy Sauvageau for a 61-yard catch-and-run to get the Redmen into scoring position.
“Ultimately, we scored on one of the best defences in the conference, so we’ve got to take that as a positive going into the next game.” – Coach Ronald Hilaire on his team’s offensive performance
Sinodinos completed 17 passes for 223 yards, his highest totals of the season.