t was almost so perfect. Instead, McGill (3-4-0) endured a gut-wrenching 43-41 loss against Concordia (4-3-0) on the final play of the Homecoming Game last Saturday at Molson Stadium.
Redmen quarterback Nicolas English drove down the field on the McGill’s final offensive possession, responding to a seemingly unwarranted late game penalty by hitting senior receiver Yannick Langelier-Vanasse for a 14-yard touchdown. That gave McGill a 41-40 lead with one minute and 20 seconds left on the clock.
English has owned the starting job since the fourth week and had a career day against Concordia, throwing for four touchdowns and 393 yards.
“[English] grew every week [this season],” Head Coach Ronald Hilaire explained. “He is poised in the pocket, and he led us to the lead with a minute left in the game.”
Unfortunately it was not enough, as the Stingers’ explosive offence marched down the field to set up the game-winning field goal as time expired. Concordia quarterback Trenton Miller and running back Jean Guy-Rimpel combined for 522 yards and had great success in the intermediate passing game. McGill missed injured linebacker Karl Forgues, who had been the RSEQ in tackles prior to the game.
“[Forgues] is a great player for us […] but we rely on more than just one player,” Hilaire said. “Of course ,his talent cannot be reproduced, but we have a lot of players who fight hard and play the right way.”
Nonetheless, McGill fought hard and made some outstanding plays on both sides of the ball—the best of which was when veteran wideout Louis Brouillette hit junior receiver Jonathan Mack for a 52-yard touchdown on a trick play in the second quarter.
Indeed, the McGill receivers had an excellent all-around performance. They blocked effectively, springing Langelier-Vanasse for several big gains in the second half. Langelier-Vanasse had two touchdowns, and 154 yards on seven receptions; Brouillette reeled in nine catches and two touchdowns; and Mack, sophomore receiver Remi Bertelin and freshman receiver Kevin Etienne all made huge plays to keep the Redmen in the game.
“They played well; they are a great group,” Hilaire said. “We have a veteran group and they did what we expected of them.”
McGill needed to outscore Concordia by 13 points to make the RSEQ playoffs coming into the game. That victory became increasingly less likely as the clock wore down, and McGill was just looking for a win that would affirm the huge improvements they made this year. It was heartbreaking to see them fall short at the final hurdle. The Redmen, however, have more than proved their worth this season, and can go into their final game against the no.1 ranked RSEQ team Laval next week with their heads held high.
“[I told the team] I love them, we are a family [and] we are going to fight together. We’ll learn from this experience and we will never let it happen again.” -Hilaire on an emotional loss.
Play of the Game
Seven minutes into the second quarter, English passed backwards to Brouillette on what looked to be a bubble screen. The Concordia defence fell for the trick play leaving Mack open and sprinting up the sideline. Brouillette dropped back and hit Mack in stride for a stunning 52 yard touchdown.
Stat of the game
The two teams combined for 1108 yards of offence.