The McGill Redmen (3-3) beat back both the cold and the Bishop’s Gaiters (1-5) in Lennoxville on Oct. 14 on their way to a 37-14 victory. The Redmen closed the first half with a dominant 23-0 lead to canter home for a victory in front of a crowded Coulter field on a freezing October evening.
The victory comes two weeks after a devastating loss to Laval that handed McGill a losing record. According to Redmen Head Coach Ronald Hilaire, beating the Gaiters on Friday was necessary to increase morale and salvage the team’s playoff chances in the final stretch of the regular season.
“A win like this was something we needed,” Hilaire said. “We came out firing on all cylinders in the first half. I’m not quite pleased with our beginning of the second half, but we had the fortitude to come back from that, we executed, and we came out with the win.”
With daunting defensive play, the Redmen shut out the Gaiters in the first half. Despite a brief surge by Bishops’ in the beginning of the second half, McGill kept up a strong offensive game save for a few turnovers close to their own endzone.
"We just had a little bit of trouble in the endzone, [but] it’s been like that since the beginning of the season,” Redmen wide receiver Jeremy Sauvageau said. “Except [for] that, it was a good win.”
On top of the turnovers, the Redmen defence played inconsistently in the second half, allowing the Gaiters to get on the board with two touchdowns. However, the Gaiters failed to continue the momentum they had started at the beginning of the half. Their last chance to close the gap before the end of the game was buried when Redmen defensive back Olivier Therrien intercepted the Gaiters late in the fourth quarter.
“I saw the ball and I just thought about picking it up,” Therrien said. “It felt good.”
The Redmen have a rematch over their season opener against the Concordia Stingers slated for Oct. 22 at Concordia. The first match between the two teams was a 30-16 loss for the Redmen.
“We had about eight or nine turnovers that game, and I don’t think a team can win a game when they turn the ball over that much,” Redmen receiver Jonathan Mack said. “That being said, we still did a lot of good things [that game], we just can’t [make] any minimal mistakes against Concordia.”
Quotable: “The line blocked great, we had a good running game, quarterback made a great pass, so yeah, that’s it.”—McGill wide receiver Jeremy Sauvageau after scoring his first ever touchdown for the Redmen.
Stat Corner: Despite taking 159 penalty yards, the Redmen had 575 offensive yards to the Gaiters’ 108.
Moment of the Game: Halfway through the third quarter, the Redmen tried to rush the ball at the goalline but the Gaiters’ Arnaud Dandin forced a turnover and ran 104 yards down the field for the second and final Gaiter touchdown.