The Carabins were visiting Quebec to face the Rouge et Or. It is as if time has stood still and that there has never been a pandemic for the return of this great provincial rivalry. Nice catches, physical play, two defenses that made their opponent pay the price for each yard gained and obviously, a close game. Everything was there and only a few thousand more people were missing at Telus Stadium to truly believe in a return to normalcy.
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It was Laval University that opened hostilities by scoring a 34-yard field goal on their first offensive streak. Those who thought they would attend an offensive match between the two teams are quickly disappointed since the defensive game is in the spotlight for this 30th regular season game between the two rivals.
Both the Montreal and Laval defense are stingy in the yards conceded to the opponent. The first quarter ends with a score of 3-0 in favor of the Rouge et Or.
The second quarter offers more offensive play. Quarterback Jonathan Sénécal was particularly strong on an offensive streak and the Carabins scored a touchdown on a 15-yard catch from Carl Chabot to take a 7-3 lead.
Little stroke of luck
The most important game of the first half occurs on special teams. On a punt from the Rouge et Or, kicker Vincent Blanchard recovers a bad throw and scampers 38 yards to the goal gate of the Carabins. Laval will register the middle finger on a Thomas Bolduc quarterback sneak to regain the 10-7 lead.
Quarterback Jonathan Sénécal orchestrated a superb final offensive streak in the dying moments of the first half and the Carabins tied for a 25-yard field goal from Michael Arpin. The two clubs retreat to the locker room with a tie of 10-10.
Resumption of hostilities
Glen Constantin’s troops took the same recipe as at the start of the game and scored three points on their first offensive streak in the 3rd quarter.
Vincent Blanchard continued his big night of work and a little later scored his third placement of the game over a distance of 13 yards to widen the gap 16 to 10 for the locals.
The Carabins’ defense forced Laval to concede a safety touchdown on the last play of the third quarter to bring the score 16 to 12.
A rabbit out of his hat
Head coach Marco Iadeluca waits until the middle of the 4th quarter to do some magic for his training. The Montreal driver calls a rigged play on a midfield punt that smiles at him. The offensive streak will end with another field goal which tightens the score 16-15 for Laval.
At the very end
As it has happened so often between the two opponents, it is necessary to wait until the last moments of the meeting to decide on the winners. Montreal uses several veiled passes to get deep into the Laval territory. Michael Arpin gives his team the lead with another field goal to bring the Carabins 18-16.
The Laval offensive takes the ball back for one last possession. Pivot Thomas Bolduc does the work to approach his team close enough for a placement attempt. Vincent Blanchard, who had so far had a dream work night, misses his kick over a distance of 44 yards. The Carabins managed to run out of time to save themselves with a narrow 18-17 victory.
The Rouge et Or lost for the first time two consecutive games in the RSEQ since 1999. Marco Iadeluca emerges victorious from his first clash as head coach of this great rivalry.
As was to be expected, the visiting formation was happy with its trip to Quebec. Marco Iadeluca was however very clear on the significance of this victory.
“It’s a big win, but it’s also the history of both teams in the last ten seasons. Looks like it always ends with a period. This is exactly the game we expected and it is exactly the show we had tonight. ”
The pilot also wanted to salute the defensive effort of his team.
“I am extremely proud of the defense. We weren’t happy with our game last week and rolled up our sleeves. We were able to bounce back just like the rest of the team. “
Iadeluca also seemed proud of his shot for the rigged game in the fourth quarter which led to a placement of the Blues.
“We’ve been talking all week about stealing a possession. Last week, we had the opportunity to call this game against Concordia and we didn’t. We were in exactly the same place and I said let’s try this. We are very happy with the result. ”
Quarterback Jonathan Sénécal was very effective for Montreal, finishing the game with 25 completed passes in 39 attempted passes for gains of 287 yards with a touchdown and an interception. If the pivot did not necessarily impress, he certainly showed that he was not afraid of great moments.
“I really liked the atmosphere and I’m happy with the performance of the team. We played really well and we were well prepared. We believed in it throughout the game and the defense made some big plays, ”said the starting quarterback who was only making his third university start.
Marco Iadeluca ended the interview by mentioning that he believes that his starting pivot is still very far from reaching his full potential and that he is really happy to be able to count on his services.
Red and Gold disappointed
The defeat was difficult to swallow in the opposing camp. Quarterback Thomas Bolduc made no secret of his emotions.
“We give ourselves body and soul during these meetings and everyone is really angry with the result.”
The pivot was unable to explain precisely the reason for the difficulties of the attack as they approached the end zone.
“I think in this kind of game it’s difficult for both teams. It’s the little details that are lacking. ”
The kicker Vincent Blanchard, who had a strong game, was not too angry with himself for missing the long field goal for the victory.
“I keep my head up for my game and I don’t blame myself. We left a lot of points available in the red zone and we have to be more opportunistic. I can get a lot of positives from my second college game. “
For Glen Constantin, there was no doubt his roster had played a better game than last week.
“There was some progress with tonight’s game. However, there is still a lot of indiscipline that hurts us. It is a corrective that must be made quickly. ”
The pilot also pointed out the lack of opportunism of his people.
“I’m thinking of our possession at the one yard line and we’re taking a penalty for illegal surrender.” It’s a game that hurt. We didn’t react well to the surprise kick as well. We have a young team and we will continue to improve.
The Carabins finished the game with 330 attacking yards and 75 penalty yards. The Rouge et Or finished the game with 298 attacking yards and 120 penalty yards.