What a huge win for this McGill Redmen football team. In the second leg of their back to back matchup vs the Bishop’s Gaiters, the Redmen had a double task at hand: win and win by more than 8 points. Last night at Percival Molson stadium, they did both. Mission accomplished for coach Uttley’s squad.
Gaiters 20 vs Redmen 31 | FINAL
In what was a must win battle for the Redmen, all 45 players responded with a solid, well rounded performance. The Gaiters, on the other hand, got off to a solid start but never quite managed to get going in the second half as the Redmen outscored them 25-6 in the final 2 quarters.
For the first time in 3 years, the Redmen came up on top in a RSEQ battle. And this one was no steal, it was a well deserved win for a team and a program that is clearly on the rise.
On offense, the Redmen boast one of the top young unit in the conference with playmakers such as RB Luis Guimont-Mota (17 rushes for 117 yards), WR Shaquille Johnson (9 catches 113 yards and a TD), Yannick Langellier-Vanasse (3 catches, 23 yards, 2 punt returns for 66 yards) and SB Sean Murphy (5 catches, 42 yards, 5 rushes for 20 yards). All of them are in either their 1st or second year, which tells you that this group will be solid for years to come. At quarterback, JC Collin got off to a good start (16-25, 136 yards, 1 rush TD) before being injured and replaced by Ryne Bondy who finished off the game like a veteran (5-6, 87 yards, 1 TD). Most important is the fact that the Redmen did not turn the ball over once. NOT ONCE.
Meanwhile, their defensive unit forced 3 Gaiters turnovers, including a crucial interception by El-Hadj N’Doye on the second play of the 2nd half. A play that proved to be a turning point for a McGill squad that never looked back. Once again, the veterans stepped up for this McGill unit, as Charles-Evans Peltrop continues his dominating season and veterans Ryan Trudeau, Geoff Gorin and Jesse Briggs total 19 tackles.
Another rookie you have to keep an eye on is kicker Sammy Rassy who converted 5 of 7 field goals, good for a game high 17 points.
A step back for the Gaiters
After wining 2 of their first 5 games and wining that points differential battle to the Stingers, the Gaiters were in 3rd place and looked poised for a playoff run. With this loss to the Redmen, they not only fall back in the heat of the battle for 3rd and 4th place, they also lose the tie breaker to the Redmen, which could come back and haunt them.
It’s not that the Gaiters didn’t play well enough to win, it’s just that they didn’t know how to turn it up when it mattered to get that win. The defense got run over in the 4th quarter and their offense was sporadic, sometimes clicking, sometimes going for consecutive 2 and outs like a bottom tier unit.
Matthew Burke was solid once again for the purple and grey, gaining 122 yards on 18 carries and Alexander Fox played up to his high standards with a 7 catch, 129 yards and 1 TD performance. But in the end, it all came down to the turnover battle, which was won 3-0 by the Redmen. Jordan Heather plays some great football and he is without a doubt one of the best QBs in the RSEQ, but until he learns to protect that football (he’s thrown 10 interceptions so far this season and fumbled once) he cannot be considered an elite pivot.
Now it’s going to be interesting to see that Con-U vs Sherbrooke matchup on saturday; a matchup with huge playoff implications.