University football playoffs: the Rouge et Or and the Stingers meet for a 4th consecutive year, but the context is very different

Unlike in recent years against the Concordia Stingers, the Laval University Rouge et Or are not entering their semi-final match as the big favorite.

A narrow 23-7 victory in the last duel between the two teams, an offensive that is struggling to find its rhythm and a victory for the Stingers against the Carabins of the University of Montreal, last Saturday, to conclude their best season in a long time change the portrait in anticipation of the duel scheduled for Saturday at PEPS.

The two teams cross swords for a fourth consecutive year in the semi-finals and for an 8th time in the last 13 seasons.

“I agree 100 percent that it is not a given like in the past,” said veteran marauder Félix Petit. The Stingers have just won a big victory and they will be pumped while, for our part, we did not live up to expectations, but it is doable to turn the boat around.

“In the past, we were already thinking about the Dunsmore Cup even before facing Concordia,” continued Petit. This year, we are focused solely on Concordia. We have to give a good performance otherwise we will go home.”

Glen Constantin shares his captain’s point of view. “We may seem more vulnerable,” agreed the Laval pilot. We had several injuries on the defensive line and our offense is less well-rounded than last year. It suggests a close match and it’s fair game.”

Dose of confidence

The Stingers’ 16-14 victory against the Carabins surely instilled a dose of confidence in Brad Collinson’s protégés. “They believed in their chances of beating us during their visit in the regular season and they will believe it even more this time,” Constantin said. I have mixed feelings about their victory. Credit to Concordia who played very, very good defense and gave up only 14 points to a quarterback of the caliber of Jonathan Sénécal, but the morale of the Carabins may have been affected after the serious injury to their best receiver (Hassane Dosso).”

Dosso broke his leg and went under the knife on Monday.

The page is turned

What do Collinson think about leading the Stingers to a record of five wins and three losses? “It’s a great victory for the team and the program, but we’ve moved on,” he said. There’s no danger of us getting too excited. The real season begins on Saturday and we face the reigning champions who have had two weeks to prepare and heal their injuries.

“We’re not at all in a state of mind that it’s mission accomplished to have reached the playoffs,” added the former Stingers offensive lineman and assistant coach for eight years with the Red and But it is not true that we have nothing to lose. Everyone has something to lose. We want to continue winning for the next four weeks.”

Collinson agrees that the victory against the Blues is welcome, a first since 2021. “The victory gives us confidence and will help enormously with recruitment. We have to beat the best teams.”

Will this new confidence be enough for the Stingers to stop a streak of 42 consecutive defeats against the Rouge et Or? Concordia’s last victory dates back to the 2002 semi-final when Jean-Michel Paquette amassed more than 200 yards rushing to propel his team to the Dunsmore Cup.

“The guys believe they can compete with everyone,” said Collinson, who played his last season in the university ranks in 2002. I have never seen such a united team. Our leaders do a lot of work.”

New start

Since returning to work on Tuesday, Constantin’s watchword has been clear. “We focus on the present,” he summarized. I’m happy with our season, but not satisfied. However, statistics, results and all-star teams no longer mean anything. The important thing is the experience acquired during the year. The guys got on board with this concept.”

source site-64