The 55th edition of the Vanier Cup was hosted on Saturday, November 23rd, 2019 and featured the Calgary Dinos (winners of the Mitchell Bowl) take on the Montreal Carabins (winners of the Uteck Bowl) in a high-scoring, electrifying affair for Canadian U Sports Football supremacy. The game began with a strong 1st drive for the Carabins, capped off with a missed field goal attempt by L.P. Simoneau, and a pair of punts from either side. A huge 37 yard throw from Adam Sinagra to Jalen Philpot set up a missed field goal attempt in what was otherwise a very dismal quarter for both teams. Sinagra found Philpot again during the second play of the second quarter for a 28 yard connection, which eventually led to the Dinos first points of the game, after a 23 yard field goal from Niko Difonte. The Dinos scored another field goal minutes later, increasing their lead, 6-0. After what looked like a promising drive from the Calgary Dinos, Adam Sinagra fumbled the ball on a sack from Reda Kramdi, which was recovered by the Carabins. The ensuing Carabin drive was highlighted by a fake field goal and pass by Raphael Major to Bruno Lagace for an 11-yard gain. The Carabins found their way to the red zone for the first time after a few short passes from Dimitri Morand, followed by 2 strong runs from running back Ryth Giraud, with fullback Reda Maliki willing his way to the end zone for Montreal’s first score of the game. The Dinos came storming back with a 39 yard catch-and-run by Jalen Philpot, followed by a sensational turn around catch by Jalen Philpot, beating double coverage to score a touchdown for the Dinos that capped off the half. Calgary lead 13-7 at the half.
The 3rd quarter was a relatively low-scoring affair, with the Carabins kicking a 27 yard field goal early in the frame, reducing their deficit to 3 points. The Dinos had yet another promising drive mid-way through the quarter before Adam Singara threw an interception to Bruno Harelimana. The 4th quarter was dominated by the Dinos, as an early pass interference call against the Carabins lead to a 9 yard touchdown pass from Sinagra to Hunter Karl to increase the lead, 20-10 for the Dinos. After a few big passes from Dimtri Morand to Carl Chabot which pushed the Carabins to the redzone, a dropped pass from Ryth Giraud at the 12 yard line lead to a Carabins field goal. With less than 2 minutes left in the game, a diving catch from Tyson Philpot lead to a first down deep in Montreal territory, leading to a punt fielded at the 8 yard line. After back to back incompletions on first and second downs, the Carabins were forced to throw on 3rd and 10, down 20-13 with 1:04 left on the clock. After a pass completion to Kevin Kaya for 5 yards and penalty against the Carabins for unnecessary roughness, the Dinos took over possession of the ball from Montreal’s 1 yard line. Robinson Rodriguez ran the ball in for another touchdown, putting the Dinos up 27-13, inevitably sealing the game. After retaining possession of the ball following kickoff, Dimitri Morand threw his only interception of the game, allowing the Dinos to hoist the Vanier Cup for the first time in 25 years. Adam Singara of the Calgary Dinos was named the Ted Morris Memorial Trophy Winner for his outstanding offensive performance, while Redha Kramdi of the Carabins was named the Bruce Coulter Award winner for his stellar defensive efforts.
Final Thoughts: Although this was a tough loss for the Carabins, Dimitri Morand played extremely well for the team, finishing with 289 passing yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. The Carabins offense was strong at times, but failed to capitalize against a strong Dinos secondary. On the contrary, Adam Singara and Jalen Philpot proved to be too much for the Carabins secondary, with 292 passing yards and 2 touchdowns from Singara, as well as 116 yards and a touchdown reception from Philpot. This was a monumental win for the Dinos, showing the world why they have one of the best football programs in U Sports.