TORONTO, ON – Down the stretch we come.
After two and a half long (yet, somehow short) months, 14 teams across the OUA and RSEQ played their final regular season games, with all of them looking to either earn or cement playoff berths.
There were a plethora of potential playoff scenarios in the OUA, markedly the Western division, which would inevitably see a team capable of contending for a Yates Cup on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. The RSEQ was a more cut and dry, but wins from McGill and Concordia would have muddied the waters.
The rest of the country, meanwhile, had a little catching up to do. The AUS and CanWest were one week behind the other two conferences as they entered the penultimate week of their respective schedules. Canada West still has lots to be decided in terms of its playoff picture, while the teams participating in the AUS postseason would become clear with a St. Mary’s loss, with only seeding and matchups left to be decided.
Here’s how it all went down:
CARLETON 19 | OTTAWA 24
For the second time in 2021, the two nation’s capital combatants did battle at TD Place Stadium, with Carleton looking to avenge a 19-17 loss in the Panda Game in Week 3. If they were to do that, they would finish second in the East and host a quarterfinal. It was the Gee-Gees who come out flying. First, Ben Maracle capped off an 8-play, 76-yard opening drive with an 8-yard QB-keeper to get his team on the board first. The Garnet and Grey weren’t done there, as Campbell Fair hit a chip shot field goal to extend the lead to 10 before Maracle this time went to the air and found Daniel Oladejo for a 21-yard score to make it 17-0 Ottawa after one. In the second, it was Carleton cutting the lead to a single score. Midway through the quarter, after a shanked Gee-Gee punt, Reid Vankoughnett connected with Glodin Mulali for 50 yards, and a roughing the passer call added on to place the ball on the 1-yard line, where Vankoughnett scored from on the next play and just like that it was 17-7. Then on the final play of the half, Brandon Forcier hit a 34-yard field goal to make it 17-10 at the break. The only points of the third frame were another Forcier field goal, this one an easy 10-yarder, to cut it to 17-13. In the fourth, Maracle scored his second rushing TD of the night on a 6-yard scurry to make it 24-13. Then on the final play before the three-minute warning, backup quarterback Tristan Rinaldis ran one in from 15 yards out to make it 24-19, but threw an incomplete pass on the 2-point convert attempt, and that was as close as Carleton would get. The Gee-Gees victory guaranteed them at worst 3rd spot in the conference, with the potential to finish 2nd with a York win over Toronto.
TORONTO 41 | YORK 7
So, would the Gee-Gees get that help from York and host a playoff game? Well, in one word: no. After Toronto beat York two weeks prior in the Argo Cup on home turf, the Blues went into enemy territory and took care of business in triumphant fashion. Toronto scored the game’s first 31 points, thanks to two TD passes from Clay Sequeira – caught by Michael Lehmann and Will Corby, respectively – a 75-yard Ethan Mackinnon punt return touchdown and a 13-yard Cody Hale scoop and score, plus a Chris McLean field goal. They went on to win it 41-7 and finish tied with Ottawa at 3-3. They finish 2nd in the division based off their 11-10 win over the Gee-Gees in the season’s opening week. They now get set to play their first playoff game in 26 years.
GUELPH 22 | McMASTER 27
This game featured the most convoluted playoff scenario, with McMaster needing to beat Guelph and get help from the Windsor Lancers and Laurier Golden Hawks. McMaster drew first blood after the Gryphons turned it over on downs inside their own territory. Daniel Bossett scored the touchdown on a 1-yard run to make it 7-0. Late in the first, Eric Stranz responded with a field goal to move the score to 7-3 after one. A safety conceded by Guelph early in the second made it 9-3 Mac, before Stranz made 47 and 19-yard field field goals to knot it at 9. McMaster kicker Adam Preocanin continued the special teams surge late in the final minute of the half, making a 31-yarder to give his club a 12-9 lead after 30 minutes. The only scoring play of the third was a safety surrendered by McMaster to mark it 12-11. In the fourth, Liam Putt scored from a yard out, followed by a 2-point conversion to extend the Marauders lead to 20-11. Another long-distance Stranz field goal cut it down to a six-point game at 20-14, but the home side responded on a 70-yard catch and run by Jackson Cooling to make it 27-14 with just over 3:00 to play. Another conceded safety made it 27-16, and then, with less than a minute to go, Shawn Lal connected with Clark Barnes to cut it down to a 27-22 game. The Gryphons never got the ball back, however, and McMaster kept its faint playoff hopes alive with a victory.
LAURIER 8 | WATERLOO 36
The Waterloo Warriors faced a win-and-in situation as they hosted the second Battle of Waterloo in 2021; they won the first 36-12 at Laurier in Week 2. The scoreline is far less reflective of the game flow as it was in the previous meeting, but it was 92 seconds that turned the game on its head. A defensive battle throughout, it was 11-8 after three. The only two touchdowns were a Connor-Carusello-to-Kevantye-Bailey connection for a 24-yard major and a Nicholas Sua 2-yard touchdown run. The games other points came on a Cole Crossett field goal and two rouges, one for each team. In the fourth, Tre Ford found Rushon Dagelman for a 27-yard score to make it 18-8. Then, the ensuing kickoff bounced high in the air, fumbled by the Laurier returner, and recovered by the Warriors inside the 10. Ford then hooked up with Gordon Lam from six yards out to make it 25-8. The next kickoff was booted through the end zone for a single point, and after a two-and-out on the next Hawks possession, Ford again found Dagelman, in stride, this time for a 63-yard score. 22 points in 92 seconds, capped by another one-play touchdown drive put it out of reach. Crossett would add another field goal to round out the scoring as Waterloo took the victory 36-8 over their cross-street rivals. Despite the loss, Laurier will host a playoff game by virtue of the tiebreaker while Waterloo, in spite of beating the Hawks twice, loses the tiebreaker with them and will have to go on the road in round one and face the Western Mustangs.
WESTERN 66 | WINDSOR 0
To save you some time, we won’t spend too much of yours on this one. Windsor needed a win and some help to get into the playoffs, but were completely outmatched by a much bigger and more experienced Mustangs squad. The Mustangs found the end zone eight times, including four in the opening quarter en route to a 30-0 lead after one. Tre Humes scored three times on the ground, while Savaughn Magnaye-Jones, Phillip Grohovac and Seth Robertson each caught a touchdown pass. Western won it 66-0, putting up 522 yards of offence in the process, and clinches home field advantage through the first two rounds of the OUA playoffs.
OUA QUARTER-FINAL SCHEDULE:
[3W] Guelph (3-3) @ [2W] Laurier (3-3) – Sat, Nov 6 ~ 1:00 pm ET
[3E] Ottawa (3-3) @ [2E] Toronto (3-3) – Sat, Nov 6 ~ 1:00 pm ET
[4W] Waterloo (3-3) @ [1W] Western (5-1) – Sat, Nov 6 ~ 1:00 pm ET
[4E] Carleton [2-4] @ [1W] Queen’s (6-0) – Sat, Nov 6 ~ 3:00 pm ET
MONTREAL 14 | McGILL 9
The Montreal Carabins already had clinched first place in the RSEQ coming into their Week 10 matchup with a 1-6 McGill Redbirds team that needed a win and a loss by Sherbrooke to even have a chance at squeaking into the playoffs. The only points of the first three quarters of this game came on safeties. The Carabins broke open a 4-2 game on the first play of the fourth when Alex Wedens busted off a 61-yard romp to paydirt to make it 11-2 Carabins. McGill then responded with a score of its own on the next drive, courtesy of a long bomb from Dimitrios Sinodinos to Pierce Dumay, which cut the lead back to two. Michael Arpin addd a 25-yard field goal with 1:30 left and McGill was unable to pull off the upset, officially ending their season.
CONCORDIA 33 | SHERBROOKE 40
With McGill’s loss, both these teams playoff fates were clinched; all that was left to figure out was seeding. A Concordia win would tie them with Laval, while a Sherbooke victory ensured all five times finished with different records. Sherbrooke got on the board first with a 25-yard Zach Cloutier touchdown pass to Emilio Jaimes-Leclair. Concordia responded on the next drive as Olivier Roy called his own number for a 2-yard score. Later in the first Gabriel Cote returned a punt 64 yards to make it 14-7 Sherbooke. An Andrew Stevens field goal concluded the first quarter scoring with the Vert et Or up 14-10. The second quarter was all Sherbrooke, as they scored 16 points on two Louis Tardif field goals, a rouge, a safety and, most prominently, a 10 yard connection between Cloutier and Bruno Senechal. Up 30-10 in the 3rd, the Vert et Or made good on great field position and Jimmy Larose-Juebert ran in a 2-yard touchdown to put it away at 37:10 after three – or so it seemed. But, then it was Concordia’s turn to go on a run in thee 4th. First, Roy connected with Jacob Salvail on a 30-yard touchdown, followed by rushing majors from Dwante Morgan and Roy. Those 21 points trimmed the lead to 37-31. After a safety made it a four-point game, Roy threw a game-sealing interception and Tardif added some insurance with a field goal to make the final 40-33 and completes the RSEQ playoff picture.
RSEQ SEMI-FINAL SCHDULE:
 Sherbrooke (3-5) @  Montreal (7-1) – Sat, Nov 6 ~ 2:00 pm ET
 Concordia [4-4] @  Laval (5-3) – Sat, Nov 6 ~ 2:00 pm ET
ST. MARY’S 0 | ST. FX 46
It’s been a rough season for the St. Mary’s Huskies, who I (evidently stupidly) had battling for the top spot in the AUS. Their only win is a game they actually lost, but were credited with winning due to Acadia’s use of an ineligible player. The one team I did get right in that battle atop the conference is St. FX, who were looking to clinch first place with a win. The X-Men were relentless in this one, knowing they had that top spot to play for. Rushing scores from Malcolm Bussey (from two yards out) and Isaac Fagnan (a 31-yard scamper), plus a chip shot field goal from Max Capriotti staked St. FX to a 17-0 halftime advantage. They continued pouring it on in the final two quarters, finding the end zone three more times thanks to a 59-yard Bussey run, a fumble recovery in the end zone by Liam Wilde and a 25-yard Thomas Bentley pick six. The X-Men defence was stout once again, holding the Huskies to just nine first downs and 176 yards of offence. They will have a home date in Week 8 against the Acadia Axemen looking too complete the perfect regular season.
MOUNT ALLISON 13 | ACADIA 8
If the Mount Allison Mounties are able to win the Loney Bowl, the phrase “defence wins championships” may not apply better to any conference champion in the country. Obviously, there’s tons of work to be done before that dream is realized, but it’s unquestionably been the Mounties defence that has them here. ‘Here’ is with a chance to clinch a home playoff game with a win. Although the Mounties only found the end zone once, a six-yard run by Aidan O’Neal in the first quarter, that’s enough when you hold the other team out of the end zone. Acadia’s only points came thanks to two Ben George field goals and a safety; the Mounties got two field goals from James Parker to round out their scoring output. Mount A’s style all season long has been to play low-scoring, grind-it-out football, and they did it again in this one, holding Acadia to 191 yards of total offence. They only got 214 themselves, but it was enough, as they improve to 4-1 and will now host a playoff game in two weeks against either Bishop’s or these same Axemen.
AUS WEEK 8 SCHEDULE
Acadia [1-4] at St. FX [5-1] (Sat, Nov 6 – 2:00 pm AT)
Bishop’s [2-3] at Mount Allison [4-1] (Sat, Nov 6 – 3:00 pm AT)
SASKATCHEWAN 41 | MANITOBA 12
The marquee matchup in Week 6 in Can West featured two teams at 3-1 and the two Hardy Cup favourites. People were expecting a close game, and they got it in the first half. Two David Solie field goals propelled the Huskies out to a 6-0 second-quarter lead, before Manitoba cut it in half with a field goal of their own from Cole Sabourin. The lone touchdown of the first half came on a six-yard strike to Everett Iverson from Mason Nyhus to make it 13-3 at the break. Things started to get away from the Bisons in the third as Nyhus found Daniel Perry who took it all the way to the house for a 70-yard major and then Ethan Watson scored from a yard away. Manitoba never really recovered from the early third-quarter onslaught and fell to the Huskies 41-12, dropping out of at least a tie for first place in the conference for the first time this year. With the win, Saskatchewan is now in sole possession of first place in CanWest at 4-1.
UBC 14 | CALGARY 53
The Calgary Dinos are used to laughers. Something they’re not used to is losing. They came in to their game against the upstart UBC Thunderbirds in need of a win to have a realistic chance at making the playoffs, and while a win is a win, an easy victory was much needed after three straight losses. And a convincing win they got. The Dinos put up 25 first-quarter points. Tyson Philpot continued his Hec Creighton-candidate season with three more touchdowns, while brother Jalen also found the end zone in a game where Calgary led by as many as 39 points. The Thunderbirds could not contain a lethal Calgary offence and were unable to sustain anything offensively as Calgary dominated this game in all three phases. Calgary posted 601 yards of offence, their highest output of the season, and are now tied with UBC at 2-3 heading into their season finale against Saskatchewan.
REGINA 22 | ALBERTA 23
The Alberta Golden Bears have been looking to take that ‘next step’ in their program’s development for the last couple years and, while only 2-2 coming into their matchup with the Regina Rams, they just came off beating the Calgary Dinos the week prior. Would that be a galvanizing victory? Early indications were ‘likely not.’ Regina led 7-0 after one thanks to a 19-yard touchdown strike from Bryden O’Flaherty to D’Sean Mimbs on their opening drive following a Brad Launhardt interception. Aldo Galvan then hit four field goals over the next two quarters and the Rams had a 19-5 lead after three. After another field goal added three more to the lead early in the fourth, the Golden Bears came to life. Starting it off was Chevy Thomas, who hauled in a 37-yard TD pass from Launhardt to get the Bears back in it at 22-12 with 9:15 to go. Then with the Rams back in the shadow of their own goalpost, freshman linebacker Tyson Krushelniski recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown to cut Regina’s lead to two, 22-20. The Golden Bears Ronni Oling then recovered an onside kick and drove down inside the 10-yard line before Jonathan Guistini nailed a 17-yard go-ahead field goal to make it 23-22 Alberta. However, there was still time for the Rams. They were able to drive down to the Bears 30, aided by a couple of penalties, but Galvan missed the game-winning 37-yard kick and the Bears held on to complete the comeback in a dramatic finish, moving them to 3-2 on the year and into a tie for second in CanWest.
CAN WEST WEEEK 7 SCHEDULE:
Manitoba [3-2] @ Regina [1-4] (Sat, Nov 6 – 2:00 pm CT)
Calgary [2-3] @ Saskatchewan [4-1] (Sat, Nov 6 – 2:00 pm CT)
Alberta [3-2] @ UBC [2-3] (Sat, Nov 6 – 1:00 pm PT)