TORONTO, ON – The top team in U SPORTS football weekly rankings fell to their rivals this week, as the latest round of Canadian university football did everything it could to keep fans on the edge of their seats in the fourth week of ever electrifying season.
Laval’s turnovers lead to Montreal win
The Laval University Rouge et Or came into week four as the No. 1 team in the U SPORTS Top 10 list, but they didn’t look like their usual selves in a 31-14 loss to the visiting University of Montreal Carabins on Sunday.
In front of over 18,000 fans in Quebec City, Laval committed six turnovers, including three fumbles and three interceptions — Montreal’s Bruno Lagace caught two of those and Guillaume Perrier’s pick-six broke the 14-14 tie with seven minutes remaining. The Carabins capitalized on the Rouge et Or’s misfortune, scoring 22 unanswered points in the second half to bring down the defending Vanier Cup champions.
“It’s an exceptional piece of execution,” said assistant defensive coordinator Antoine Pruneau after the road win. “The guys were physical and it’s been a long time since we’ve seen energy like that.”
In Montreal, the Concordia University Stingers defeated the McGill University Redbirds 42-24. After falling back 17 points in the first quarter, McGill came back and stayed afloat until the final 12 minutes, when Concordia pulled away with 10 unanswered points.
Despite the loss, Redbirds quarterback Eloa Latendresse-Regimbald had yet another dynamic game, passing for 156 yards and running for 107 yards, with a touchdown in the air and on the ground.
Western wins thriller over Queen’s
In a Yates Cup rematch with the Queen’s University Gaels, the Western University Mustangs found themselves trailing 27-25 in the final 57 seconds of the fourth quarter. The Mustangs managed to get to midfield, where QB Evan Hillock hit receiver Savaughn Magnaye-Jones on a corner route.
Magnaye-Jones maintained his balance through the catch and ran for the endzone to take a 32-27 Mustangs lead with 13 seconds remaining, and the Gaels could not respond.
“We took what they gave us, forced them into some man coverage, and [Savaughn Magnaye-Jones] beat them,” Mustangs head coach Greg Marshall said after the game.
The Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks kept their undefeated streak alive in the Battle of Waterloo, dominating the University of Waterloo Warriors 47-20. Laurier QB Taylor Elgersma maintained his MVP-caliber play, passing for 318 yards and five touchdowns.
The University of Windsor Lancers pushed their way into the Yates Cup conversation by defeating the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees 42-31. Windsor’s defence recorded two interceptions from defensive back Breton MacDougall and linebacker Sal Raap-Kopiyka.
The University of Guelph Gryphons snuck past the McMaster University Marauders 21-13 while the Carleton University Ravens had their turn at blowing out the York University Lions 52-0.
UBC, Alberta, remain perfect in Canada West
The University of Alberta Golden Bears made their Hardy Cup case on Friday with a 26-22 victory over the back-to-back Canada West champion University of Saskatchewan Huskies. Alberta grabbed an early 20-0 lead early in the first half before Saskatchewan started their comeback, getting to within four points in the final two minutes.
The Golden Bears were able to drain the remaining minute and 17 seconds, giving the Huskies their first loss of the season. Alberta running back Matthew Peterson had a career day with 295 all-purpose yards — 176 rushing yards and 104 receiving yards, including a 104-yard run from his own one-yard line to Saskatchewan’s five-yard line. Golden Bears defensive back Jonathan Giustini also made waves, kicking four field goals on special teams and picking up an interception on defence.
The University of British Columbia Thunderbirds didn’t sweat as much to maintain their undefeated record when they crushed the University of Manitoba Bisons 56-10. UBC running back Isaiah Knight had his best game of the season, rushing for 135 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries, averaging 11.3 yards a carry.
The University of Regina Rams had a 14-point deficit late in the second quarter, but came back with 22 unanswered points to beat the 0-3 University of Calgary Dinos and win their first game of the season.
Bishop’s holds down AUS on St. FX’s bye
While the top team on the east coast, the St. Francis Xavier University X-Men, rested on their bye week, the Bishop’s University Gaiters proved their dominance in the AUS with a 40-9 win over the Acadia University Axemen. The Gaiters defence overwhelmed the Axemen with three interceptions, two forced fumbles and five sacks.
In Halifax, the visiting Mount Allison Mounties won their first game of the season 24-10 against the Saint Mary’s Huskies. Mounties running back Brandt Burzuk drew eyeballs with his 241 rushing yards and two touchdowns on his heavy 30-carry day on Saturday.