With 2016 ending in a few days, it is time to look back at 2016 RSEQ season. The RSEQ season was one for the ages with a couple of fascinating moments. A new Dunsmore Cup champion was crowned and fans in Quebec were treated to some unbelievable finishes between Laval Rouge et Or and the Universite de Montreal Carabins. For the first time in many years, the RSEQ playoff picture came down to the final week of the season. Here are LastWordOnUSportsFootball‘s top five 2016 RSEQ football season moments.
The Top Five 2016 RSEQ Season Moments
5. Bishop’s Gaiters comeback win against Saint-Mary Huskies
The Huskies entered Lennoxville during homecoming ridding a one game-winning streak after they beat Mont-Alison, 32-27 the following week. The Gaiters were looking to beat the Huskies for the second straight season in the AUS-RSEQ interlock matchup. The Huskies started the game strong as they led 20-7 at half-time. In the third quarter. the Gaiters had a 45-yard touchdown run by runningback Vincent Davignon, and kicker Vincent Dube added a 29-yard field goal which cut the Huskies lead to 23-17. In the fourth quarter, Gaiters rookie quarterback Jaeden Marwick and second-year receiver Zach Graveson connected twice in the quarter for two touchdowns. The first one was a 32-yard strike and the second-time was 3-yard pass with 31 seconds left on the clock which give the Gaiters, 30-29 win. The Gaiters for the second straight season had only one win which came against the Huskies.
4. McGill Redmen beating the Concordia Stingers
On a cold and rainy October day, the Redmen defeated the Stingers 21-8. The victory was the first time in two years that the McGill had beaten Concordia at Concordia. Redmen’s running back Nicolas Khandar had a career day with for 152 rushing yards on 20 carries. McGill’s rookie kicker, Findlay Brown had a great game as well as he had four field goals including a 36-yard. The win also guaranteed the Redmen a playoff spot for the first time since 2012. Last season, McGill lost to Concordia at home on a last second 30-yard field goal which could have given them a playoff berth.
FOOTBALL: McGill 21, Concordia 8
[@redmenfootball now 4-3, Stingers now 3-4 in RSEQ1; NEXT WEEK: Carabins at McGill for Homecoming, Oct 29)
3. Concordia Stingers running back, Jean-Guy Rimpel record-setting performance huge game against Gaiters
Throughout the season, the Stingers struggled in the running game where they averaged 88.3 yards per game. They needed a win against the Gaiters to make the playoffs and had to do without starting quarterback, Trenton Miller. Miller got hurt the previous week against the Sherbrooke Vert et Or. Stingers second-year running back Jean-Guy Rimpel stepped up to the occasion, setting a new RSEQ record for most carries in a game with 36. He rushed for 234 yards along with three touchdowns. It was the most yards ever by a Stingers running back breaking Andrew Hamilton record of 221 yards against McGill in 2006. Rimpel ended the year leading the RSEQ in rushing with 514 yards on 112 carries and four touchdowns.
2. Laval Rouge et Or captured the Dunsmore Cup on a trick play.
In one of the greatest finishes ever seen in the RSEQ conference, the Rouge et Or won their first RSEQ title since 2013 by beating the Carabins in Montreal, 20-17. The Carabins were up 17-13 with a minute to go when Rouge et Or quarterback, Hugo Richard went to work. He completed a 47-yard pass to rookie receiver, Jonathan Breton-Robert. A few plays later with 21 seconds left, Breton-Robert in the wildcat formation tossed the game-winning three-yard touchdown pass to Richard. Richard finished the game with 392 yards along with a touchdown and two interceptions.
The two teams traded victories in their regular season meetings. The Carabins beat the Rouge et Or in Laval 24-21 in the first week of the season. The Rouge et Or got their revenge in week six.
1.Rouge et Or winning the Vanier Cup
For the first time in three years, the Rouge et Or made the Vanier Cup berth after they creamed the Wilfrid Laurier Golden-Hawks 36-6 in the Uteck Bowl. The Rouge et Or played the Calgary Dinos in the 52nd Vanier Cup in Hamilton. It was a rematch of the 2010 and 2013 Vanier Cups. The Rouge et Or won 31-26, giving them their ninth Vanier Cup in 17 years.
The Dinos were up 20-10 in the early part of the third quarter when the Rouge et Or stormed back in the quarter, scoring two touchdowns. First Hugo Richard connected with receiver, Antony Auclair for a 5-yard touchdown pass and then Vincent Alarie-Tardif scored a three-yard touchdown run with 21 seconds left in the quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Rouge et Or defensive halfback, Raphaël Robidoux-Bouchard came up with the biggest play in the game as he blocked the Dinos punt which led to the game-winning one-yard touchdown run by Richard.
This Vanier Cup was a special compared to the others ones because the Rouge et Or offence came up big, especially Hugo Richard. Richard who was 25/32 for 339 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed for 62 yards on nine carries and one touchdown on the ground.
“Our offence made the difference as they throw the ball and control the clock which give our defence a breather and our defence had issues,” said Rouge et Or head coach, Glen Constantin.
Felix Faubert-Lussier, who was drafted by the Hamilton Ticats in the fifth round at the 2016 draft, said part of the reason why winning the Vanier Cup was so special was because he won it on the field of the team that drafted him.
“It is very special for me to win this Vanier Cup because it happened in my last college game and it also happened on the field by the team that drafted me,” he said. “Also, to witness the young guys feeling the way that you felt after you win your first championship is special.”