Last Saturday afternoon, Laval Rouge et Or captured their first RSEQ championship since 2013 in thrilling fashion with a last-second touchdown by quarterback Hugo Richard. It was the third straight Dunsmore Cup between University of Montreal Carabins and Laval Rouge et Or. The previous two had a winning margin of two and three points. Saturday’s game was no different as the Rouge et Or won the game, 20-17. It was also the second-time this season that the Rouge et Or beaten the Carabins on their home field. The game saw seven missed field goals including five from Laval Rouge et Or kicker Dom Levesque.
“I’m very proud of this team as they went through a lot of adversity in the game. We had five missed field goals, three turnovers ,and played half of the game against the wind and they persevere through everything,” said Rouge et Or head coach Glen Constantin.
Dunsmore Cup Takeaways
Rouge et Or Turnovers
It was not a dream start for the Rouge et Or as their first three drives ended with turnovers. On the first two drives, Richard was intercepted twice, one by Jean-Philippe Lévesque and the other interception belonged to Frédéric Chagnon. Rouge et Or offensive lineman, Louis-Gabriel Beaudet fumbled the ball which was recovered by Carabins’ Junior Luke. After their three turnovers in the first quarter, Rouge et Or did not commit any more in the game.
Missed Scoring Opportunities for Carabins
The Carabins on their first three drives went three and out. The Carabins could not capitialize on the Rouge et Or three turnovers, scoring only a 31-yard field goal by Félix Ménard-Brière. For a majority of the first half, most of their drives ended with them going three and out. They were trailing 10-6 at halftime. Briere kicked a 35-yard field goal late in the first quarter. The second-half saw the Carabins scored eleven points in the third quarter. Briere had a rouge point after he missed a 38-yard field goal on the Carabins’ second-drive of the quarter. On the following drive, Carabins backup quarterback Pierre-Luc Varhegyi connected with receiver Guillaume Paquet for a 67-yard touchdown catch. It was highlight reel stuff, as Paquet made the catch between two defenders. The Carabins, with five seconds left in the third quarte,r got their final points of the game as David Deschamps kicked a 39-yard field goal which gave the Carabins a 17-12 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Passing Decided the Game
Rouge et Or quarterback Hugo Richard completed 28 out of his 44 passes for 392 yards. He also had one touchdown pass and two interceptions. His longest pass was a 47-yard pass to rookie receiver, Jonathan Breton-Robert which set up the game-winning touchdown. Breton-Robert was named MVP of the game after he had ten receptions for 160 yards and one touchdown. Breton-Robert also threw the game-winning three-yard touchdown to quarterback, Richard.
On the other side, RSEQ MVP Samuel Caron completed seven of his 17 passes for 77 yards. His longest pass was a 35-yarder to Louis-Mathieu Normandin. Caron unfortunately was knocked out of the game on the second play of the third quarter on hit by Adam Auclair. Caron’s replacement, Pierre-Luc Varhegyi, completed eight of his 12 passes for 112 yards and had one touchdown pass. His longest pass was the 56-yard touchdown completion to Paquet.
Bad Day for Place Kickers
Rouge et Or place kicker Dominic Lévesque struggled in the kicking game as he went one for six in field goals. The only field goal he made was an 18-yard field goal. He had misses at 16 yards, 29 yards, 35 yards, 45 yards and 40 yards in the game. He was perfect on the two extra points.
On the opposite side, Carabins kicker Briere went two for three, including hitting a 35-yard field goal. His only miss was a 38-yard attempt. Also for the Carabins, Deschamps nailed a 39-yard field goal.
The Rouge et Or defence gave up 336 total yards and one fumble recovery. They also had three sacks for 12 yards. Adam Auclair had a big day as he had five total tackles, one sack and one forced fumble. The Carabins surrendered 457 yards but had three turnovers. They also sacked Richard six times for 25 yards. RSEQ defensive player of the year, Jonathan Boissonneault-Glaou, had a big day as he had five solo tackles including two sacks.
Rouge et Or quarterback Hugo Richard, described the incredible last drive. “It was high in emotion, we did not know what we were going to do and just took the plays that was given to us and execute them and in the end, great things happened,” Richard said.
“After two years of not winning and an 11-year streak, it is pretty comforting to put Laval back on top of the RSEQ,” Richard added. “With these high-profile games with Montreal Carabins, it is very hard to know what will come out of them. It was a nail-bitter till the end.”
“It was a hard fought game. They made a few more plays at the end than we did and they are deserving this victory,” said Carabins head coach Danny Maciocia.