Montreal Carabins To Play In Hometown Vanier Cup


When the Vanier Cup was announced to be in Montreal, the University of Montreal Carabins had set their goal, like they had set their goal every year. Win the Vanier Cup and play in front of their home crowd.

With their 29-26 win in the Uteck Bowl against the University of Manitoba Bisons in front of a sold-out crowd at the University of Montreal stadium, the Carabins are one game away from their goal being accomplished.

Montreal quarterback Gabriel Cousineau was 24/35 for 421 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. One of the touchdowns was a 89 yard pass and catch to Mikhail Davidson on the game’s second play of the game. Cousineau also ran for 21 yards and a touchdown. He was named MVP.

“We’re one game away,” he said. “It’s so exciting to play today in front of our fans and it will be even more exciting next week.”

But, when the game was on the line, Cousineau was on the bench watching Manitoba quarterback Jordan Yantz drive down the field. The drive started on their own 14 with under two minutes remaining, but they made it all the way to the Montreal 12 in the game’s final minute. The score was, at that point, 29-24 and a touchdown would win the game for the Bisons.

“I’m a proud Montrealer. I’ve always said if there’s a way I could win a championship in Montreal, it would rank up there with those Grey Cups.” – Carabins Head Coach Danny Maciocia

The crowd at CEPSUM was loud, perhaps more nervous about a dream season slipping away before it even got to the top. But, there was Yantz rolling to his left being chased down by defensive back Anthony Coady.

Coady was one of the many fourth year players, along with Cousineau, Davidson and linebacker Byron Archambault – who was named Quebec’s top defensive player – brought in by head coach Danny Maciocia with the goal of eventually reaching the top of the Quebec and Canadian University football world. Maciocia is also in his fourth season.

Coady ran down Yantz and on the way down, the ball came loose. It was recovered by Archambault. There were under 30 seconds left and the Carabins would be clinching a spot at the Vanier Cup being played on the other side of Mount Royal at Molson Stadium.

More from La Métropole Sports

“We put the game in the hands of our defence and they came up big once again,” Cousineau said.

“We were mentally strong and we came away with the victory,” said Archambault, who led the Carabins with 7.5 tackles and forced two fumbles of his own along with the game-clinching recovery.

“The key to this game was our mental toughness. A lot of teams I coached here in the past would have succumbed to the pressure down the stretch,” said Maciocia about the defence’s stand. “But this one never stopped believing. They got in there and got it done.”

This was a year of firsts for the Carabins. Their first Dunsmore Cup victory, their first Vanier Cup appearance, and now a chance to become the first team to win a Vanier Cup in Montreal in the 50th year the Cup is awarded.

It is a dream scenario for the Carabins who will face off against the McMaster Marauders who won the Mitchell Bowl against the Mount Allison Mounties next week.

Now, Maciocia who was brought in by the Carabins with the task of beating the Laval Rouge et Or and win the Vanier Cup has a chance to fulfill that task.

“I’ve had the great fortune of winning two Grey Cups with the Edmonton Eskimos,” Maciocia said. “I’m a proud Montrealer. I’ve always said if there’s a way I could win a championship in Montreal, it would rank up there with those Grey Cups.”

“I can’t ask for anything better than this. For a 47 year old to have his wife, his kids, my parents here, nieces and nephews, and share this with them, I can’t ask for anything better than this.”