It came down to the wire, but in the end, the Montreal Carabins got the ending they wanted on their way to their first Vanier Cup victory, 20-19 over the McMaster Marauders.
It was a slow start for the Carabins, who almost went the entire first quarter without getting a first down. They didn’t score a touchdown in the first half and were sacked six times.
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However, they recovered a fumble on the second half kickoff which served to be the turning point of the game. Montreal scored to make it a 13-10 game, and they after McMaster had two more field goals to make it 19-10, Montreal had another chance.
With the wind picking up in the fourth quarter, McMaster had to punt from inside their 25 yard line against the wind. They ended up holding the Carabins to the 50-yard line but a no yards penalty moved the ball up 15 more yards. Gabriel Cousineau led the offence the 35 yards for the touchdown to make it a two point game.
After the Carabins took the lead, McMaster drove the ball and had a chance to take the lead with a field goal of their own with less than a minute left. However, Tyler Crapigna’s attempt was blocked by defensive lineman Mathieu Girard. The Carabins held on to the football for the rest of game.
The game was a battle of recent trends. Montreal’s win makes it three straight Vanier Cups for the Quebec conference after Laval won the previous two. McMaster was making their third appearance in the game in four years.
As someone who has seen teams come close to ending Laval’s streak of Dunsmore Cups, I think it is nice to see another team get a chance to show that the Quebec conference is more than just Laval. I’ve always thought that the teams behind Laval could beat some of the other nationally ranked teams, and this year, Montreal proved it.
They not even proved they were the best in Quebec, but the best in Canada. Danny Maciocia, in his fourth year, did what he set out to do when he was hired.
Players like Cousineau, Anthony Coady – who had two interceptions and won defensive player of the game – and Quebec defensive player of the year Byron Archambault are all in their fourth year and all proved what they came to Montreal to do.
The fact that they got to prove it all at home in front of a packed Molson Stadium makes it even that much more like a storybook ending.
Montreal was the first Quebec team other than Laval to appear in the Vanier Cup since Concordia in 1998 and the first to win it since McGill in 1987.
Rookie receiver Regis Cibasu caught six passes for 90 yards and was named the game’s MVP.