CIS Football Report (Semi-Finals Week)

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The rest of the CIS conferences caught up to the OUA and played their Semi-Finals of the conference playoffs. With every conference involved this weekend the CIS was busy with plenty of great games, some that were too close for comfort. Every team involved was looking to take one more step towards their championship and to the Vanier Cup. Of course the first steps start on the Semi-Final weekend when teams play for their spot in the conference championships. In the East there are three teams fighting for their spot in the Loney Bowl to win the Jewett Cup. Acadia had already earned their spot by finishing first in the conference and earning a bye to the finals. While Acadia prepared for the Loney Bowl the Saint Mary’s Huskies and StFX X-Men faced off in the Semi-Final for a chance to face the Axemen. The Huskies seemed to dominate the game as they were clearly the better team throughout the year. The X-Men did not go out without a fight however as they began a comeback in the second half when down 12-0. With the X-Men inside the redzone the Huskies were in danger of allowing their first TD. The Huskies defence stood up though ending the X-Men drive on a 3rd down attempt that became the turning point in the game. With the X-Men unable to get any closer the Huskies took the win in the Semi-Finals and are one step closer to the Vanier Cup Playoffs. They will now travel to Wolfville, Nova Scotia and face their rivals the Acadia Axemen who will give them a big challenge for the Jewett Cup. While the AUS only had one semi-final game the rest of the conferences were playing two in order to determine who gets a spot in the conference finals. The OUA is the largest league in the CIS and has some of the strongest competition in it all led by the Western Mustangs. The Mustangs have been a strong team for years winning three of the last four Yates Cup finals and always ranked among the top teams in the CIS. This year they are there again and after a bye week for finishing first they took on the surprising Windsor Lancers in the first semi-finals. The Mustangs were trying to recover from their first loss in the last week of the season and they would face a team that surprised everyone with their performance. The Lancers made the playoffs with a last-minute rush and then beat the 4th place Ottawa Gee Gees in the quarter-finals. The Mustangs took over the game early going ahead 10-0 in the first quarter as they looked to dominate the game. They continued to dominate but they gave Windsor every opportunity to score with 6 turnovers but the Lancers could not capitalize. The second half started with Western scoring another TD to go ahead 33-13. Windsor then began capitalizing on their opportunities scoring two TDs in the second half to reduce the lead to 33-27. That was as close as they could get though as the Mustangs won the game and move on to the Yates Cup again this year. The second semi-final was not nearly as close as the first semi-final. The McMaster Marauders hosted the Queen’s Golden Gaels in the second semi-finals with both teams looking to take on Western in the Yates Cup. The Marauders never looked in danger as they would not let the Gaels get their offence going. The Gaels only scored 1 TD all game in the 4th quarter that made the score 40-13 as the Marauders won the game easily to make the Yates Cup. The Yates Cup will now feature the two best teams in the regular season as the Marauders and Mustangs will try to win the oldest trophy in football. With the OUA and AUS are entering the finals as the Acadia Axemen and Saint Mary’s Huskies play for the Jewett Cup while the Western Mustangs and McMaster Marauders face off for the Yates Cup. After these teams face off next weekend the winners will move into the Vanier Cup playoffs and will face each other in the Uteck Bowl for their chance at the 47th Vanier Cup.

The RSEQ features one of the best teams in the nation in Laval who were looking to make it 7 straight titles this year. Laval took on Concordia in the first semi-final game in the RSEQ and the Rouge et Or continued to roll. Laval led from start to finish as they proved that they were the team to beat in the playoffs winning 33-7 against the Stinger and ensuring the Dunsmore Cup will be played in Quebec City. The second semi-final saw the Sherbrooke Vert et Or defend their second place spot against the Montreal Carabins. The game started with Sherbrooke taking the early lead 9-0 in the first quarter as they began to try to pull away. Then Montreal took over as they scored two TDs in the second quarter as they began to take over the game. The Vert et Or came back though at the end of the half to make the score 16-12 and give the Carabins something to think about. The second half started with Montreal taking complete control scoring a TD and a field goal putting the game out of reach. The game finished with the Carabins 33-15 as they get their shot at the rival Rouge et Or for the Dunsmore Cup. Montreal will travel to Quebec City and will take on Laval for the Dunsmore Cup as Laval looks to win their 7th in a row and Montreal tries to knock them off. Montreal has some hope though as the only blemish on Laval’s record was a loss to Montreal as the Carabins look to repeat this performance. On the other side of the country the CanWest Conference began their playoffs as four teams work towards the Hardy Cup. The conference playoffs started early with Calgary taking on Regina on Friday. The Calgary Dinos are one of the best teams in the CIS with only one loss on their record coming in the last week to UBC. Calgary proved their first place spot on Friday when they took on the Regina Rams and did not allow the Rams offence to get anything. The Rams could only manage 4 points in the game while the Dinos managed two TDs in a performance that may have disappointed some. The Dinos won 16-4 but the offensive output was not what they wanted and they will look to improve this in the Hardy Cup. Their opponents had a much closer game as the Saskatchewan Huskies took on the UBC Thunderbirds. The Huskies had hopes to finish second but a late charge by the T-Birds who took the second spot. The game was a close one with both teams going back and forth with the score 3-3 at half time as the defences took control in the first half. The second half was the offences time to take over as both teams began showing their offensive power. UBC began to take over the game but Saskatchewan was not going away. UBC’s defence staved off the attack from the Huskies with key interceptions that gave the T-Birds the win with a 27-22 score. The T-Birds will take on the Dinos in the Hardy Cup with the only loss in Calgary’s schedule coming at the hands of the T-Birds. UBC will look to repeat their performance and win their first Hardy Cup since 1997. The RSEQ and CanWest have some great teams and they will meet in what promises to be a great game no matter who wins the conference Championships. As the teams look to make the Vanier Cup playoffs they will make the Mitchell Bowl for their chance to play in the Vanier Cup.

 

Semi-Final Roundup

 

AUS:

Saint Mary’s 25 – 2 StFX X-Men

– Saint Mary’s will make a run at their 5th Jewett Trophy after stopping a comeback by the 3rd place StFX X-Men

 

RSEQ:

Montreal Carabins 33 – 15 Sherbrooke Vert et Or

– The Montreal Carabins took out the 2nd place Vert et Or for their shot at the Dunsmore Cup against their rivals

 

Laval Rouge et Or 33 – 7 Concordia Stingers

– Laval continued their dominance in the RSEQ as they look to win their 7th straight Dunsmore Cup with their win over the Concordia Stingers

 

OUA:

Western Mustangs 33 – 27 Windsor Lancers

– Western stopped a comeback attempt by the Lancers to enter another Yates Cup as they look to repeat as champions

 

McMaster Marauders 40 – 13 Queen’s Golden Gaels

– The Marauders proved the strength of their team as they dominated the Golden Gael’s as they look to win their first Yates Cup since 2003

 

CanWest:

Calgary Dinos 16 – 4 Regina Rams

– The Calgary Dinos proved that their defence has what it takes as they prevented the Rams offence from getting any TDs

 

UBC Thunderbirds 27 – 22 Saskatchewan Huskies

– The Thunderbirds continued their strong season against the Huskies as they stopped a comeback to advance to the Hardy Cup

 

Next Week

 

Hardy Cup:

UBC Thunderbirds vs. Calgary Dinos (Nov. 11th; 6:00 pm MT)

– The Dinos will look to get revenge for their only loss on the season against the T-Birds as UBC will look to win their first Hardy Cup since 1997

 

Loney Bowl:

Saint Mary’s Huskies vs. Acadia Axemen (Nov. 12th; 1:00 pm AT)

– The Huskies have been the class of the conference for years but will play away for the first time in a while as Acadia looks to end the four year win streak

 

Dunsmore Cup:

Montreal Carabins vs. Laval Rouge et Or (Nov. 12th; 1:00 pm ET)

– Montreal has the only win over Laval this year as they look to continue the trend and end the 6 year winning streak of the Rouge et Or

 

Yates Cup:

McMaster Marauders vs. Western Mustangs (Nov. 12th; 1:00 pm ET)

– The top two teams in the OUA will face off for the 104th Yates Cup with the Marauders looking to get revenge for their only loss of the season

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