CIS Football Report (National Semi-Finals)

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CIS Football is only one week away from the 47th Vanier Cup as the National Playoffs began last week. With the Conference finals finished the CIS saw four teams left battling for the Vanier Cup. The McMaster Marauders had taken out the #3 Western Mustangs in the 104th Yates Cup behind their CIS leading offence. This gave McMaster their 5th OUA title and ended a 7 year drought while also ending Western’s attempt at a repeat. Meanwhile AUS also underwent a changing of guard as the Acadia Axemen beat out the Saint Mary’s Huskies for the Jewett Trophy. This win ended the 4 year reign of the Huskies in the AUS but it also continued the dominance of the two teams in the AUS as either Acadia or Saint Mary’s have won the Jewett Cup the last fourteen years. Acadia got the win with their good defence and an offence that can put up points and take advantage of mistakes. The Axemen would go down the road to Moncton to play the Marauders in the Uteck Bowl. The game was a matchup between the best offence in the CIS and an underrated team from out East. The Marauders were favorites in the game as the better team but Acadia set out to prove them wrong. Acadia started the game out well as they marched down the field but failed to get any points. Pinning the Marauders within the shadow of their own goalpost the Axemen forced a fumble and recovered with a short field. They punched the ball in with Zach Skibin to go up 7-0 in the first quarter. The Acadia defence continued to shut down the Marauders offence and gave their own offence a short field. With the short field Kyle Graves threw a TD to put the Axemen ahead 14-0 in the first quarter. It seemed to all be going right for the team from Wolfville but it wouldn’t go well for very long. After being outplayed most of the first quarter the Marauders began leaning on their QB Kyle Quinlan who started the comeback for the Marauders. Behind Quinlan the Marauders scored 31 unanswered points in the rest of the first half. The Axemen added another TD in the 3rd quarter but they couldn’t to anything to stop Quinlan and the Marauders offence. Quinlan used both his arm and his feet as he threw for 370 yards and 3 TDs while rushing for 65 yards and a TD. He used Brad Fochesato as his favorite wideout as he caught 5 passes for 159 yards and 2 TDs. The Marauders offence took off in this game after going down 14-0 in the first quarter and look to be a real challenge in the Vanier Cup.

The Marauders would face the winner of the Mitchell Bowl in the Vanier Cup as they would travel out west to Vancouver for the game. The #2 Calgary Dinos did not have much competition this year in the CanWest conference only losing one game to the UBC Thunderbirds. They would get their chance to avenge this loss in the Hardy Cup for the CanWest championship. They did just that as they rolled over the T-Birds on their way to their 4th straight championship and their 13th overall title. Meanwhile in Quebec the Big Red Machine known as the Laval Rouge et Or dominated all competition in the RSEQ. They finished the season ranked #1 again this year and only lost one game all season to the Montreal Carabins. They took the opportunity to get their revenge as they faced the Montreal Carabins in the Dunsmore cup Finals. The Rouge et Or controlled the game from start to finish as they beat Montreal for their 9th straight Dunsmore Cup and their 10th overall title. The Rouge et Or would take on the Dinos in the Mitchell Bowl for a chance at the Vanier Cup. This game was more than that however as the Dinos were looking to get revenge for their loss in last year’s Vanier Cup to Laval while Laval was looking to prove they could win a national playoff game away from the comfort of PEPS Stadium as they had never gone as far west as they did. The game was played in Calgary forcing the Rouge et Or to travel farther than ever before as they tried to prove their points. The game started terrible for Bruno Prud’homme who could not get his offence going and then threw an INT in the first quarter that was returned for a TD. Laval added a field goal that was answered by the Dinos making the score 10-3 in the first quarter. From then on it was all Rouge et Or as Sebastien Levesque began to take over the game for Laval. The Rouge et Or scored 24 unanswered points in the 2nd quarter and their defence continued to shut down the Dinos offence. Levesque ran for a total of   138 yards and one TD while Prud’homme got into a grove passing for 165 yards and 2 TDs. The Dinos offence could only muster three points all game with the teams only TD coming from the defence. The rest of the game saw Laval cruise as the Dinos tried to get back into the game but could not as they continued to struggle. The Dinos were once again eliminated by the Rouge et Or as they continue to be mediocre in the national playoffs. Meanwhile Laval proved that they could win away from home and will now travel even further west to Vancouver for the Vanier Cup. They will also be in the Vanier Cup to prove once and for all who the best team in CIS football is. Laval will be playing in their 7th Vanier Cup that will make them the fifth team in terms of appearances in the CIS. They have only been to 7 but they have won 6 so far with a perfect record they hope to continue by going 7-0 this year. If they can pull off the win the Rouge et Or will take sole ownership of the most Vanier Cups in CIS history as they will break the tie with Western who also has 6 wins in the Vanier Cup. This will be what Laval will be playing for and they will have to compete with the best offence in the CIS to get their 7th win as McMaster will be looking to knock them off of the pedestal in the 47th Vanier Cup.


National Semi-Finals:

Uteck Bowl:

McMaster Marauders 45 – 21 Acadia Axemen

Mitchell Bowl:

Laval Rouge et Or 41 – 10 Calgary Dinos


47th Vanier Cup:

#1 Laval Rouge et Or vs. #4 McMaster Marauders

(Friday November 25th; 9:00 pm)

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