CIS Football Report (National Semi-Finals)

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As the CIS season came to a close there seemed to be one major theme as consistency ruled the day and the year in the CIS. For the first time ever all four Conference Champions would repeat sending the exact same four teams to the National Bowls. Calgary, McMaster, Laval, and Acadia would all return to the National Bowls this year with two teams looking to continue the trend and two looking to end it. The Uteck Bowl would see a matchup that was familiar to both teams as the Acadia Axemen would take on the Laval Rouge et Or for the second time this year. In their first meeting the Axemen would take on the Rouge et Or in the crossover game. It was the only loss of the season for the Axemen as Laval won the game 31-7 in a blowout for the dominant team from Quebec. Both teams went into the game knowing that Acadia had let to win against Laval yet still looking to get the biggest upset of the season. It would not work out that way though as the Rouge et Or would dominate the game from start to finish. In a classic Laval performance they got out ahead early and never looked back. The game would belong to Maxime Boutin and Christian Normand who led the rushing attack against one of the best defences in the CIS. Boutin had a special day for Laval as he would wear the Axemen down with 213 yards rushing as Normand would follow-up with 48 yards rushing and a big TD. Acadia continued the trend of the AUS champions of recent years as they cannot compete with the bigger schools in the west. Meanwhile the Rouge et Or continued their dynasty once again earning a berth in the Vanier Cup with a chance to reclaim the National Championship. With the Rouge et Or in place it was up to the McMaster Marauders to continue the theme of continuation and earn a spot in the Vanier. They would take on the Calgary Dinos in a game that many saw as the toughest of the weekend. At the start of the game it looked like it would be the better of the two games in the National Semi-finals but it quickly went downhill from there. Kyle Quinlan took some time to get into a groove but the favorite for the Hec Crighton would get into his groove and put the game out of hand quickly. The Dinos seemed to be a little lost in the game making crucial mistakes and not performing like the 5 time CanWest champions. Meanwhile as the Dinos were trying to figure things out the Marauders were piling on the points and looking like the top team in the league that they had been built as. The weekend for the CIS was not a great one as both games were, to be blunt, boring. The usual happened and there was no sense of the unexpected. This is what makes the CIS so great is the unexpected and the unpredictability of the season. Over the past two years though this seems to have disappeared as four teams repeated and two teams will face off once again in the Vanier Cup. It is both great and bad at the same time as dynasties have been made and are beginning to be made creating the big teams that fans can love and hate. Yet still when the same teams win every year the excitement begins to wear away. Still there will be one more game to save the monotony of the playoffs this year and the potential of doing that is better than ever. The Vanier Cup in 2011 between Laval and McMaster has become known as the Greatest Game Ever Played and for those who saw it that moniker would be hard to argue. It had everything a game could want with turnovers, great plays, amazing catches, overtime, and a last second game winning kick. Laval and McMaster are back in the finals and although it will not live up to the hype that will be assigned to it the game will still be great. It will be hard to match the 2011 final but the Laval Rouge et Or are looking for revenge against the best team in the CIS. That makes for a compelling game with the potential to be another instant classic. After a playoff season that has produced very little to get excited about there is one more game to save the end of the season. If Laval and McMaster can even have a game that is a fraction of the excitement of 2011 it will be another great one and will make everyone forget that this postseason has been predictable. There is a lot of potential in the near future and so the CIS enters its final game in what will kick off one of the biggest weekends in Canadian football and fans can only hope it will be a great kick-off.


National Semi-Finals:

Uteck Bowl:
Laval Rouge et Or 42 – 7 Acadia Axemen
– Nobody gave the Axemen much of a chance in the Uteck Bowl where the AUS champions would take on the 10 time RSEQ champions once again as they looked to add one win to their record against the Rouge et Or but couldn’t pull it off as Laval easily took home the win


Mitchell Bowl:
McMaster Marauders 45 – 6 Calgary Dinos
– The game was built as a game that could be the best game of the weekend but the Marauders stayed true to their motto as they left no doubt that they were the better team winning the game and a chance to repeat as champions


Vanier Cup:
McMaster Marauders vs. Laval Rouge et Or
– It is a familiar sight as Laval and McMaster will face off for the second year in a row at the Vanier Cup as they hope to repeat their performance of last year in what has become known as the Greatest Game Ever Played

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