Revenge for THE Dynasty (48th Vanier Cup Review)

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The Laval Rouge et Or went into the 48th Vanier Cup with a very clear goal in mind and that was to get some revenge for their loss in the 47th Vanier Cup a year ago. They would be in tough against the best team in the country though with Kyle Quinlan leading the McMaster Marauders to an undefeated season. The Marauders and Rouge et Or had met before in the 47th Vanier Cup in 2011 in what had become known as the Greatest Game Ever Played. Now both teams were back in the final game as everyone looked on waiting to see what type of game both teams would produce in their second meeting. Before the game many had the Marauders winning as they seemed to be a better team than last year while the Rouge et Or were not as good losing some key pieces of their team from a year before. In 2011 the game would see McMaster take a commanding lead in the first half while the Rouge et Or came back to tie the game as the 47th Vanier Cup would go to overtime where the McMaster Marauders would win in overtime. This year the offence was much less of a factor in the game as the first quarter would see both defences showcase their talent. There would be no scoring in the first quarter as the defences kept the game within the 40s for almost the entire quarter. The only chance would be from the Rouge et Or who would miss a field goal ending any chance of an early score. The second quarter saw much of the same as the Rouge et Or and Marauders would not get any scores until midway through the quarter. Laval would break the tie halfway through the second quarter when Tristan Grenon would throw a 28-yard TD pass to Matthew Norzil. The Rouge et Or would get a safety after pinning the Marauders inside their 5 yard line and forcing them into a 2-and-out then they would add a field goal near the end of the half. It seemed like the Rouge et Or were in a groove and that they were on their way to an easy win but Kyle Quinlan would have his say before halftime. The Marauders would march 75 yards down field with some help from costly penalties by Laval as Quinlan would finish the drive off with a TD run. On their next drive Quinlan would break through the 13th ranked passing defence for a big 56 yard TD pass to Dahlin Brooks to end the half on top of the Rouge et Or 14-12. The Rouge et Or were in a familiar spot as they went into halftime down to the Marauders again but this time it would only be two points between them and a tie and that gave them hope. The second half would see Laval begin to get their running game going behind the legs of Maxime Boutin. The running game had been a non factor for Laval most of the first half despite the Marauders poorly ranked run defence. Boutin began to punish this run defence in the second half as he would open up the scoring with an 11 yard run. After another safety the Rouge et Or would essentially put the game away as Boutin would rumble for 84 yards for a TD. From that point on the Laval defence would shut down any hopes of a comeback by the Marauders. The offence would add even more points with three more field goals as the Marauders hopes at a repeat were finished. The Rouge et Or would get their revenge after losing their first ever Vanier Cup game in 2011 and would win their CIS record 7th Vanier Cup. It was not the Greatest Game Ever Player but nothing could have been and continued the dynasty of the Big Red Machine in Quebec City.

The game came down to two simple factors for the Rouge et Or in their 7th Vanier Cup win and it all went back to old school football. Without Sebastian Levesque and Bruno Prud’homme the Laval Rouge et Or were supposedly a worse offence. They would move on with Tristan Grenon at QB and Pascal Lochard at running back. In the game neither of these players would have much of an impact as Tristan Grenon did not have a great game and Lochard would not make an appearance after an injury in the RSEQ playoffs. Instead it would be backup running back Maxime Boutin who would take over the game on offence. It was the traditional way of doing things with shades of Sebastian Levesque running through a defence who were their worst against the run. On the other side of the ball the strategy was simple and it was to get into the face of Kyle Quinlan. In 2011 Quinlan was the X-factor in the Vanier Cup as he was the main reason for the Marauders winning the game. This year the defence was determined not to let that happen again and they made sure they would make him uncomfortable. From the start of the game the pressure was high as the Rouge et Or would continue to get through and hit Quinlan. It didn’t matter if Quinlan got a pass off or not the Rouge et Or would hit him and make sure he knew they were coming all game. The strategy took some time to develop as Quinlan would make plays in the first half. In the second half though Quinlan seemed very uncomfortable in the pocket and it made an impact. Quinlan would never get comfortable in the game as Frederic Plesius and Arnaud Gascon-Nadon were in his face all game. The win for the Rouge et Or was a simple one as it was running the football and playing great defence. It was old school defence and a style that the Rouge et Or had made their own in the CIS. With the game over Laval would be the champions once again as they put their record to 7-1 in the Vanier Cup. It would reinforce the dynasty that is the Laval Rouge et Or who will now sit above the rest of the teams with 7 Vanier Cup championships more than any other team. It was another part of the best dynasty in the CIS and one that seems to be simply rebooting with a new crop of impact players for the future of the league.

Ted Morris Trophy (Game MVP):

Maxime Boutin, RB (Laval Rouge et Or)

24 rsh
253 yds
10.5 avg
2 TD

Bruce Coulter Award (defensive MVP):

Arnaud Gascon-Nadon, DE (Laval Rouge et Or)

3.5 tkl
0.5 sck
0 FF

One Response to “Revenge for THE Dynasty (48th Vanier Cup Review)”
  1. cflsteve says:

    Laval’s system based on greqt execution and discipline paid off. That is that. Winning back to back grey cups is hard enough but going undefeated and doing it extra extra tough to do.

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