The Dominance Continues (49th Vanier Cup Review)

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The Laval Rouge et Or would come into the 49th Vanier Cup as the clear favorites and as the most dominant team in the CIS. They have been a team that it seems can never be beat as they have only lost a handful of times since they won their first Vanier Cup in 1999. Since the Université Laval first established their football program in 1995 they have quickly become a powerhouse. Winning 7 Vanier Cups and 11 RSEQ titles since they began the Rouge et Or are the model for how to build a football program. They have continually been successful and every year they are favorites to win the Vanier Cup before there is even a snap in the season. They would once again prove all of the analysts right this year as they would win their 11th straight Dunsmore Cup and would find themselves in the Vanier Cup for another year, this time at home in Quebec City. Across the field from them for this match would be the other program that has had more success than almost any other in the CIS. The Calgary Dinos are not as young as the Rouge et Or but they have had a while to create a great program. They would start in 1964 and since that time have been one of the best teams in the CanWest Conference. They have added to this title in the last five years as they have won the CanWest title in the last five years. They too are a team that many look to and see dominance and are immediately favorites to move on to the National Playoffs and likely a Vanier Cup appearance. They have been one of the best teams in the CIS but there has been a thorn in their side since they began their 5-year winning streak. The Laval Rouge et Or have been the team that the Calgary Dinos have not been able to beat no matter what team they put on the field. The Dinos and Rouge et Or have had plenty of times to face off and the Rouge et Or have come out on top more often than not. That included the 2010 Vanier Cup when the Dinos would lose to the Rouge et Or 29-2 that would see the Dinos lose their second straight Vanier Cup. Through the 2013 season the Dinos would walk through the CanWest and would impress against the Western Mustangs in the Mitchell Bowl and would earn their chance at redemption. The Dinos would go into the 49th Vanier Cup looking to finally get past the Rouge et Or and finally get that 5th Vanier Cup that they have come so close to while the Rouge et Or were looking to put themselves in the record books again by winning their CIS record 8th Vanier Cup.

The matchup was all about the two best teams in the league with the Dinos and Rouge et Or both representing two very well-rounded teams. The Dinos were built with a good defence that shut down the best offence in the league in the Mitchell Bowl. Their offence was built on the run game led by CanWest Hec Crighton Nominee Mercer Timmis. For Laval the team has built on their defence that was the best defence throughout the 2013 season in the CIS. Their offence left something to be desired though as they were good but where no powerhouse in either the passing or the running game. It was clear that the Rouge et Or had a weakness this year and the Dinos seemed prepared to expose that weakness and possibly take a Vanier Cup home in a surprise win. It looked to be very close to that story when the game started as the Dinos defence would be able to hold the Rouge et Or to 5 points in the first half. The only issue was that the Dinos offence could not overcome the best defence in the CIS. The Dinos would be held to 0 points in the first half and would find themselves down 6-0 after one half. Still that was a good thing as the Dinos were left in the game heading into the second half and one touchdown would change everything. The Dinos would do exactly that as they would put up 14 points in the third quarter while limiting the Rouge et Or to 9 points in the quarter. With the score 15-14 for the Rouge et Or it would all come down to the fourth quarter and at the rate of the game it would come down to who could score a TD in the fourth quarter. In the end it was the Rouge et Or that would score that TD and would add a field goal to put the Rouge et Or ahead 25-14 for good. The Rouge et Or would win their 8th Vanier Cup and their second in a row while the Dinos were left once again on the losing end of the biggest game of the season. Although the Dinos’ running game was the talk before the game it would be the running game of the Rouge et Or that would dominate this game. The Rouge et Or would go in to show that the Dinos may not have had the best rushing attack in the game and in the process they would put up a record 449 yards rushing thanks to Maxime Boutin and Vanier Cup MVP Pascal Lochard. Meanwhile the Rouge et Or proved once again that defence wins championships keeping CIS leading rusher Mercer Timmis to 33 yards on the day. The Rouge et Or once again reign as the Vanier Cup champions and will leave everyone to wonder who can finally unseat the most dominant team in the CIS as all teams have another offseason to try to figure it out.

Final Score:
Laval Rouge et OR 25 – 14 Calgary Dinos

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