CIS Football Report (Conference Semi-Finals)

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The CIS playoffs are now completely underway with every conference holding their semi-finals this week.

It was a week of important games where teams got their chance to punch a ticket to the conference finals and take a step closer to the national playoffs.

Much like the theme of the entire season it was a week where dominant teams were looking to avoid the surprises that made headlines last year.

In 2014 both Calgary and Laval ended their long reigns atop their respective conferences in shocking results.

That created a bit of a Cinderella story in the national playoffs as the Montreal Carabins took their Dunsmore Cup win against Laval all the way to the Vanier Cup and beat another big team in McMaster.

It was a great year where an unexpected team was able to rise to the occasion and complete a great season.

This week there were plenty of teams looking to do just that in the semi-finals but none of them could get there.

It was a week that was surprisingly boring, at least in most cases, with much of the favoured teams taking home big wins.

It is not the typical playoff scenarios that people expect when it comes to games that are as important as these.

Often in the playoffs top teams are favoured giving them some extra confidence heading into an important game.

The underdog teams get a little extra though as they get a new attitude that seems to help plenty of teams.

This “us against the world” mentality is used for plenty of teams and has been used in every team but when it is genuine and the team believes it can create the fire that a team needs.

The underdogs teams are underdogs for a reason as they don’t have the talent to compete with the best teams in the country.

Yet when a team gets that extra motivation and believes they truly have nothing left to lose they can play above their talent.

Then when they get that belief almost nothing can stop them on their way to championships.

That is why the playoffs are so great as these underdog teams get that motivation and everyone without a team in the playoffs has someone to cheer for.

Almost always a dominant team falls in the playoffs in a massive surprise but this year it was far different in the CIS.football-sidebar

The dominant teams were just that as they didn’t let anyone take advantage of over-confidence while the underdogs couldn’t get that extra motivation.

In the OUA the quarter-finals from a week before provided some hope that it could be an interesting playoffs in Ontario.

The McMaster Marauders were beat, and beat easily, by the Laurier Golden Hawks eliminating last year’s Yates Cup Champion one game into the three round playoff.

Not only did McMaster lose but the other home team in Queen’s took a loss to a fairly young team in their first playoff game since returning to CIS football.

The Carleton Ravens handled the Gaels and all of a sudden the two lowest ranked teams were ready for the semi-finals.

The next round was exciting as well with Laurier and Carleton keeping the games close until the fourth quarter when Western and Guelph took over and won their games.

The two top teams were in the final. In the AUS the Acadia Axemen came into the semi-final on a cold streak and traveled to Antigonish to take on the X-Men.

It wasn’t even close as StFX only allowed Acadia 4-points and put up 26 of their own to get a date in the Loney Bowl against Mount Allison.

Meanwhile in Quebec, Laval was at it again putting up 52 points in a win against Concordia while the Montreal Carabins struggled against Sherbrooke but put up 16 points in the fourth quarter to take the win.

In the west the UBC Thunderbirds did their best impression of Laval putting up 52 points of their own while the #1 ranked team in the country had a tough time against Saskatchewan but did take the win.

In the end the results were all representative of the standings with the top two teams in every conference making the finals.

Although it wasn’t too surprising for the semi-finals it did create a big finals weekend.

All of the best teams are playing for a chance to make it into the national playoffs making some great matchups and potentially great national playoff picture in what should be an exciting week.

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