Laval dismantles Mac machine in record style


McMaster Marauders string of 21 straight regular season and post season victories snapped with thunderous vibrations on Friday night.

That consecutive game snap at the Rogers Centre, a Canadian Interuniversity Sport record, broke the Marauders opportunity to repeat as Vanier Cup champions, as Laval Rouge et Or dominated McMaster, 37-14, to reign supreme in Canadian collegiate football.


Photo: Robin Leworthy Wilson, Aerial Promotions

In doing so, Laval not only redeemed themselves after losing to the Marauders 41-38 in last year’s dramatic Vanier Cup game, but the Rouge et Or established a new standard in CIS football.

Laval has now claimed the Vanier seven times, most ever by a CIS team. Friday night, a dominating ground game, led by a 253-yard, two-touchdown performance by running back Maxime Boutin in the 48th Cup show, highlighted Laval’s victory over the Marauders before a Vanier record crowd of 37,098.

Boutin, from Quebec City, earned the Ted Morris Trophy as the most valuable player of the final. His rushing performance ranks him second all-time in a single-game Vanier Cup performance, and is a new personal-best for Boutin, surpassing a mark of 213 yards set a week ago in the Uteck Bowl.

“For two straight weeks, I can’t credit my O-line enough,” said Boutin. “They made it easy for me, and I almost always had a huge gap to run into.”

Arnaud Gascon-Nadon of Montreal earned the Bruce Coulter Award as the defensive MVP, with 3.5 tackles, one tackle for a loss, and half a sack.

“This is the reason I came back and didn’t go pro,” noted Gascon-Nadon, who was drafted by the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats last spring.

“After last year’s loss to Mac in the Vanier, we all wanted to get this payback. We really wanted this seventh banner to become the most decorated team in history.”


Photo: Robin Leworthy Wilson, Aerial Promotions

The seventh banner for Laval pushes them ahead of the six championships won by the Western Mustangs. Glen Constantin has been at the helm of six of those championships, itself another Vanier Cup superlative. A year ago in Vancouver, McMaster prevented the Quebec City powerhouse from establishing the new standard when the Marauders won in overtime with a field goal.

Friday, the dominating Rouge et Or defence made seven sacks in the game, also a Vanier Cup record, and held McMaster to 75 rushing yards. All of McMaster’s points were confined to a brief outburst of activity over a 72-second period late in the first half.

On the other side of the ball, Laval pounded out 373 yards rushing, another Vanier Cup single game team mark, eclipsing the previous record of 364 yards set by the UBC Thunderbirds in 1982. Laval’s 605 yards of net offence ranked fourth all-time in Vanier Cup history, and is the highest net yardage in a non-overtime Vanier Cup game.

Rouge et Or quarterback Tristan Grenon (Quebec City) amassed 234 passing yards, connecting on 11 of 25 attempts, tossing one touchdown, and throwing no interceptions. His most prolific target, Seydou Junior Haidara (Quebec City), contributed 106 yards on three receptions.

In the losing effort, this year’s Hec Crighton Trophy winning quarterback Kyle Quinlan completed 25 of 40 passes for 355 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions.


Photo: Robin Leworthy Wilson, Aerial Promotions

After a scoreless first quarter, Laval opened the scoring with a 28-yard pass from Grenon to Matthew Norzil (Montreal) at the 4:02 mark of the second frame. McMaster soon after conceded a safety rather than kick from its own end zone, and a 22-yard field goal from Boris Bede (Toulon, France) gave Laval a 12-0 lead with just over three minutes to play in the first half.

McMaster’s ensuing possession saw the Marauders drive 75 yards on six plays, culminating in a one-yard rushing major by Quinlan. A Laval two-and-out returned the ball to McMaster. A couple of long passes by Quinlan, climaxing with a 59-yard pass-and-run touchdown connection with Dahlin Brooks (St. Catharines), gave the Marauders a 14-12 lead with 29 seconds remaining in the half.

A spirited drive by Laval took the ball to the McMaster two-yard line, but time expired before the Rouge et Or could score.

Maxime Boutin provided a much-needed spark for the Laval offence in the third quarter, adding a pair of rushing touchdowns to the Rouge et Or’s tally. Boutin ran the ball in from 11 yards and 84 yards, the latter play being the third-longest run from scrimmage in Vanier Cup history. A trio of field goals by Bede rounded out Laval’s scoring.

SCORING SUMMARY

LAV 0-12-19-6: 37
McM 0-14-0-0: 14

FIRST QUARTER
No scoring

SECOND QUARTER
LAV – TD Norzil 28 pass from Grenon (Bede kick) 4:02
LAV – Safety Touch (Crapigna concedes) 9:37
LAV – FG Bede 22 11:57
McM – TD Quinlan 1 run (Crapigna kick) 13:19
McM – TD Brooks 59 pass from Quinlan (Crapigna kick) 14:31

THIRD QUARTER
LAV – TD Boutin 11 run (Bede kick) 3:15
LAV – Safety Touch (Crapigna concedes) 7:45
LAV – TD Boutin 84 run (Bede kick) 10:34
LAV – FG Bede 37 13:39

FOURTH QUARTER
LAV – FG Bede 20 6:48
LAV – FG Bede 31 10:35

Attendance: 37,098.