Sherbrooke holds off Gaiters comeback in season-opener
A pair of second-quarter touchdowns by Simon Charbonneau-campeau led the Sherbrooke Vert & Or to a 25-23 win over the Bishop’s Gaiters in university football action before 3,733 fans at Coulter Field. The two Charbonneau-campeau scores gave Sherbrooke a 22-7 halftime lead, and they were able to hold off a late Gaiters’ comeback to escape with the two-point victory in a game that was halted for 30 minutes in the third quarter due to the threat of incoming thunderstorms.
Bishop’s took a the lead after the first quarter as Jordan Heather (Oromocto, N.B.) found Geoff Coventry (Ottawa, Ont.) for a 31-yard touchdown at 10:51, capping a four-play, 75-yard drive for the home side.
The Vert & Or regained the lead at the 1:00 mark of the second, as the first of Charbonneau-Campeau’s touchdowns put
Sherbrooke up 13-7. After the Gaiters conceded a safety touch, the second Charbonneau-Campeau score put Sherbrooke up 22-7 at halftime.
Bishop’s came out to a strong start after the interval, as Jordan Heather put together an 8-play, 85-yard scoring drive, capped by a one-yard run by veteran running back John JeanBaptiste (Ottawa, Ont.). His touchdown brought Gaiters to within one score at 22-14, before a 73-yard Dion single put Sherbrooke back up by nine.
A bizarre play at 11:56 of the third gave Sherbrooke what turned out to be the winning points. Quincy Van De Cruize (Etobicoke, Ont.) took a Dion punt at the Gaiters’ 6-yard line and was stripped of the ball as he was attempting to cross the field. The ball bounced into the end zone, where the Gaiters fell on it, giving Sherbrooke a safety touch, and a 25-14 lead.
The game took another odd turn at that point, as the teams were immediately sent to the locker rooms due to the threat of an incoming thunderstorm, causing a half-hour delay. The showers never materialized, but a Gaiter comeback did after the «second intermission.» Alex Rivet (Le Moyne, Que.) – on his first pass attempt of the game – found Steven Turner (Brampton, Ont.) streaking down the middle of the field for an 84-yard pass-and-run play at 2:09 of the fourth. The twopoint conversion attempt sailed just over the hands of Alexander Fox (Montreal West, Que.), leaving Bishop’s down 25-20.
Midway through the quarter, a 38-yard interception return by Steven Adu (Brampton, Ont.) gave the Gaiters the ball on the Sherbrooke 7. However, Bishop’s could only manage a Mathieu Paquette field goal, cutting the gap to 25-23. The Gaiters had two possessions in the final five minutes, but were unable to complete the comeback, and Patrick Chenard’s second interception of the day with 44 seconds remaining put the game away for the visitors.
The Gaiters outgained Sherbrooke 384-274, but Sherbrooke made 19 first downs to Bishop’s 18. The Gaiters put up 343 passing yards, while holding the Vert & Or to 214 in the air, but they also committed five turnovers, while only forcing two by Sherbrooke. As can be expected from a local rivalry game, the teams combined for 39 penalties, with Sherbrooke taking 19 for 130, while Bishop’s went 20 for 170.
For Bishop’s, Heather went 17-for-26 for 213 yards, while Rivet went 5-for-10 for 130 yards after taking over in the fourth. Turner, a 2010 Toronto Argonauts draft pick, had a strong game in his return to Lennoxville, making six catches for 99 yards and a touchdown. He also posted a team-high 150 all-purpose yards.
the Gaiters (0-1) are next in action on Saturday, Sept. 10 as they host the Concordia Stingers (0-1). Kickoff is set for 1 p.m., weather permitting. won during the Paralympics in China, in 2008, that was taken away from her after the organizers decided to run the race again because of a multiple racer crash, this one she can keep. It was the first gold medal won by a Canadian at the event.
With only 250 metres to go in the race, Ms. Roy advanced from fourth place to beat Japan’s Wakako Tsuchida and Britain’s Rochelle Woods to the finishing line with a time of 1 minute 50.91 seconds. “It was great because the race didn’t start out super fast. Everybody was watching to see who would take the lead,” analyzed Ms. Roy who was taking part in her fifth world track and field championship.
The wheelchair athlete was happy to see that her recent training to improve her start time had paid off. “I hadn’t realized that I had improved so much until I was in the race. I began the race fast and that provided good results.”
Although many Paralympic and wheelchair championships attract small numbers of spectators, this time the 40-year old fivetime Paralympic medal winner was racing in front of a filled 65,000 seat stadium.
After the race, Ms. Roy commented how she loved competing at conventional world championships like the one in Daegu, where the stadiums are often filled to capacity. “Tonight is probably the night with a record number of spectators and having them all cheer for us is just wonderful. I think that an event like this is very important for the integration of our sport. It is always fantastic to enter a full stadium,” she commented.
The 800 metre race is a short one for Diane Roy who usually considers her- self stronger in the long races and marathons.
At the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing, China, Ms. Roy won the gold medal in the women’s 5,000metre wheelchair race. However, a re-run of the race was requested by the International Paralympic Committee after complaints by the Australian, American and Swiss teams because of a crash that involved many racers. In the re-run race, Ms. Roy came in second, taking the silver medal.