Gaiters Scare No.2 Laval In Home Opener
Bishop’swon the coin toss and deferred their choice to the second half. Laval chose to kick off and have the strong Eastern Townships wind at their back for the first quarter. The choice paid off as Laval controlled the early field position battle and Bishop’s was forced to give up three safeties and spot Laval an early 6-0 lead. That advantage was extended when Jordan Heather (Oromocto, NB) was intercepted by Mathieu Masseau (St. Jean Sur Richelieu, QC) at 12:05 of the first quarter. He would return the pick back 32 yards for a touchdown and after the convert Laval would claim a 13-0 lead. The Gaiters were forced to concede another two points as they faced the brisk wind, and Laval jumped out to a 15-0 lead as the frame ended.
As the teams switched ends the Gaiters took advantage of the wind, starting with a Mathieu Paquette (Magog, QC) field goal at 6:10. The Gaiters defence used the crowd’s encouragement and the wind to help slow down the Rouge et Or. The offence then added its first major when Heather hooked up with Alexander Fox (Montreal West, QC) for a five yard strike cutting the lead to 15-10 with just 40 seconds left on the clock. It was Gaiters head coach Kevin Mackey’s first big gamble as he decided to leave the offence on the field on the third and goal situation.
After the break it was the Gaiters turn to kickoff and choose the wind for the third quarter. The defence immediately took advantage forcing
the Rouge et Or to give up two points. The games biggest play arguably followed at 4:31 of the third frame. Heather hooked up with Steven Adu (Woodbridge, ON) on a 52 yard catch and run to pay dirt. The score gave the Gaiters the lead at 19-15 following the Paquette extra point. The elements again played a role as the nation’s second ranked team was forced to give up yet another safety. The Gaiters final opportunity with the wind came when Paquette missed a 42 yard field goal at 10:52 of the quarter. The ball would sail through the end zone for a single point and a Bishop’s 22-15 advantage. Laval marched down the field thanks in part to a punishing ground game, capped off a Pascal Lochard (Montreal) seven yard touchdown run. Laval would add the extra point to tie the game at 22. Those were the only points on the day that were scored against the wind.
Shane McDonald (Uxbridge, ON) took over as the signal caller after Heather was forced to leave the game midway through the third quarter. He was intercepted by Masseau on the first play of the fourth quarter. Laval capitalized right away with the wind at their backs, as Boris Bede (Toulon, France) kicked a 41 yard field goal to give the Rouge et Or a lead they would not relinquish. Mother Nature again played a role as the Gaiters conceded their fifth safety of the game making the score 27-22. Bede missed a 33 yard field goal but did score a single for a 28-22 Laval lead.
Next up the Gaiters will face the number four ranked Université de Montreal Carbins (2-0) on Saturday, September 15 at 1 p.m. The game will be live on RadioCanada television.