Gaiters Scare No.2 Laval In Home Opener

Stanstead Journal - - LENNOXVILLE NEWS - Sher­brooke, Stanstead

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.

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