Pa­que­tte’s Perfection Earns Bishop’s 2013 Mayor’s Cup

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Sher­brooke, Len­noxville

The Bishop’s Gaiters beat the Sher­brooke Vert et Or 22-21 on Satur­day night for the sec­ond time in three weeks in RSEQ Univer­sity Football ac­tion. This time they earned the Mayor’s Cup with the vic­tory at Stade de L’Univer­site de Sher­brooke. A Mathieu Pa­que­tte 47-yard field goal with 37 sec­onds re­main­ing put the Gaiters up by a sin­gle point. The game came to a dra­matic end when a Vert et Or 30-yard field goal drifted wide left.

Af­ter the sea­son opener be­tween the Vert et Or and Gaiters was dubbed as one of the best games in the last 10 years, it was hard to be­lieve that the en­core with the Mayor’s Cup on the line could be any more ex­cit­ing. It was. With the win Bishop’s takes home the tro­phy for just the sec­ond time in its eight year ex­is­tence.

The game got off to a slow start. Just a sin­gle Vert et Or point off a missed field goal was reg­is­tered on the score­board in the first quar­ter.

An­other sin­gle, this time off a Sher­brooke punt gave the hosts a 2-0 lead early in the sec­ond quar­ter. Pa­que­tte, a Sher­brooke na­tive, got the Gaiters on the board with his first of three field goals on the night. The 33-yarder gave Bishop’s a slim 3-2 ad­van­tage. Af­ter a Sher­brooke safety, Bishop’s scored the game’s first ma­jor and the only one of the first half. Jor­dan Heather hooked up with Alexan­der Fox on a 20-yard pass and catch. Bishop’s led 10-4 at the break.

The Gaiters ex­tended their lead 9:17 into the third quar­ter when Heather found Jerome Mercier on a 13-yard strike. The Gaiters scor­ing drive was aided by 50 yards of Sher­brooke penal­ties. The Vert et Or an­swered back less than two min­utes later with their first touch­down of the game. The score cut the Gaiters lead to 16-11.

In the fourth quar­ter there were three lead changes, while Pa­que­tte made 91 yards worth of field goals and the game came down to the fi­nal play. Sher­brooke scored an­other touch­down just 2:58 in and grabbed an 18-16 lead. Bishop’s mounted a drive halfway through the quar­ter but man­aged just a 44-yard Pa­que­tte field goal. Sher­brooke made their lone field goal in five chances with 1:32 re­main­ing and grabbed a 21-19 lead. Heather led the Gaiters down the field and Pa­que­tte con­nected on a 47-yard field goal, his ca­reer long. The score gave Bishop’s the ad­van­tage for good but not with­out some drama to end the game.

In a sit­u­a­tion eerily sim­i­lar to two weeks ear­lier, the fate of the game rested on the foot of the Sher­brooke kicker. This time it was Se­bastien Blan­chard. His 30-yard at­tempt missed wide left. O’Shane Da­ley caught the missed field goal and sprinted to­wards the goal line. He kicked the ball out of the end zone and out of bounds to pre­serve the Bishop’s dra­matic 22-21 vic­tory.

“It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win,” said Gaiters head coach Kevin Mackey. “Fi­nally we got a cou­ple bounces to go our way and Mathieu hit a big 47-yard field goal at the end of the game. This is a huge step­ping stone for the foun­da­tion of what we want to do. Guys are re­silient and guys played hard. Football is an emo­tional game and it’s the will to win. We made fewer mis­takes and were more dis­ci­plined and we have to con­tinue what we are do­ing.”

Un­ques­tion­ably the Gaiters were more dis­ci­plined as they were pe­nal­ized eight times for 55 yards while She­brooke took 18 penal­ties for 205 yards. Pa­que­tte was a per­fect 3-for-3 on the night while Blan­chard strug­gled, go­ing 1-for-5. All other sta­tis­ti­cal cat­e­gories leaned to­wards Sher­brooke as they out­gained Bish­ops 604-346 yards and ran 70 plays to Bishop’s 57. They also had the ball on of­fense for 9:38 more than the Gaiters; how­ever Bishop’s led 22-21 on the score­board at the end of the game.

The Gaiters (2-1) will gear up for a pair of home games in the next two weeks. On Satur­day, Septem­ber 21 they face the Con­cor­dia Stingers (0-3) at 1 p.m. on Coul­ter Field. The match-up is Bishop’s an­nual home­com­ing game. Fol­low the Gaiters through­out the 2013 cam­paign at www.gaiters.ca.

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