Around U Sports: Queen’s, Western roll to second consecutive meeting in Yates Cup

Photo courtesy: Queen's Golden Gaels

Only eight teams remain in contention for the Vanier Cup after the second week of U Sports postseason action this past weekend. There were a pair of upsets, a number of close battles, and a few blowouts as the playoff picture grew clearer in all four conferences across the country.

Around U Sports is a weekly feature on 3DownNation that will take readers across the country each week to summarize collegiate football action, highlighting standout performances and tracking possible playoff matchups. It will run through the Vanier Cup on Saturday, Nov. 26.

Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks, 9 — Western Mustangs, 45

This game had the potential to be an upset early after fifth-year defensive back Shomari Hutchinson recorded a pick-six but things quickly fell apart at the seams for Wilfrid Laurier. Keon Edwards ran for 136 yards and two touchdowns in the win, giving him a ninth-straight 100-yard game this season. Western’s defence was stout, recording three sacks, four takeaways, and seven tackles for loss.

Ottawa Gee-Gees, 13 — Queen’s Golden Gaels, 35

The Gee-Gees made this a one-score game in the fourth quarter after trailing 17-0 in the first half but it wasn’t enough to knock off the tough Golden Gaels. Jared Chisari and Anthony Soles combined for 31 carries for 183 yards and three touchdowns along the ground, while defensive lineman Darien Newell recorded two sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss, and one knockdown.

Mount Allison Mounties, 15 — Bishop’s Gaiters, 12

The Gaiters were up 12-5 at the three-minute warning but squandered the lead after giving up a safety and fumbling the ball away on their ensuing drive. Mount Allison took full advantage of the turnover as Justin Vogels threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Cody Barton on third down with one minute remaining. The Mounties will now visit the undefeated St. FX X-Men in next week’s Loney Bowl.

Concordia Stingers, 27 — Laval Rouge et Or, 38

The Stingers put up a strong fight after finishing the regular season with a 2-6 record but couldn’t complete the upset against the powerhouse Rouge et Or. Kevin Mital caught two touchdown passes from Arnaud Desjardins, giving him 14 on the season through nine games this year. Laval has now advanced to the Dunsmore Cup for the 19th consecutive year where they will meet a familiar foe.

Sherbrooke Vert et Or, 15 — Montreal Carabins, 23

Montreal came out on top of a chippy game that featured 31 penalties for 320 yards as quarterback Jonathan Sénécal had a solid outing, completing 24-of-34 pass attempts for 264 yards and one touchdown. RSEQ all-star Philippe Lemieux-Cardinal led the way for the team’s defence, recording one sack and three tackles for loss. The Carabins will now face Laval in the Dunsmore Cup for a ninth consecutive season.

Manitoba Bisons, 9 — Saskatchewan Huskies, 37

The Huskies exploded for 19 points after getting the wind in the second quarter and never looked back, throttling their prairie rivals. Manitoba struggled to get anything going in the snow, generating just 67 yards of net offence and allowing six sacks. Fifth-year quarterback Des Catellier, who became the Bisons’ all-time leading passer during the regular season, handled kicking duties and averaged an impressive 42.2 yards per punt.

UBC Thunderbirds, 28 — Regina Rams, 14

UBC scored 14 points in the final six minutes to secure the upset and advance to next week’s Hardy Cup. Backup quarterback Derek Engel threw for 176 yards and a touchdown in the win, while Dane Kapler and Lucas Mastrodomenico ran for scores along the ground. Regina’s season came to a disappointing end and won’t get a third shot at beating their provincial rivals after losing two regular season meetings by a combined four points.

Next week’s postseason schedule is as follows. All four games will be played on Saturday, Nov. 12.

AUS Final — Loney Bowl

Mount Allison Mounties at St. FX-Men — 1:00 p.m. EST

OUA Final — Yates Cup

Queen’s Golden Gaels at Western Mustangs — 1:00 p.m. EST

RSEQ Final — Dunsmore Cup

Montreal Carabins at Laval Rouge et Or — 2:00 p.m. EST

Canada West Final — Hardy Cup

UBC Thunderbirds at Saskatchewan Huskies — 2:00 p.m. EST

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.