Vanier-bound: Montreal Carabins crush Western Mustangs in Uteck Bowl

Photo courtesy: Universite de Montreal/James Hajjar

The Montreal Carabins are heading back to the Vanier Cup for the first time since 2019 after defeating the Western Mustangs in the Uteck Bowl by a score of 29-3.

Montreal quarterback Jonathan Sénécal shook off an early interception to finish the game with 228 passing yards, one touchdown, and two picks. He was also his team’s leading rusher, recording six carries for 38 yards. Carl Chabot recorded the team’s lone rushing touchdown, while William Legault caught the touchdown pass from Sénécal.

Nicolas Roy led a dominant performance from the Carabins’ defence, recording four total tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, one sack, one fumble recovery, and one interception. Montreal generated five sacks and six takeaways while allowing only three points in the win. The unit has yet to allow more than 16 points in a game this season.

Western quarterback Evan Hillock had a tough day at the office, throwing for 212 yards and three interceptions, all of which came in the first quarter. Running back Ethan Dolby and Troy Thompson combined for 19 carries and 137 yards along the ground, though the Mustangs were forced to go away from their usual run-focused attack after falling behind 24-0 at the half.

Montreal lost the Dunsmore Cup last season to the eventual Vanier Cup champion Laval Rouge et Or. The team’s most recent berth in the Uteck Bowl came in 2021 when they were defeated by the Saskatchewan Huskies.

The Carabins have won only one previous Vanier Cup, which came in 2014 against the McMaster Marauders. They have lost in two appearances since with losses in 2015 and 2019. The team will face the winner of the Mitchell Bowl in the Vanier Cup on Saturday, Nov. 25 at Richardson Memorial Stadium in Kingston, Ont.