McGill puts a little English on the ball, scores seven TDs in lopsided road win over Gaiters
LENNOXVILLE, Que – Rookie quarterback Nicolas English passed for 321 yards, three touchdowns and ran for another major as visiting McGill bullied Bishop's 53-11 to put a damper on a Gaiters Homecoming football crowd of 2,019 at Coulter Field, Saturday.
It was McGill's highest offensive output since a 53-52 overtime victory at Concordia on Sept. 28, 2013. The Redmen, who racked up 31 first downs and 584 net yards, scored seven touchdowns, including three in the air, three on the ground and one more on a 56-yard fumble return by Charles-William Tremblay. It marked McGill's highest single-game TD total since 2003, when the Redmen tallied eight in a 61-0 win against Sherbrooke at Percival Molson Stadium, which tied the school record established in 1960, during a 57-6 win over Western at Molson Stadium.
The Redmen led 7-0 after the opening quarter, 19-3 at halftime and 32-3 after three. In the final stanza, they added another 21 points before the Gaiters finally took advantage of a handful of penalties to score their only TD in the final minute of play.
Perhaps the most telling statistic was that McGill offence was so efficient that it had to punt only once in the entire contest.
"It was a total team effort. We have a young team and our kids are finally starting to jell and understand what we are trying to do offensively," said McGill head coach Ronald Hilaire. "Our new offensive coordinator, Benoit Groulx, has been a tremendous addition to our program. Another thing that we've stressed a lot over the last few weeks is being competitive and maintaining our discipline."
The Redmen were assessed only four penalties until the last minute of the game when we were flagged for four additional infractions, leading the the lone Bishop's TD.
English, a six-foot, 200-pound freshman from St. Constant, Que., who was making his second career start for McGill, completed 24 of 30 pass attempts. He was picked off only once and rushed five times for 43 yards before giving way to understudy Simon Cossette in the fourth quarter. Cossette didn't fare too badly himself, going 5-for-5 passing for 69 yards and rushing three times for 31 yards with one TD.
"English is getting more and more comfortable with the speed of CIS football," said Hilaire. "He was a proven winner at the CEGEP level and he proving it now iat the university level that no stage is too big for him. He's calm, cool, collected and playing a game that he loves."
The two McGill pivots combined to find 11 different receivers, led by Yannick Langelier-Vanasse, who snared seven balls for a game-high 73 yards and one major. Other TD tosses included a 47-yard pass-and-run play to receiver Jonathan Mack and a 30-yarder to rookie Nicolas Khandar, who also rushed for 88 yards on 11 carries. McGill's final TD was an eight-yard run by rookie Mike Lusikila, which put the Redmen ahead 53-3 with less than three minutes remaing on the clock.
The Gaiters offence never got untracked against a voracious McGill defence until the final stanza when rookie quarterback Kyle Sheahan replaced starter Mathieu Demers and was 9-for-13 passing for 91 yards. Demers only completed 10 of 18 for 134 yards and one interception.
One of the few bright spots for the Gaiters was Vincent Davignon, a senior from Roxton Pond, Que., who led all rushers with 100 yards on 19 carries. Teammate Jamall Hyman-Hamilton scored the lone TD for Bishop's, on a four-yard with a mere 15 seconds left in the game. Kicker Vincent Dube added a 19-yard field-goal late in the second quarter, which narrowed the gap to 15-3.
Sophomore linebacker Karl Forgues spear-headed the McGill defence with 8.5 tackles, including a quarterback sack. It was one of three sacks by McGill, with the others going to rookies Maxime Rouyer and Kamba Katchelewa. Also prominent was Charles-William Tremblay who scored his long TD run after a blocked punt by Nicolas Khandar, late in the third quarter. Tremblay, a third-year safety from Quebec City, added an interception, a knockdown and was credited with 1.5 tackles.