Rookie Mikael Charland shines in Stingers’ comeback victory
Linebacker Mikaël Charland had a big impact in his university football debut, forcing a key turnover and helping the Concordia Stingers secure a 31-24 victory over the Toronto Varsity Blues in exhibition play at Concordia Stadium this afternoon.
The Gatineau, Que. native blocked a Toronto punt with 1:41 left to play. Stinger linebacker Taylor Cook grabbed the loose ball and took it 11 yards for the touchdown. The major and the ensuing convert by Keegan Treloar gave Concordia a 28-24 lead.
A minute later, Treloar nailed a 31-yard field goal to make the final score 31-24.
Charland finished the game with five solo tackles, five assists and the block. Only Stinger Max Caron, the outstanding defensive player in the CIS last year, had better numbers. He had eight solos, two assists, a sack and a forced fumble.
Overall, Concordia rolled up 17 first downs and 406 yards of offence. Quarterback Reid Quest played the first half and completed 12 of 21 passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns. Troy McCusker took over in the second half. He was good on five of eight passes for 123 yards and a major.
Their favorite targets were Michael Harrington who caught seven passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns, and Kris Bastien who hauled in five passes for 84 yards and a TD.
Toronto had 21 first downs and 373 yards of offence. Chris Jugovic took most of the snaps. He completed eight of 16 passes for 160 yards. He threw one touchdown and two interceptions.
Receiver Alex Pierzchaiski was the Varsity Blues' top receiver with eight catches for 90 yards. Running back Ashton Nelson was the top rusher in the game with 94 yards on 17 carries. Fullback Stephan Boroniec rushed five times for seven yards and two majors.
The Stingers open the RSEQ regular season on Saturday, Sept. 1 when the Bishop's Gaiters will be the visitors at Concordia Stadium. Kickoff is 1 p.m. Toronto hosts the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks in their OUA opener on Sept. 3 at 1 p.m.