Texas rookie RB gives Donovan first victory
Gunner Tatum, a first-year running back from Crane, Texas, rushed for 192 yards and a touchdown to help the Concordia Stingers defeat the Bishop’s Gaiters 25-15 before 2,008 fans at Concordia stadium on Saturday afternoon in Montreal.
The win gave Concordia’s Mickey Donovan his first victory as a head coach at the CIS level.
“Gunner is tough,” said Donovan who was still soaked in Gatorade 30 minutes after the game ended. “He runs hard and is doing a good job. Like everyone else he still has work to do, but he’s doing a lot of things well.”
Tatum, who is 19 years old and played running back and linebacker at his Texas high school last season, tied an RSEQ conference record for most carries in a single game. With 35 carries he joins former Bishop’s star Jamall Lee (Sept. 19, 2008 vs. McGill) in the No. 1 spot in the record book.
Tatum’s touchdown came on a two-yard run at 10:17 of the third quarter. The major put the Stingers’ in front 16-13.
Other scorers for Concordia were slotback Jamal Henry, who went 31 yards for a touchdown at 8:36 of the final frame, and kicker Keegan Treloar who connected on four of five field goal attempts.
Overall Concordia rolled up 17 first downs and 302 yards of total offence.
“I’d say as a team and a staff that we’re pleased but not satisfied,” said Donovan of his Stingers’ performance. “There’s a lot of things we need to do better. But we controlled the line of scrimmage. The offensive line did an incredible job. We got big plays when we needed them. The defence also gave us big plays when we needed them.”
The Gaiters had 22 first downs and 442 yards of offence, but turned the ball over eight times: three interceptions, two fumbles and three times on downs.
“The defence came up big,” Donovan said. “When we needed them to make a big play, they did. (defensive co-ordinator) Pat (Donovan) did a good job with the guys.”
The Gaiters scored on a one-yard run from Ronlee King-Fileen at 7:48 of the second quarter and took a 13-9 lead to the locker room at halftime. Kicker Vincent Dube was also good on field goals of 17 and 19 yards.
The Stingers will play the McGill Redmen on the road next Friday at 7 p.m., while the Gaiters return to the city to tackle the Montréal Carabins also on Friday at 7 p.m.