Guimont-Mota rushes for 126 yards and two TDs as Redmen chop down Axemen
MONTREAL -- Luis Guimont-Mota rushed for 126 yards and a pair of touchdowns as McGill upset No.10-ranked Acadia 45-15 in an interlocking football game between the AUS and RSEQ conferences at Percival Molson Stadium, Saturday.
McGill, which had a 24-17 advantage in first downs, led 13-2 after the opening quarter, 20-4 at halftime and 36-6 after three. The Redmen ground attack amassed 296 yards, their highest rushing total since collecting 332 in a 49-27 victory at Mt. Allison, Sept. 26, 2009.
"It was a big improvement over last week (a 33-21 loss at Concordia)," said McGill head coach Ronald Hilaire. "We really wanted to bounce back with a strong complete game performance after our disappointing first-half effort against Concordia. We were really tough on our kids in practice this week about playing hard for 60 minutes and that's what we did today. We came out strong, took the lead and never looked back."
Guimont-Mota, a senior from Quebec City who averaged an impressive 11.5 yards per carry on the afternoon with 11 touches, had TD runs of 25 and five yards, to put the Redmen ahead 7-2 and 20-4, respectively.
He perhaps overshadowed teammate Nicolas Khandar, a sophomore from Paris, France, who quietly ran for a game-high 153 yards on eight carries, including a 45-yard TD scamper that capped the McGill scoring at 9:31 of the final quarter. Khandar added a special teams tackle and a forced fumble.
It marked the first time in a dozen years that two Redmen running backs had reached the century mark in rushing during the same game, a feat last achieved on Oct. 4, 2003, when Mike Samman racked up 212 yards and Danny Tai registered 124 in a 61-0 home-field conquest over Sherbrooke.
"We have the luxury of having a good stable of running backs," added St, Hilaire "Guimont-Mota is a heckuva competitor and was solid as always. Khandar finally showed what he's been doing over the last seven weeks in practice. When he gets going, he's pretty shifty and fast. Witth the two of them running like that, it bodes well for us in the second half of the season."
Rookie quarterback Nicolas English, a native of Saint-Constant, Que., who was making his first official career start for the Redmen, completed 11 of 20 pass attempts for 151 yards, a pair of TDs and no interceptions. He also rushed nine times for 17 yards and a touchdown, a one-yard plunge that put his troops ahead 13-2 at 9:32 of the first stanza.
His favourite target was Yannick Langelier-Vanasse, a fifth-year receiver from Lachine, Que., who snared five balls for 67 yards, including an 11-yard TD toss that put McGill ahead 36-6 late in the third quarter. English also hooked up with receiver Remi Bertellin for a 22-yard major that put McGill ahead 27-4 before the third quarter was a minute old.
Rounding out the scoring for the Redmen was starting wide receiver Louis Brouillette, a senior from Trois-Rivieres, Que., who serrved double-duty for the second straight game as the team's third-string place-kicker. He collected seven points, including a 13-yard field-goal in his only attempt, and was 4-for-6 on conversions.
It was a dismal day for the Axemen offence, which finally broke through late in the fourth quarter when Eugene McMinns scored their lone TD, a 39-yard reception from back-up quarterback Nick Bynkowski with only 2:21 remaining. Until that point in the game, the Axemen's only scoring had been produced by their defence, which forced McGill to concede four safeties.
Acadia did manage to chalk up 409 yards of net offence but 180 of them came late in the game.
Starting quarterback Cody Cluett connected on only 10 of 24 attempts for 167 yards, no TDs and no interceptions. Bynkowski, who relieved Cluett in the third quarter, was 7-for-9 for 127 yards and a TD.
McGill, which evened their record at 2-2 to keep their playoff hopes alive, now face a crucial confrontation at Bishop's (1-3) next Saturday at 3 p.m. in a game that will be televised on the TVA Sports network. On the same day, Acadia (2-1) will host Mt. Allison (1-2) at 2 p.m.
In other interlocking contests on Saturday, Bishop's won 23-17 at Saint Mary's, Sherbrooke triumphed 31-7 at Mt. Allison and Laval skunked visiting St.FX 64-0. Since interlocking play began in 2002, the six Quebec schools have combined to post a 64-23 record in 87 meetings against the four Maritime squads.
REDMEN RAP: Charles-William Tremblay, a third-year safety from Quebec City, spearheaded the Redmen defence with a game-high 6.5 tackles, including the team's lone QB sack. He was also credited with a forced fumble and a knockdown... DB Mack Dessources added six tackles, while LB Karl Forgues had 3.5 tackles and a fumble recovery... Starting QB Joel Houle, who suffered an upper-body injury on the opening drive in Week 2 at Montreal and was reinjured at Concordia last week, did not dress.