GUELPH, ONT.—The University of Montreal Carabins are heading back to the Vanier Cup for a second straight year after a 25-10 win over the Guelph Gryphons on Saturday afternoon.
The Carabins will meet University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, who downed St. Francis Xavier 36-9 in the Uteck Bowl.
The Vanier Cup, Canada’s university football championship, will be played Nov. 28 in Quebec City.
“Tomorrow is back to business, we’re going to have to study our new opponent and start adjusting in order to win the Vanier Cup again,” said Montreal quarterback Gabriel Cousineau.
Montreal looked like the better team on the field from the kickoff. David Deschamps opened the scoring with a 27-yard field goal to make it 3-0 Montreal.
Guelph looked dazed as Sean Thomas-Erlington ran in the ball for the first touchdown of the game, Deschamps converted to take it to 13-0 for the Carabins.
Cousineau continued to play in excellent form, throwing in a nine-yard pass to Phillip Enchill for a touchdown. Deschamps kicked two field goals in the second quarter and Montreal convincingly led Guelph 23-0 at halftime.
“We established the running game by taking control of the line of scrimmage, our defence played really well in the first half and our main objective was to keep them out of the end zone which we were able to do,” said Carabins head coach Danny Maciocia. “Once we were able to take that lead, we felt good about the situation but we knew they were going to come out and battle in the second half, and that’s what they did.”
The Gryphons finally got on the scoreboard in the third quarter with two field goals from kicker Gabriel Ferraro.
“It’s devastating, we fought hard today and we never gave up which is all I can ever ask for in my teammates, I’m pretty happy with how we played and how we responded to adversity,” said John Rush, a fifth-year linebacker for the Gryphons.
In Antigonish, N.S., Thunderbirds quarterback Michael O’Connor threw two touchdown passes to Trivel Pinto, and running back Brandon Deschampes added another on the ground.
O’Connor completed 21-of-31 passes for 272 yards and was intercepted once. UBC kicker Quinn Van Gylswyk added four field goals while Taylor Loffler led the way defensively with a number of big tackles.
UBC, which beat No. 1-ranked Calgary in the Canada West final, looked strong on both sides of the ball. The Thunderbirds grabbed the lead at 3:19 of the first quarter and didn’t let up for the rest of the game.
The X-Men, who won the Atlantic University Sports final with a last-minute field goal over Mount Allison, forced a number of turnovers but couldn’t capitalize. They failed to score a major until the last minute of play, with Cook hitting Donald Tabor for a 22-yard pass in the end zone.
(Photo: The UBC Thunderbirds advanced to the Vanier Cup with a 36-9 win over St. Francis Xavier on Saturday. UBC will meet Montreal in the title game - Andrew Vaughn-Canadian Press)