Quebec-Blue edge defending champions to capture gold on home soil
Photo credit: James Hajjar
Quebec-Blue defeated defending champion, Ontario 15-12 in the gold medal game at the 2015 Football Canada Cup from Cégep Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu’s Alphonse-Desjardins Stadium in Quebec.
The matchup pitted defending champion Ontario against the host’s top team, Quebec-Blue.
Quebec-Blue drew first blood on a 72-yard touchdown pass as quarterback Ezechiel Tieide found Vincent Forbes-Mombleau all alone following a missed Ontario coverage assignment.
Starting at their own 3-yard line, Quebec elected to play it safe and give up a safety to put Ontario on the board 7-2.
To start the second half, Ontario elected an on-side kick which they recovered near their opponent’s 40-yard line. They capitalized on the momentum swing with a 37-yard Gabriel Siemieniec field goal to narrow the Quebec lead 7-5.
Following the field goal Ontario continued to build momentum as linebacker Nathaniel Edwards stepped in front of a Tieide pass to start Ontario at the Quebec 33-yard line. Ontario capitalized on the turnover as a 1-yard Dominic Mandalfino run gave the defending champions a 12-7 lead midway through the third quarter.
Driving from their own 31-yard line, Quebec was determined to retake the lead. An eight play drive culminated with a 15-yard Samuel Makwanda touchdown catch to bring Quebec ahead by two, 14-12.
A Denzel Gendron-Muscadin forced fumble following a big hit on Ontario quarterback Connor Carusello gave Quebec great field position at their opponent’s 30-yard line. Ontario’s defence held strong, forcing a 31-yard Mathieu Blanchette field goal attempt which missed but went through the end zone for a single, increasing the Quebec advantage to three, 15-12.
With two minutes left to play, Ontario took over at their own 22-yard line looking to even the score. Ontario drove to the Quebec 50-yard line where they faced a critical 3rd down and 6 with 42 seconds to play. Quebec’s defence held strong forcing a turnover on downs.
With 24-seconds left to play Ontario would receive one final offensive series however they were unable to reach field goal range.
“The kids played well and the kids played hard. I was proud of the way our kids played football. I thought we represented the province incredibly well and hung in there. It didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to turn out but I was proud of our kids.”
On the loud hometown crowd
“I didn’t really worry about the crowd. It’s a tough atmosphere to play here, that’s for sure.”
On the gold medal game
“I thought the kids played extremely well. It was a hard fought game. Ontario gave us everything we could handle. It was one of those 12 round fights that went right to the bell.”
On winning Canada Cup on Quebec soil
“I was fortunate to have won in Quebec before in Sherbrooke. This one being a head coach and leading these kids has been a great experience and I think for these kids to play in front of their family and friends is an amazing feeling.”
On the game winning score
“The kids answered the bell. We talked about it on the bench that we’ve got to go out and get a drive together and get a touchdown so that we can get a lead back. It just goes to show that these kids just didn’t give up; they believed in what they could do and they went down there and did it.”
On Samuel Makwanda and his game winning touchdown catch
“Sam is an all-around football player. He was a leader on this team. He’s done it before and had been through the heartache of loosing and coming back and the kids rallying around him and getting that win. It’s an onus on those kids that had been here before and had felt defeat before. It just goes to show that if you put everything together and get your minds right, you can achieve great things.”
On recovering from a third place loss in 2014
“The goal was to put last year behind us and start fresh. This is the 2015 edition; that’s something we talk about every time we do this. They’re unique and they’re never going to be together after this. You have to play together for that three games and it’s something special. They have to buy-in and that’s what they did.”
On Quebec finishing top of the consolation bracket as well
“I think that’s amazing. I’ve always said that Quebec could put two teams together and compete very well. I think it goes to show that our province is blooming in amateur football. They’re well coached at all levels. It just goes to show that our sport is very healthy here and it’s going to continue to get better.”
-Brad Collinson, Quebec-Blue Head Coach
|Players of the game|
|Defensive||#9 Denzel Gendron-Muscadin, DB||#9 Nathaniel Edwards, LB|
|Offensive||#84 Vincent Forbes-Mombleau, REC||#11 Connor Carusello, QB|
|Offensive||#14 Mason Nyhus, QB||Saskatchewan|
|Defensive||#22 Kaylyn Smith St-Cyr, DB||Quebec-Blue|
|Special Teams||#12 Vincent Blanchard, K||Quebec-White|
This post is also available in: French