Newspaper article The Canadian Press

CIS Roundup: Laval, Acadia, McMaster, Calgary Return to Vanier Cup Semifinals

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

CIS Roundup: Laval, Acadia, McMaster, Calgary Return to Vanier Cup Semifinals

Article excerpt

CIS: Laval, Acadia, Mac, Calgary return to playoffs

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This year's Vanier Cup semifinals will look familiar to Canadian university football fans.

History was made on Saturday when Laval, Acadia, McMaster and Calgary all repeated as conference champions to advance to the CIS football semifinals. The same four teams had never made it to the national Bowl games in back-to-back years.

The RSEQ champion and second-ranked Rouge et Or (10-1) will host the AUS titlist and No. 9 Axemen (8-1) in the Uteck Bowl in Quebec City.

In the Mitchell Bowl, the OUA champion and top-ranked McMaster Marauders (10-0) will host the Canada West champ and No. 3 Dinos (9-1) in Hamilton.

Both games will be played on Nov. 17.

Laval, McMaster and Calgary all extended or established record streaks on Saturday.

The Rouge et Or added to their own all-time CIS mark with a 10th consecutive conference title. The Marauders won their 20th straight overall game dating back to Week 3 of the 2011 schedule to top Laval's previous CIS record set from 2004 to 2005. The Dinos became the first team in history to capture five straight Canada West banners.

In last year's national semifinals, McMaster defeated Acadia 45-21 in the Uteck Bowl (at Acadia), while Laval outscored Calgary 41-10 in the Mitchell (at Calgary). The Marauders then claimed their first-ever Vanier Cup title with a memorable 41-38 overtime win over the Rouge et Or in Vancouver.

No. 2 Laval 40, No. 10 Sherbrooke 17

At Quebec City, the Rouge et Or jumped to a 16-0 lead seven minutes into the game and never looked back en route to their 16th straight win over Sherbrooke since the Vert & Or joined the RSEQ league in 2003.

Sherbrooke cut the deficit to 16-10 midway through the second quarter but the locals responded with two quick touchdowns to go into the halftime break with a comfortable 30-10 cushion, to the delight of the capacity crowd of 14,914.

As expected, Laval dominated on the ground with 309 rushing yards to Sherbrooke's 32. Maxime Boutin, with 119 yards on only six carries, and Guillaume Bourassa, with 19 rushes for 112 yards and a TD, both went over the century mark.

Rouge et Or quarterback Tristan Grenon completed 10-of-20 passes for 131 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also scored on a pair of one-yard plunges.

For Sherbrooke, the duo of Jeremi Roch and Sebastien Blanchard put up impressive numbers in the losing cause. Roch was 28 of 48 for 306 yards, one score and two picks, while Blanchard caught 12 balls for 182 yards.

No. 9 Acadia 17, Saint Mary's 9

At Wolfville, N.S., the Axemen got all they could handle from Saint Mary's but a remarkable defensive performance lifted them to their second straight AUS final win over the Huskies, in front of 2,678 fans. Acadia prevailed 39-20 in last year's Loney Bowl.

Holding on to a slim 10-9 lead with less than seven minutes remaining, the Axemen sealed the win with two late safeties and a 28-yard Ryan Begin field goal with 52 seconds left on the clock. …

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