Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Next Stop Guelph as Carabins Seek Road Wins to Repeat as CIS Football Champions

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Next Stop Guelph as Carabins Seek Road Wins to Repeat as CIS Football Champions

Article excerpt

No home comfort this time for Carabins

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Home field was sweet for the University of Montreal Carabins when they took their first CIS football championship last year, but this time they'll have to win on the road.

The fourth-ranked Carabins (8-2) visit the fifth-ranked Guelph Gryphons (9-1) in the Mitchell Bowl game on Saturday, with the winner advancing to the Vanier Cup final Nov. 28 in Quebec City.

"I don't know if it's good or bad," Carabins coach Danny Maciocia said. "It'll be an experience for some of our guys to take a trip together.

"We have an idea of the (Ontario) conference, but it's always hard when you play people you don't know. Both teams will have 60 minutes to figure it out."

It may be a good year for visitors. Last week, away teams won the final of all four CIS conferences, with Montreal edging powerhouse Laval 18-16 in Quebec City to take the Quebec Conference and Guelph knocking off Western 23-17 in London, Ont., for the OUA championship.

The UBC Thunderbirds and St. Francis Xavier X-Men, who meet Saturday in Antigonish, N.S., in the other semifinal, the Uteck Bowl, also won on the road.

The last time all four visitors won was 1984, when Guelph went on to claim its only national title.

A year ago, Montreal upset Laval and then played the national semifinal at home, edging the Manitoba Bisons 29-26. The Vanier Cup game was at Percival Molson Stadium, where 22,000 partisan fans saw them nip McMaster 20-19, thanks to a blocked Marauders' field goal attempt in the final minute.

The Carabins goal now is to get back to Quebec City and repeat as Vanier Cup champions on the home field of their bitter rivals.

"Last year we beat Laval and waited for Manitoba here," said defensive back Maiko Zapeda. "We got pretty confident and Manitoba came and gave us a good football game.

"It was a style of football we don't see a lot in Quebec and they caught us by surprise a bit. …

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