Head coach Mickey Donovan and the Concordia Stingers football team started the 2017 campaign with an exciting 23-16 preseason victory over the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks who are the defending OUA champions.
Both teams showed a lot of rust in the first half, with the Stingers struggling more and trailing 13-2 at halftime. The only scoring coming on a safety.
Laurier capped off a strong opening drive with a two-yard touchdown plunge from running back Gordon Levondre and then connected on field goals from 15 and 29 yards out.
“We were slow out of the gates,” said Donovan. “Our timing was off and there were too many penalties. It was sloppy, even for a preseason game.
“But our players were stronger as the game went on. We were definitely more comfortable in the second half.”
Concordia scored three touchdowns in the final 30 minutes. Quarterback Colin Sequeira connected with slotback Vince Alessandrini on a four-yard TD strike in the third quarter and then again late in the fourth quarter. This one was a 10-yard score.
Finally, with 33 seconds left on the clock, running back Glody Musangu scored a major on a two-yard surge to break a 16-16 tie. He had 14 carries for 90 yards on the day.
“It was great to see Glody run so well in the game,” Donovan said. “We’ve seen him do it in practice. Now we know he can do it in a game.”
Laurier’s only points in the second half came when kicker Nathan Mesher connected on his third field goal of the game, a 12-yarder in the fourth quarter.
Concordia rolled up 383 yards of offence and 27 first downs on the day. Laurier had 22 first downs and 354 yards. Both teams struggled with penalties with the Stingers taking 18 for 158 yards and the Golden Hawks taking 20 for 171 yards.
Three Stingers picked up minutes at quarterback. Sequeira, a fourth-year player, posted the top numbers, completing 11 of 15 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns.
“Colin did a good job,” said Donovan. “He stood out.”
Other top performers on the day were Alessandrini with eight receptions for 62 yards and the two majors. Receiver James Ohayon caught four passes for 106 yards.
The Stingers open the regular season by hosting the Montréal Carabins next Friday night at 7 p.m. Donovan feels the preseason game will go a long way towards preparing for the RSEQ calendar.
“It was good for us,” he said. “We got a lot out of it. We’ll learn from our mistakes and get better as we prepare for Montréal.”