Inspired by a fiery start to the game and carried by an energetic crowd dressed in white, the Rouge et Or delivered a flawless performance, or almost, and offered a victory of 27  ;at 3 against Green & Gold from Sherbrooke for its home opener last night.
The Rouge et Or had invited its supporters to a very first white game at Telus Stadium, a tradition that the club wishes to establish as the Nittany Lions of Penn State do in the NCAA. The message was received as a white wave of 9221 enthusiastic spectators answered present.
The atmosphere contrasted with that of the opening match last year, where the entry into the stadium had been limited to only 6,500 spectators due to health measures related to COVID.
The men of Glen Constantin did not disappoint to start hostilities for this first meeting where they wore the immaculate uniform, usually reserved for games on the road. After 15 minutes of play, the Vert & Gold had -3 yards on offense. At the half, the local favorites had amassed 291, including 220 by air. A rhythm that the Rouge et Or was unable to maintain for the second half of the game.
“The first half is almost faultless. Honestly, we moved the ball well. I found our quarterback to be patient. He was precise in his passes, it was going well. I think we had a little drop in speed after ,” summed up the head coach, adding that there were “a lot of plays to correct. ”
< strong>Desjardins looks good
Quarterback Arnaud Desjardins looked good, especially in the first half. The second-year center ended his night at work completing 27 of 37 passes and passing 305 yards in the air. He was, however, the victim of an interception.
The quarterback called it a “two-part” game, but he still preferred to see the upside of the win . “There are positives to be taken from this. I think it was still really good in the first half. We have a lot of stuff to work on. The execution was not always there. ”
Receiver Édouard Arsenault was the busiest among the winners with six passes caught and 86 yards gained.
Hard blow for Sherbrooke < /p>
Before the game even started, the Vert et Or offense suffered a heavy blow. Centerpiece of the attack, quarterback Anthony Robichaud, withdrew before the game. “Reason of health”, it was announced at the Vert & However, without further details. The talented wide receiver William Marchand did not take part in the meeting either.
Greens head coach Mathieu Lecompte said he made the decision to do without Robichaud on Friday night, but he did not want to dwell on his state of health. As for the match, he spoke bluntly of “a first half to forget”.
“We come in with a quarterback (number two) to start the game. Lots of nervousness. We had difficulty settling in. Mistakes too, teammates around him, who do not make him confident,” explained Lecompte, who praised the execution of his flock in the second part of the duel.
The Sherbrooke offensive therefore rested on the shoulders of Zachary Cloutier. It wasn't easy for the fifth-year veteran, who finished the game with 11 completions on 26 attempts and 141 yards. One of his rare attempted passes in the end zone was intercepted by defensive back Arnaud Laporte in the third quarter.
The Rouge et Or announced their colors from the start during their first two offensive sequences which led to placements by Vincent Blanchard.
We had to wait for the next quarter to see the first touchdown of the season , courtesy of prolific wide receiver Kevin Mital. After catching a short pass from Desjardins, he raced into the end zone, losing his helmet as he crossed the goal line.
Glen Constantin's men added a layer of it shortly after stopping Sherbrooke's attack on a third down and a yard. David Dallaire ran for six yards moments later to score the game's second major with just over a minute remaining at the half. Vincent Blanchard finally finished the duel with three successful field goals from three attempts. Two safety touchdowns completed the scoring.
A new tradition quickly adopted by the players
The idea of holding a match in white has obviously pleased the players of the Rouge et Or who now wish to see the event return year after year.
“ I think there was 9200 spectators, but for us it feel as if there were more. It was really fun to see that. Especially in the evening, it gives a nice effect in the crowd,” said Édouard Arsenault, the busiest pass receiver of the evening.
His teammates agreed. “It was cool to see the crowd. When we entered the field, […] I did not expect everyone to be in white “, smiled Enzo Pepe Esposito.
” With the lights of 'artificial and everything, it makes for a great event , said quarterback Arnaud Desjardins.
Quarter bag in front of the father
Former Rouge et Or star defensive end Francesco Pepe Esposito is no longer the only member of his family to have managed a quarterback sack while wearing the Université Laval uniform. From now on, we must add the name of his son Enzo to the list.
On the first sequence in the attack of the Vert & However, the defensive lineman knocked down quarterback Zachary Cloutier to register his first sack in the university ranks. A feat of arms achieved while his father was watching the match.
” I had often imagined it. I didn't think it would come so quickly,” he said.
“It's an indescribable feeling. You hear the whole crowd screaming, plus it was my first game, I didn't expect that. »
- The Rouge et Or started its season facing the Green & Gold for the third time in five years. Laval has now won 19 of its last 20 home openers. Laval fans will have to wait almost a month before seeing their favorites again since the next game at Telus Stadium will not take place until September 25, against the Concordia Stingers.