Alex Porras: “Update from the Q” (5th edition)

Vanier Cheetahs (7-1): 231 PF / 130 PA / +101

Last Game: 19-38 LOSS against Montmorency Nomades (3-5)

Next Opponent: Édouard-Montpetit (0-8)

The Vanier Cheetahs better have some working neuralyzer in their locker room because their last game is definitely one to forget. Their offensive shortcomings were glaring and rookie quarterback Dimitrios Sinodinos looked greener than ever. While the team’s leading rusher Khalil Kerr dressed for the game, he didn’t touch the ball a single time. His health is obviously tied to his team’s offensive success. The Cheetahs’ defense remain a threat after having brought their interception count to a staggering 24 in 8 games. Nevertheless, the 212 rushing yards they allowed against the Nomades threatens to jeopardize their status as the Q’s best defensive team. At least their next matchup should provide them with somewhat of a breather.

Injured and/or Unavailable: Wade Cyr (OL/DL), Mathieu Boucher-Paiment (OL), Daniel Verrillo (OL), Clément Lebreux (DL)

Player to Watch: Zack Fitzgerald (DB) 18.5 Tk, 6 Int, 1 Tk for loss, 4 PD, 1 TD

Fitzgerald

Photo credit: Anthony Côté-Leduc

A natural ball-hawk, Fitzgerald is part of a very strong Cheetahs freshmen crop. The league-leader in interceptions, he has been instrumental in making Vanier’s 2014 secondary a force to be reckoned with.

Champlain-Lennoxville Cougars (5-3): 304 PF / 178 PA / +126

Last Game: 16-20 LOSS against Garneau (3-5)

Next Opponent: CNDF (5-3)

No Michael Arruda, no touchdown. Such was the Cougars’ predicament against the struggling FX-Garneau Élans. Against an offense deprived of Arruda as well as receiver Béchir Janfaoui, the Elans focused on stopping  the Cougars dangerous running game and succeeded. This does not bode well for the Cougars who have struggled offensively of late, scoring 32 points over their last two contests including a TD-less effort in their most recent outing. With a semi-final berth on the line friday against CNDF, will the Cougars get back to their roaring ways or will they continue their fall back to earth?

Injured and/or Unavailable: Jacob Nutbrown (DB), Charles Béchard-Marinier (DB), Boka Cedric-Axel Kouao (LB), Nicolas Coutu (OL), Michael Arruda (QB), Béchir Janfaoui (REC)

Player to Watch: Marc-Antoine Pivin (REC) 24 catches, 461 yds, 2 TD

Pivin

Photo credit: Ghislain Gagné

When the going gets rough, the Cougars pivots know they can count on Pivin. The dynamic sophomore who averages 19.2 yds per catch is benefitting from the success of the team’s running backs. When the opposing defensive corps stretches itself too thin, Pivin makes them pay, moving the chains and his team closer to the promised land.

Vieux Montréal Spartiates (6-2): 223 PF / 140 PA / +83

Last Game: 38-3 WIN against Édouard-Montpetit (0-8)

Next Opponent: Montmorency (3-5)

The only superpower not to fall in Week 8, the Spartiates have their work cut out for them this time. Against a stingy Nomades team that surprisingly outclassed the Vanier Cheetahs almost two weeks ago, can Vieux Montréal avoid another upset? While the questionable status of CFC 100 star running back Mike Brian Lusikila and the plethora of injuries on the offensive line are nothing to cheer about, the Spartiates’ offense offers some promise. If key players play up to their potential (which hasn’t always been the case this year) this team has the potential to crush any opponent.

Injured and/or Unavailable: Ethan Makonzo (LB), Raphaël Muntu (DB), Michael Craig (RB), CFC 100 Frédérik-Xavier Duhamel (OL), Maxime Champagne (OL), Argenis Jesus Francisco (OL), Éric Eugene (OL), Samuel Peever-Bernard (OL), CFC 100 Mike Brian Lusikila (RB)

Player to Watch: Édouard Montemiglio (RB) 126 carries, 3 catches, 580 yds, 2 TD

Montemiglio

A number one running back in grooming, the sophomore has seen his average carries per game more than double since last year (from 7.4 to 15.75). If Lusikila’s absence is prolonged, the Spartiates have an excellent backup plan.

CNDF Notre-Dame (5-3): 216 PF / 188 PA / +28

Last Game: 35-39 LOSS against Lévis-Lauzon (3-5)

Next Opponent: Champlain-Lennoxville (5-3)

Even though their infirmary is still heavily burdened, the return of CFC 100 quarterback Samuel Chénard is a boon for a struggling CNDF squad. Since starting the season off with a three-game winning streak, Notre-Dame haven’t been able to win two consecutive contests. Still tied for first place in their division, they’re in a position to clinch a semi-final berth with a win this weekend. However, their normally solid defense will have to wake up from its slumber if they are to have any chance of beating their southern rivals.

Injured and/or Unavailable: Manuel St-Aubin (RB), Mathieu Boutin (DB), Nicholas Plourde (DB), Antoine Kirouac (DB), Vincent Martin (DB), Christophe Poulin-Lapierre (LB), Alexandre Gagnon (DL), Nathaniel Doyon-Simon (DL) Christophe Lajoie (OL), Joseph Poirier-Couture (OL), Stevens Déry (FB)

Player to Watch: Christophe Bouchard (DB) 14.5 tk, 4 Int, 7 PD

Bouchard (2)

One of the most sought after defensive backs during the 2014 recruitment, Bouchard is living up to the hype. Already a Team Canada alumnus, Bouchard has transferred his excellence to the CEGEP level where he leads the league in passes defended and sits second in interceptions.

Lead Photo credit: Florence Pin

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