Alex Porras: “Update from the Q” (Quarterfinals Edition)

Montmorency Nomades (4-6): 232 PF / 231 PA / +1

Unavailable, Injured or Questionable: Felix Jeanmar Sebastien (OL), Othniel Landjo (RB), Gabriel Roger (RB), David Blain (REC), Marc-Élie Jace (REC)

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Champlain-Lennoxville Cougars (6-4): 369 PF / 244 PA / +125

Unavailable, Injured or Questionable: Jacob Nutbrown (DB), Justin François (DB), Dayvon Love (DB), CFC 100 Cédric Lussier-Roy (LB), Jérémie Gagnon-Chénier (DL)

In past weeks, I’ve talked extensively about the Cougars’ offensive woes. Fortunately for the defending champions, they seem to have broken their curse of feebleness. Their recent 51-point output, which came on the wings of a 609 (!) yard aerial drubbing, is exactly what the doctor ordered for a team in dire need of a confidence boost. However, their defense, which has made a habit of keeping their foes in striking distance throughout the season (only one of their four losses was by a larger margin than eight points) can’t afford to have stalwarts CFC 100 Lussier-Roy and Gagnon-Chénier stay on the sidelines too long.

Montmorency has flown under the radar all season, erupting with a bang during their Week 8 handling of the league’s top performers, the Vanier Cheetahs. The Laval, Quebec team has a knack for surprising unsuspecting opponents especially in the first round of the playoffs. With wins against higher seeded Garneau (2012) and CNDF (2013) on their last two trips to the quarterfinals, the Nomades are one win away from permanently adopting the moniker of giant slayer. While the absence of top flight receivers Blain and Jace greatly weakens their passing game, running back CFC 100 Gabriel Parent remains their obvious weapon of choice. A proven big-game athlete, the Montmorency senior scored two touchdowns in each of his team’s past quarterfinal victories.

Previous Matchup: Champlain-Lennoxville 50 – Montmorency 14 (Week 4)

Prediction: Champlain-Lennoxville 31 – Montmorency 21

Vieux Montréal Spartiates (7-3): 265 PF / 180 PA / +85

Unavailable, Injured or Questionable: Ethan Makonzo (LB), Michael Craig (RB), Raphaël Muntu (DB), Ouissam Akhrif (DB), David MacDonald (DB), Maxime Champagne (OL), Argenis Jesus Francisco (OL), Julien Bourassa (REC)

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Lévis-Lauzon Faucons (4-6): 317 PF / 344 PA / -27

Unavailable, Injured or Questionable: William Caron (LB), Alexandre Gagnon (QB), Mathieu Jacques (OL), Alex Tremblay (DB), Gabriel Simard (DB)

Despite some recurring offensive struggles, the Spartiates have put together another strong season largely thanks to their staunch defense (their last season ending in a losing record was back in 1990). Led by the terrifying sack-machine Mathieu Betts, Vieux Montréal has crushed the opposing quarterback 29 times this year (no other team has amassed more than 19 sacks in 2014). Combined that with the fact sophomore pivot Frédéric Paquette-Perrault has a 7 to 1 touchdown to interception ratio in his last four games and you have all the makings of a team that could wreak havoc in the playoffs.

The Faucons are already rewriting their program’s history books with their first playoff appearance since moving up to the CEGEP1st Division. Nevertheless, their objective remains to delve deeper into the postseason. Unfortunately for them, the Spartiates, a team they’ve never scored more than 15 points against now stands in their way. However, the picture isn’t all bleak. Armed with the best squad in the school’s recent history, the Faucons recently obliterated their previous Division 1 season points scored record by 114 points! The second most potent offense in the league will surely have their say on Saturday night.

Previous Matchup: Vieux Montréal 28 – Lévis-Lauzon 15 (Week 5)

Prediction: Vieux Montréal 34 – Lévis-Lauzon 28

Lead photo credit: Florence Pin

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