With the eyes of an entire province focused sharply on the Stade Telus, No. 2 Laval downed No. 5 Montreal 16-3 to reclaim first place in the RSEQ Conference in front of a record crowd of 19,381 fans — including a few familiar CFL faces!
The Rouge et Or (6-1) limited the visiting Carabins (6-2) to 233 yards of offence and a single field goal, and will have definite home-field advantage for the likely Dunsmore Cup conference final rematch in a few weeks’ time.
Elsewhere, a real person named Danny McWhirter was McWonderful for the Carleton Ravens (4-4), who — in no small part due to McWhirter’s three INTs — knocked off Laurier (4-4) on the road to leap frog the Golden Hawks for the final playoff spot in Ontario.
Other results in Ontario set up a pair of tantalizing OUA quarter-final matchups next weekend, with high-scoring Waterloo (4-4) visiting defensive uOttawa (No. 8, 5-3) and the suddenly red-hot Ravens set to face Guelph (No. 6, 6-2).
Mt. Allison (3-4) capitalized on five Bishop’s (4-4) turnovers to sink the Gaiters 35-13; the win was the third in a row for the Mounties, who kept their playoff hopes alive but face undefeated Acadia (No. 7, 7-0) next weekend. Saint Mary’s (3-4) is the other team sniffing around for the third and final playoff berth out east, and the Huskies have a relatively tame matchup (vs. 1-6 St. FX) to end the regular season.
The Mounties bounced Bishop in New Brunswick to stay alive in the AUS playoff race. (Mt. Allison photo)
Canada West got crazy as it has multiple times already this season, with Manitoba (4-3) beating No. 4 Calgary (5-2) by a confident 43-29 decision; the Bison led 33-7 at halftime and cruised to victory despite allowing 500-plus yards to the No. 4-ranked Dinos.
In fact, all three lower-seeded teams won in Week 9 out west.
UBC (2-5) edged No. 3 Saskatchewan (4-3) 38-37 on the former’s Senior Day; it’s been a difficult season for HC Blake Nill’s T-Birds, who will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2014, but at the very least they earn a nice win in their last home game of the season. Knocking Saskatchewan — probably over-hyped at No. 3 — down a peg doesn’t hurt the power balance in Can-West either.
Similar to the T-Birds, Regina (2-5) saw their playoff dream extinguished in Week 9 — but not before knocking off Alberta (4-3) on the road. Kudos to the Rams, who could still impact the playoff picture with a win next week at home against Manitoba (4-3).
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