CFC CEGEP PICK’EM (PLAYOFF EDITION): 4 teams, 2 spots – who will advance to the Bol d’Or?

The final four! The journey that started in training camps throughout the province under the scorching August sun, now comes down to sixty minutes this weekend.  The survivors will advance to next weekend’s Bol d’Or, with the vanquished wondering what could have been. Traditionally one of the most exciting weekends of the season, this year’s semi-finals will be no different with the defending champs, the regular season’s two best teams and a Cinderella rounding out the four-team field.  The defending champions, Vieux Montréal are still alive and will continue their title defense taking to the road to battle second ranked CNDF for the second time in less than a month. In the other semis, the number one ranked Champlain-Lennoxville Cougars host this year’s Cinderella team Garneau, who come in off their stunning 61-39 beatdown of previously third ranked Lévis-Lauzon.

In the first round of the playoffs, I went 2-1 to improve my overall record to 25-11. With only two more weeks to go, here are the semi-final picks for this weekend. If you get a chance, check out the action, should be some great football!

 

CFC CEGEP PICK ‘EM 2015 (10) THE SEMI-FINALS:

 

#2 LES SPARTIATES DU VIEUX MONTRÉAL (6-4) @ #3 LE NOTRE DAME DE COLLEGE NOTRE DAME-DE-FOY (CNDF) (8-2) – Saturday Nov 7th 16h30 Séminaire Saint-François – LAST MEETING: October 18th, Vieux Montréal 23 @ CNDF 19

THE MATCH UP: On paper this is a great match-up. A rematch of the 2014 semi-final which saw Vieux Montréal pull out a last minute win to vault them to the Bol d’Or and their eventual championship. CNDF has not forgotten last year’s loss and although they fell three weeks ago to les Spartiates, they still have revenge on their mind.

The defending champs come into this one seemingly hitting their stride late in the season and with a healthy roster we are finally seeing the title defense we expected. After back to back losses to Vanier and Limoilou dropped les Spartiates to 2-2, a successful title defense did not look likely. How things have changed. The defending champs have seen a few key pieces return full-time and although they haven’t looked like world beaters, they are playing closer to their talent level, which is that of a potential champion. #CFC100 QB Frédéric Paquette-Perrault leads an offense that have for the most part underachieved in 2015. They have suffered injuries and have had to juggle players on the offensive line, but still the big stars have failed to shine…. until recently that is. #CFC100 RB Edouard Montemiglio has recharged the offense and les Spartiates attack is looking like the offense we expected to see. Defensively les Spartiates have played championship caliber football for most of the season and seem to be getting even better as the stakes increase.

CNDF looked liked the clear favourites after the first five games of 2015. Le Notre Dame ran roughshod through the opposition in the season’s first half, outscoring their opposition 197-70 en route to a 5-0 start. Seeming like a team on a mission, sensing how close they came to making the finals last season, CNDF was cruising heading into a week seven showdown with Champlain. The “game of the year” never materialized as the Cougars thrashed CNDF 41-25 and CNDF has been looking to regain their form since. The loss of #CFC100 LB Jean-Philippe Hudon for the season has not helped matters, but still this is a talented, deep team that is very well coached and in the last two weeks have been regaining said form.

VIEUX MONTRÉAL PLAYERS TO WATCH: REC Joël Soucy, #CFC100 QB Frédéric Paquette-Perrault, #CFC100 RB Edouard Montemiglio, RB Dynell Pierre, #CFC100 DT Andrew Seinet-Spaulding, #CFC100 LB Enock Makonzo, LB Umar Temoor

CNDF PLAYERS TO WATCH: REC Jérémie Sauvageau, REC Alexandre Gailloux, REC Vincent Forbes-Mombleau, QB David Pelletier, RB Alexis Côté, RB Luca Perrier, RB Guillaume Vermette, #CFC100 OL David Sevigny, LB Yvan Hakizimana, DB Christophe Bouchard, LB Alexandre Paré

WHY VIEUX MONTRÉAL MIGHT WIN: Les Spartiates rushed for over 200 yards the first time these two met, deploying the wildcat. CNDF will be better prepared, but missing a talent like Hudon makes CNDF susceptible to the run and Vieux is loaded in that department. If les Spartiates can avoid the turnovers, they should be able to run the ball and combined with their normal stellar performance on defense, they again pile up the rushing yards, stay fresh and tire out CNDF, outlasting them to the finish line.

WHY CNDF MIGHT WIN: CNDF are not exactly hurting when it comes to running back’s either. Côté, Perrier and Vermette all can take over a game and will need to come up big to take the pressure off QB David Pelletier. If Vieux is forced to bring extra defenders into the box to defend the run, it will spell trouble. The trio of Sauvageau, Alexandre Gailloux, and Vincent Forbes-Mombleau can hurt opponents in a hurry and are particularly dangerous against man coverage. If Vieux Montréal is forced to overplay the run this weekend….look out.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: This is a coin toss….plain and simple. I have gone back and forth on this one and will go with Vieux for two simple reason’s. CNDF haven’t beaten Vieux and this has to play in their minds and second, CNDF is missing their best defender in Hudon, while Vieux has gotten their best offensive player back, Montemiglio.

FINAL SCORE: VIEUX MONTRÉAL 22 CNDF 21

 

Arruda Week 3 CEGEP

#5 LES ÉLANS DU GARNEAU (4-6) @ #1 CHAMPLAIN-LÉNNOXVILLE COUGARS (9-0)  Saturday Nov 7th 19h00 Coulter Field –   LAST MEETING: September 18th, Garneau 23 @ Champlain 40

THE MATCH UP: David vs. Goliath, the classic storybook match-up. It was clear by week three that the Cougars were among the league’s elite and as the season progressed it became apparent they ARE the league’s elite. Featuring a high-flying offense and a light’s out defense, the Cougars don’t have a lot of weaknesses, if any. Led by recent uOttawa commit and #CFC100 QB Michael Arruda, the Cougars offense can pile up points both on the ground and through the air. With the league’s second (Thomas Bertrand-Hudon) and ninth (Guillaume Conraud-Ares) leading rushers to go along with the league’s top receiver (#CFC100  REC Marc Antoine-Pivin), the Cougars can ground and pound and air attack with equal proficiency.

Garneau is this year’s Cinderella and nobody, especially myself, saw last week’s blowout of Lévis-Lauzon coming. William Tremblay-Harnois went off last weekend rushing for over 200 yards, leading the 60 point outburst. It’s hard to believe that Garneau was 1-4 and in overtime against Vanier. A loss in that one and Garneau probably would have been out of the playoffs, but they now find themselves one game away from the Holy Grail of Quebec Collegiate football….the Bol d’Or.

GARNEAU PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB William Blais, REC Mathieu Soucy, REC Mathieu Blanchette, RB William Tremblay-Harnois, RB Olivier Forgues, LB Philippe Ouellet

LÉNNOXVILLE PLAYERS TO WATCH: #CFC100 QB Michael Arruda, #CFC100  REC Marc Antoine-Pivin, DB Khadeem Pierre, LB Samuel Brodrique, RB Guillaume Conraud-Ares, RB Thomas Bertrand-Hudon, DL Cheikhe Sidy Sow, DB Adam Auclair, LB Alain Cimankinda

WHY GARNEAU MIGHT WIN: If Garneau can pound the rock and keep the ball out of Arruda’s hands, they have a shot. Much like a basketball coach slowing down the game by waiting until the last few seconds on the shot clock, les Élans need to milk each possession, limiting the Cougar touches and keeping their already suspect defense fresh. If they manage to grind things to a crawl, it plays to their advantage.

WHY LÉNNOXVILLE MIGHT WIN: If they show up. No, I’m not trying to be cute or say this is going to be a blowout, but the reality is, the Cougars are a complete team. If one aspect isn’t clicking, several others will be. Even if the offense fell apart, the league’s top ranked defense can win a game themselves…… and the offense isn’t about to fall apart.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: The Cougars would have to have several major fails to lose this one. Garneau can compete and will make this closer than some think, but Champlain comes at you in waves, both offensively and defensively. By the beginning of the fourth quarter, the clock will have struck twelve for Garneau and it’ll be clear Lennoxville will be heading to their fourth straight Bol d’Or.

FINAL SCORE: LÉNNOXVILLE 38 GARNEAU 19

Marc-Antoine Pivin versus FX-Garneau

 

Last Week’s Record: 2-1     Final Regular Season Record: 23-10     Playoff Record 2-1

Overall Record 25-11

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