CFC CEGEP PICK’EM (PLAYOFF EDITION): The Bol D’Or!!! Who will win it all??

It all comes down to this weekend, as the sun gets ready to set on the 2015 RSEQ collegiate football season. It’s been a great year at all three levels, with the regular season’s best teams all advancing to their respective championship games to be played this weekend at Stade Alphonse-Desjardins in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. The D1 final features the top two teams in the province with unbeaten Champlain-Lennoxville going for the perfect season against #2 CNDF. Division 2 pits one loss, defending champion St.Jean “hosting” two loss Lionel-Groulx and maybe the most intriguing game of the trifecta has a pair of unbeaten teams squaring off for D3 supremacy. Les Griffons de l’Outaouais will battle fellow unbeaten Thetford in the weekend’s only game involving teams that have yet to meet.

Last weekend I went 1-1 but take no pride in that. Lennoxville over Garneau was a no-brainer and I was WAY off predicting Vieux Montréal over CNDF, so all in all a bad week to bring my overall record to 26-12. Having said that it’s been fun and for the last time in 2015 here are my picks. Enjoy the championships!!

 

 

CFC CEGEP PICK ‘EM 2015 (11) THE BOL D’OR:

 

RSEQ COLLÉGIAL FOOTBALL DIVISON 1

#1 CHAMPLAIN-LÉNNOXVILLE COUGARS (10-0) vs. #2 LE NOTRE DAME DE COLLEGE NOTRE DAME-DE-FOY (CNDF) (9-2) – Saturday Nov 14th 15h30 Stade Alphonse-Desjardins – LAST MEETING: October 3rd, Lennoxville 45 @ CNDF 21

THE MATCH UP: In week six these two went toe-to-toe for sole possession of first place in a battle of undefeated, 6-0 powerhouses. The much anticipated showdown however, failed to live up to the hype. The Cougars offense exploded for 669 yards en route to a 45-21 win, that was never close. The loss triggered a bit of a free fall for CNDF, who lost their next game against Vieux Montréal and finished the season squeaking by Lévis-Lauzon in a 47-45 shootout. As the playoffs commenced, CNDF certainly didn’t resemble the group who started out 6-0. But a funny thing happened….the playoffs started and it’s as if they are rejuvenated. CNDF knocked off upstart Limoilou then pummeled the defending champions to make it to the big game and look very much like the team that, along with Champlain were seen as the league’s elite during 2015.

Speaking of Champlain, the Cougars had plenty of veterans who returned from last year’s runners-up. Clearly on a single purpose mission, the Cougars have laid waste to everything in their path and left no doubt who the team to beat was/is. Offensively the Cougars can hurt you in so many ways, but often lost in the mix is the dominance of their offensive line in 2015. Quietly winning the trenches, the Cougars front have allowed the reigning offensive MVP, #CFC100 QB Michael Arruda to do his thing. Arruda finished with 2270 yards passing with 21 TDs and 8 picks. His favourite target, #CFC100 receiver Marc Antoine-Pivin finished the season with 1053 yards receiving and seven scores to lead all pass catchers. CNDF’s defensive backs will have their hands full, but the really scary thing may be the Cougar ground game is just as deadly. Thomas Bertrand-Hudon finished second in the RSEQ with 779 yards rushing, while Guillaume Conraud-Ares, league’s deadliest dual threat, added 542 yards rushing to go along with his 556 yards receiving.

Defensively the Cougars are the league’s best and they need to be. CNDF’s offense, albeit overshadowed by Champlain’s, is good, very good. Led by #CFC100 OL David Sevigny CNDF offensive front is every bit as(if not more) impressive than their Cougar counterparts. A physical dominant line that can make for a long day for opponents. Alexis Côté leads a stable of backs which will no doubt spend much of the afternoon hammering away at the Cougars D.

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, DL Issac Adeyemi-Berglund

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

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WHY LÉNNOXVILLE MIGHT WIN: If the Cougars defensive line play as well as they did in the first game, CNDF will be in trouble. Causing stalemates and freeing up the line backers, CNDF was very quickly neutralized and the Cougars pulled away early. CNDF won’t shutdown the Cougar offense and if they struggle to score……

WHY CNDF MIGHT WIN: See the above, The CNDF O-Line is key here. If they can establish the run early this is anyone’s game. CNDF has to eat up time and limit the number of Cougar possessions. CNDF also have the running backs to ground and pound and where out the Cougars, but all this will only be possible if the run is established very, very early.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: This will be closer than the last one, but ultimately the Cougars have the better defense and many more weapons on offense. Arruda will be the X-factor, as the future University of Ottawa QB closes out his Cougar career in a big way.

FINAL SCORE: CHAMPLAIN-LENNOXVILLE 38 CNDF 24

20151004_SPO-CCFB-GConraudAres_Web                                                                        credit: Violettepixel/ Violette Héon-Pelletier

RSEQ COLLÉGIAL FOOTBALL DIVISON 2

LES GÉANTS DE SAINT-JEAN-SUR-RICHELIEU  (9-1) vs. LES NORDIQUES DE LIONEL GROULX (9-2) – Friday Nov 13th 19h30 Stade Alphonse-Desjardins – LAST MEETING: October 24th, Saint-Jean 66 @ Lionel Groulx 28

THE MATCH UP: Saint-Jean comes in the favourite, having won the regular season encounter 66-28 and clearly were the best team in D2. Outscoring opponents 519-162, only a loss to John Abbott prevented another perfect season. Lionel Groulx punched their ticket by beating Valleyfield in a minor upset in the semis. Led by running back Donavan Martel (1448 yds, 7.2 yds per carry, 18 TDs) and QB Felix Garant Gauthier (619 yds ,6.9 ypc, 9 TDs) les Nordiques the league’s most productive ground attack, but will that be enough?

SAINT-JEAN PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Dimitri Morand, REC Kevin Duprey, REC Hugo Dupuis, REC Jordan Duprey  RB Samuel Dupuis, DL Marc-Antoine Bellefroid, DB Pier-Olivier Grenier-Gachet

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LIONEL GROULX PLAYERS TO WATCH: REC Jason Roy, REC Philippe Lalande, DB Hugues Fortin-Côté, DB Max-Olivier Audet, QB Felix Garant Gauthier, LB Gabriel Marois, DB Tristan Fleury, RB Donavan Martel

Donavan Martel 1

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Saint-Jean has too much firepower….way too much! QB Dimitri Morand finished the season with 43 TDs and only six picks, while passing for an astounding 3500 yards. The top three receivers in the league were from , Saint-Jean, the league’s number two rusher, best o-line…..I could go on, but I think you see the point.

FINAL SCORE: SAINT-JEAN 49 LIONEL GROULX 21

 

 

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RSEQ COLLÉGIAL FOOTBALL DIVISON 3

LES GRIFFONS DE L’OUTAOUAIS (10-0) vs. LES FILONS DE THETFORD (10-0) – Saturday Nov 14th 20h00 Stade Alphonse-Desjardins – LAST MEETING: n/a

THE MATCH UP: A pair of unbeaten teams, the south-west and north-east champs go at it for the D3 crown. Both teams come in as the undisputed division champs and they were both clearly the elite of D3 in 2015. Les Filons were completely uncontested in the north-east and it will be interesting to see how they fare against good competition.

OUTAOUAIS PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Olivier Sabourin, REC Félix Lupien, OL Max Proulx, REC Sam Lepage, RB Sébastien Béland, LB Joshua Walsh-Denis, LB Vincent Viau Duval, DL Félix-Antoine Pellerin

THETFORD PLAYERS TO WATCH: RB Pierre Giovanni Medjeber, DL Alexis St.Pierre, REC Kevin Kaya, QB Antoine Marcou, DB Paolo Sargen, DB Mathieu Lambert

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Les Griffons showed their mettle by overcoming a 29-3 halftime deficit to knock off rival St.Lambert 38-29 and remain undefeated. More importantly they know they can win the tough, tight game. What will happen if Thetford is in a dogfight? With more depth overall and having been challenged a little more this season, I like Outaouais. Look for les Griffons to win a tight one.

FINAL SCORE: OUTAOUAIS 33 THETFORD 28

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Last Week’s Record: 1-1     Final Regular Season Record: 23-10     Playoff Record 3-2

Overall Record 26-12

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