#CFC10 CEGEP (coll. div. 1) Bol D’Or PREVIEW: Will #CFC100 DE Lemieux-Cardinal get to QB David Pelletier

Collège André-Grasset Phénix #CFC100 DE #5 Philippe Lemieux-Cardinal and Campus Notre-Dame-de-Foy QB #1 David Pelletier (Photo credit: François Pepin)

The 2016 Cégep division 1 championship, the Bol D’Or, has the number 2 ranked Phénix challenge the number 1 Notre-Dame. This will be an opportunity for the second year newcomers, André-Grasset, to avenge their week 8 loss 36-26 to the favourite Notre-Dame.

Collège André-Grasset Phénix (7-2) vs Campus Notre-Dame-de-Foy (8-1)

 

The underdog

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Collège André-Grasset Phénix (Photo credit: André Provencher)

During the last six years, the Phénix has been soaring from the bottom of the Cégep divisions. Winning the Bol D’Or twice in a row in the division 3 in 2010 and 2011. Spiralled up into the division 2 in 2012 and won the championship. Lost in the semis in 2013 and lost in the final in 2014. Graduated to the division 1 in 2015, where they lost in the quarterfinal.

The favourite

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Campus Notre-Dame-de-Foy (Photo credit: Gino Brochu)

Following a Bol D’Or win in 2011 in the division 2, the ascension was obvious for the Campus Notre-Dame-de-Foy and well deserved. They have participated in the playoffs every year since they’ve jumped to the division 1 and reaching the final in 2015. Last year’s defeat to the undefeated Cougars in the championship game, was hard to digest and their quest to redeem themselves has put a lot of fuel in their motivation.

Defence, wins championships!

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Collège André-Grasset Phénix Defence (Photo credit: Sonia Pérusse)

The Grasset front seven has been impressive and they are stacked with pass rushers. The division leader, LB Yacine Audette, registered 9 sacks and is also second with 71 total tackles. Sitting at number 3 in the division for QB takedowns is #CFC100 DE Philippe Lemieux-Cardinal who inflicted 7, 35.5 tackles, 11 for loss, 6 knockdowns and 1 interception. The other linebacker factor, #45 Louis Cavanagh, has executed 43.5 tackles, 2 sacks and 2 interceptions. The secondary is loaded with ball hagglers and the first three leaders in picks are on their line-up. Defensive backs Bruno Lagacé, who has 4, and Vincent Morissette, who as 4 as well, are followed by LB Gabriel Morel who accounts for 3 to escalade the team total. As a whole, the Phénix have delivered 23 sacks and snitched 21 interceptions. This defence, which is ranked number in points against, limited the ground pounding Cougars to 88 yards rushing last week and contained the high scoring Géants in the quarterfinals, which could lead to a very competitive match-up against the Notre-Dame offence.

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Campus Notre-Dame-de-Foy Defence (Photo credit: Gino Brochu)

The return of #CFC100 DB Christophe Bouchard will definitely help the Notre-Dame defence slow down the Phénix air attack. Last week, Bouchard and his secondary colleagues stunned the Cheetahs passing assault and constrained their top receiver. Maxym Lavallée and Alexis Jordanson have significantly contributed in keeping receivers from entering the pay zone. Notre-Dame’s success defending the pass is greatly swayed by the pressure from the big guys up front. Both #CFC100 NT Samuel Maranda-Bizeau and DE Alexandre Gagnon have created a chemistry with fellow teammates that has generated into a 12 men pursuing and punishing machine. No big stats, everyone does their thing and the job gets done. The accomplishments of this defence are directly related to the dominant performances of their offence, keeping them off the field and rested.

QB’s

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Collège André-Grasset Phénix QB #1 Pierre-Olivier Potvin (Photo credit: André Provencher)

Second year QB, Pierre-Olivier Potvin, has evolved all season and guided the André-Grasset offence to the number 2 position in scoring. He has completed 120 out of 207 attempts for 1477 yards with 17 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. His performance last week against the defending champs was immaculate with 26 completions on 42 attempts, 3 touchdowns and 1 pick.

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Campus Notre-Dame-de-Foy Defence QB #7 David Pelletier (Photo credit: Gino Brochu)

Notre-Dame’s third year veteran QB, David Pelletier, finished the season at number 2 and completed 160 passes out of 259 for 2415 yards, 22 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Last week was probably his worst performance yet, and he was fortunate to rely on the running game to overcome the Cheetahs.

OL

In November, the ability to run the ball is essential in Québec and this is probably where the game will be won.

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Collège André-Grasset Phénix OL (Photo credit: André Provencher)

André-Grasset has been able to protect their young QB and have shown the capability to run the ball. Their main back was hurt for the most part of the season and they had to rely on the pass, which was very successful up to now.

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Campus Notre-Dame-de-Foy OL (Photo credit: Gino Brochu)

In their confrontation in week 8, Notre-Dame outrushed the Phénix by 60 yards and no pass rusher touched Pelletier. Actually, Pelletier has only been taking down 7 times this season, including the semi-final game versus Vanier, where they enforced 286 yards rushing.

Receivers

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Collège André-Grasset Phénix WR #8 François Rocheleau (Photo credit: Sonia Pérusse)

The absence of WR François Rocheleau was felt and his return stunned the Cougars last week. His 4 catches for 112 yards and 1 touchdown, were immensely valuable. The number 16 and 17 receivers of the division, Kevin Mitale and Guillaume Ranger shared the catches in Rocheleau’s time off.

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Campus Notre-Dame-de-Foy WR #14 Vincent Forbes-Mombleau (Photo credit: Gino Brochu)

Pelletier has the luxury of having the number 1 receiver in the division. Vincent Forbes-Mombleau, who was hit 61 times for a total 1093 yards and 8 TD’s, and WR Patrick Serré, who caught 27 passes this season for 503 yards and 5 majors.

RB’s

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Collège André-Grasset Phénix RB #4 Samuel Makwanda (Photo credit: Sonia Pérusse)

The Team Québec star, RB Samuel Makwanda, was slowed down by an injury and back-ups Louis-Philippe Maltais, 266 yards, and Tristan Toussaint, 211 yards, had to pick-up the slack. Makwanda ended the year with 451 yards averaging 5.5 yards per carry and scoring 3 touchdowns. His showing last week was average, 14 carries for 53 yards, but the Phénix threw the ball 42 times.

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Campus Notre-Dame-de-Foy RB #4 Luca Perrier (Photo credit: Gino Brochu)

Notre-Dame’s running back duo, Luca Perrier and Gloire Muganda, compiled 267 yards against Vanier last week. Perrier being the main back, has 106 touches for 524 yards, and Muganda, who rushed for 393 on 64 carries, has gained a lot of ground and shared most of the reps against the Cheetahs. The combination can place Notre-Dame in a prevailing situation next Saturday.

The kicking game

Both teams are fortunate to have reliable kickers and great special teams schemes. This aspect evens out and might be a very important key in the victors statistics, because it will be a tight one.

Conclusion

The steady Notre-Dame defence will contain Potvin and Rocheleau, while their balanced offence will be able to outrun the André-Grasset leading tacklers. On paper, Notre-Dame wins, but we all know that this is an emotional game and there is lots more than stats involved. Good luck to both teams and may the best team win.

 

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