GOTW QC: Top spot on the line between CFC50 No. 3 SSF and No. 8 SJE

Two teams will enter undefeated, but only one can remain when the CFC50 No. 3 Seminaire Saint-Francois and No. 8 Saint-Jean-Eudes go to battle on Friday night.


It’s been a flawless start to the season for both programs with a combined 10-0 record against the rest of the conference, while CFC50 No. 20 Charles Lemoyne wait for their chance to strike sitting at 4-1 in second place. The Condors will need to deal with them at a later date, but for now they’ve got their focus set on taking down the Blizzard, who they managed to defeat 10-4 last year in a similar midseason clash. SSF could’ve got their revenge in the finals, but SJE failed to hold up there end up the bargain after getting upset in the semis, then College Jean-Eudes went on to shock the Blizzard as well, setting up an intriguing storyline at the top of the table in 2019.

SSF have been led by Thomas Desrosiers in the backfield, who currently leads the province with 546 yards and seven touchdowns on 73 carries. Not far behind is CFC100 Mathieu Roy, who has been an absolute horse for SJE carrying the ball 54 times for 505 yards, then he’s also hauled in 11 passes for 196 yards and five more majors. The offensive pace will be dictated by these two, and Desrosiers says the key is paying attention to the little details some may over look in the film room,

“We focus on the small details and we work hard to fix our mistakes from the past.”

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The Condors have also received steady play from Edouard Vachon under centre, who hasn’t been asked to throw the ball a lot, but is efficient with his opportunities throwing for eight touchdowns to just three interceptions and 542 yards. Xavier Daigle is also one of the main players to watch on offence splitting time with Roy at running back, and actually leads the team in carries with 56 for 226 yards and one touchdown. Even though they may rely heavily on the run, they do a great job of spreading the ball around in the air with 11 receivers catching a pass, and five different players making their way to the end zone.

Vachon is confident that their balanced attack can guide them this season,

“We have a well rounded football team with special athletes on both side of the ball. We have speed and we are a pretty tough football team to go against. On offense we are well balance between running the football and throwing short to intermediate passes. We are a really well coached football team which shows on game day with our strategy and adjustment to the opponent.”

He’ll be squaring off with Frederic Doucet on the opposite side, who’s been deadly accurate completing 66% of his passes. The Blizzard have only scored one touchdown through the air, but it hasn’t been an issue with Doucet contributing two along the ground, while Allan Saadna and Pier-Olivier Leclerc have added one apiece. They have three receivers over 100 yards with Arthur Salvail, Oderic Mutemberezi and Leclerc combining for 39 receptions.

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SJE have been cooking so far scoring a league high 159 points for an average of 31.8 per game, but their defence has arguably been the better half allowing just 35 points all year – including a pair of shutouts. Nobody can seem to find a way to slow down Justin Cloutier, who ranks second in the province in total tackles with 41.5, sacks with five, and interceptions with three. He’s probably not too mad about playing second fiddle to Samuel Phoniex Dery, who leads the way with seven sacks through five games, and Nicolas Bernard, who tops the list with four interceptions. The list of doesn’t stop there with Philippe Dublois grabbing three more picks, while Gabriel Cote-Pedneault, Antoine Martel and Issac Marceau all registered their names on the sheet as well.

If you thought 35 points was impressive, SSF have been one point better allowing only 34 points all season, making this a battle between the top offence and defence, at least on paper. When you’ve got two defences of this calibre going head-to-head, it could easily turn into a possession battle like last year’s matchup that only saw 14 points on the scoreboard. The Blizzard have a nasty pass rush of their own led by the duo of Samuel Frenette and Felix-Antoine Goulin, who’ve combined for nine sacks, while Nathan Essomba-Alex and Christopher St-Hilaire have been a force racking up 73 total tackles. Vachon will need to be careful with the pass rush in his face because they’ve already got interceptions from Nicolas Miller, Philippe Champagne, Philippe Lemieux, Jean-Frederick Rivard and Frenette,

We should get a nice glimpse of the futures stars who’ll grace university fields in the RSEQ, and also an indicator about who the frontrunner may be for the Bol d’Or this season, although we learned last season nothing is ever decided in October.

Kickoff is set for 7:30pm on Friday night at Seminiare Saint-Francois.

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