It all comes down to one game to determine the Canadian Champion in Men’s University Football. The Western Mustangs take on the Laval Rouge Et Or in the 53rd Vanier Cup at Tim Hortons Stadium in Hamilton tomorrow at 1 P.M.
How did both teams get to the Championship game?
Laval: For the second straight year the Rouge Et Or defeated the Calgary Dinos in the Mitchell Bowl by a score of 35-23. Quarterback Hugo Richard threw for 260 yards for two touchdowns and had 36 rushing yards. Laval rushed for 115 yards with one touchdown.
The #1 ranked team in the country comes into the game with a record of 10-1 averaging 33.3 points per game.
Western: The Mustangs continued their perfect season improving their record to 11-0 as they defeated the Acadia Axemen 81-3. The 81 points from Western breaks a record of points scored in the Uteck Bowl which was previously 60. Quarterback Chris Merchant threw for 200 yards including 2 touchdowns on 10 out of 11 completions in the game against Acadia. Western’s run game was unstoppable rushing for 451 yards scoring 8 touchdowns.
Laval: Head Coach Glen Constantin is in his 17th season and enters the game with a career record of 8-1 in the Vanier Cup with the only loss coming in 2008.
Western Head Coach Greg Marshall has a career record of 0-4 against Laval while two of the losses were with Western. In the Vanier Cup Marshall has coached in one game resulting in a loss.
He was a running back in the CFL with the Edmonton Eskimos. After retiring he has since coached at McMaster University and a short stint with the Hamilton Tiger Cats before returning to Western.
Personal Award: Nick Vanin, a fourth year linebacker for the Mustangs won the Russ Jackson Award. The award recognizes his achievements on and off the field. Vanin was the first nominee and winner in the Mustangs history. This award was first presented in 1986.
The teams facing off against each other are the two teams who have won the most Vanier Cups, with Laval winning 9, 8 of them coming since 2003 while Western has 6. The last time the two teams faced off against each other in Hamilton was in 2008 with Laval coming out on top 44-21.
There will be plenty of Quebec pride on the field Saturday as Western features 11 players from Quebec. The game will be broadcasted on Sportsnet 360.