Cougars overhaul CNDF 41-25, take undisputed possession of first place

Violettepixel/ Violette Héon-Pelletier
By: 
Mike Hickey
Special to the Record

To paraphrase Julius Caesar, They came, they played, they conquered. The Champlain Cougars ventured into enemy territory Friday night to meet Campus Notre Dame de Foy in a battle of CEGEP Division 1 teams and when the Cougars returned to Lennoxville there was no doubt about who is the best team is.
Champlain’s offence accounted for 669 total yards in a convincing 45-21 win. With the one-sided win, Champlain improved its season record to a perfect 7-0 and has all but clinched first place and a bye in the opening round of the playoffs. They need one win (or a Notre Dame loss) in their final two games to claim the regular season title.
Michael Arruda bounced back from a sub-par performance last week against Andre Grasset to toss three touchdown passes and also ran for another major. The reigning Offensive Player of the Year completed 27 of 44 pass attempts for 345 yards including a pair of touchdown passes to Guillaume Conraud-Ares and one to Marc-Antoine Pivin. Pivin, the league’s top receiver, finished the game with eight receptions for 162 yards.
Champlain was equally effective on the ground, where they racked up 324 yards rushing led by Thomas Bertrand-Hudon who ran for 241 yards on 22 carries while Arruda ran six times for 51 yards.
Jamel Noel scored on a 15-yard run while Vincent Blanchard rounded out the scoring with a pair of field goals and five converts.
Defensively the Cougars held the high-powered Notre Dame offence in check, limiting them to just 384 total yards from scrimmage. Alexandre Lebreton led the team with eight total tackles while Adam Auclair had 7.5 tackles and Jerome Berube had the game’s only interception.
The Cougars will enjoy the thanksgiving weekend bye week and return to action on Saturday, Oct. 17, when they host the Montmorency Nomades (3-4) at Coulter Field.
They wrap up the regular season the following week when they travel to Montreal to play the Vieux-Montreal Spartiates. The playoffs start on Oct. 31 although barring a major meltdown, the Cougars will receive a bye into the semi-finals, which are set for Nov. 7.

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