Gaiters to kick off football season at McGill

By: 
Mike Hickey
Special to The Record

The visiting Bishop’s Gaiters and McGill Redmen will feature two young teams looking to start the season on a positive note when they meet tonight in the league opener being played under the lights at Percival Molson Stadium in Montreal. Opening kickoff is slated for 7p.m.
“It is Week 1 for everyone and the guys are anxious to play,” Gaiter head coach Kevin Mackey said in an interview Thursday.“ The guys have re-sponded well during training camp and they are ready to go.”
Mackey has named fourth-year Travis Eman as the starting quarterback but said that Alex Bouffard will also see action. “We will use both Travis and Alex depending on game situations and they each bring different aspects to the game,” Mackey said.
“The good thing is that they are both in the second year in our system and that will help a lot. McGill is a team that plays a lot of pressure defensively and they are good tacklers. Defensively we need to create turnovers.”
The Redmen are coming off a disappointing 0-8 last-place finish in the tough six-team Quebec conference, which has produced the Vanier Cup champion in eight of the last 12 seasons. The 2015 campaign marks the first full season for the recently appointed head coach and defensive co-ordinator Ronald Hilaire, who used the off-season to bring in 35 rookies to the Redmen training camp. McGill’s opening-day roster features experience with 40 returnees. “We have a young committed team, improved our talent base, strength and conditioning and had a solid recruiting year, so I am expecting this group to be very much in contention for a playoff berth,” says Hilaire, who took over as co-head coach on Sept. 30 last season when Clint Uttley stepped down suddenly.
One player that will require special attention from the Gaiter defence is running back Luis Guimont-Mota, a shifty five-foot-eight veteran from Quebec City, who played in the 2015 CIS East-WestBow. The Redmen are expecting him to have a bounce-back year after only suiting up for three games last season. He was dropped from the team after being charged with domestic violence (he was acquitted in January). In his rookie campaign he led the conference in rushing with 824 yards on 147 carries and four touchdowns.

Category: