Vert et Or survive Gaiters upset bid in Mayor’s Cup

By: 
Mike Hickey
Special to the Record

The Sherbrooke Vert et Or football team retained local bragging rights Saturday afternoon when they defeated the Bishop’s Gaiters 42-29 in the 10th annual Mayor’s Cup game, played at the UdeS stadium. The game marked the end of the regular season as the Vert et Or finished in third place with a 5-3 mark while the Gaiters ended with a 1-7 record.

Sherbrooke will head to Montreal Saturday to play in one Quebec conference semi-final contest while the Laval Rouge et Or will take on Concordia in the other playoff game.

The Gaiters played perhaps their best game of the season but the opportunistic Vert & Or turned several Bishop’s miscues into points and then held on for a hard-fought victory.

Sherbrooke took a 7-0 lead in the second minute of play when Jeremi Roch tossed a 17-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Gaudreau. The Vert et Or drive began on the Gaiter 40-yard line after they recovered a Vincent Davignon fumble. A few minutes later, Louis Desautels connected on a 31-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead.

Bishop’s closed the gap to 10-7 when Travis Eman directed a six-play, 75-yard drive that culminated with a three-yard TD reception by Zach Graveson. A single point by Desautels gave the home team an 11-7 as the first period came to an end.

Kevin Simard’s 18-yard field goal early in the second period close the deficit to 11-10 but Sherbrooke responded with 16 unanswered points. After Bishop’s conceded a safety touch, Roch and Gaudreau connected on a 60-yard TD pass and Gabriel Polan scored on a three-yard run. The Gaiters refused to quit, however, and scored on the last play of the half when Eman tossed a nine-yard TD pass to Trevon Millings as Sherbrooke took a 26-18 lead into the locker room at halftime.

After Desautels kicked a field goal early in the third quarter the visitors moved to within three points when Jean Gayrard returned an interception 10 yards for a touchdown followed by a successful two-point conversion. Desautels gave Sherbrooke some breathing room with two more field goals, while the Gaiters’ Simard had a fourth-quarter field goal of his own.

Trailing by six with 1:52 left, the Gaiters had the ball on their own 5, with 105 yards to go to tie or win the game. But they could not convert on a third-down play at their own 35-yard line. Two plays later, Sherbrooke’s Polan put the game out of reach with a 26-yard TD scamper with 25 seconds left.

Roch completed 21 of 33 passes for 324 yards while Eman was 12 of 25 for 179 yards.

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