The Champlain Cougars advanced to their fourth straight Bol D’Or championship game with a 59-7 demolition of the F-X Garneau Elans in their CEGEP Division 1 semifinal on Saturday night at Coulter Field.
The Cougars, who went into the semifinal with a perfect 9-0 regular season record, dominated in all three aspects of the game, and showed why they are favoured heading into Saturday’s final against Campus Notre-Dame-de-Foy.
The home team opened the scoring at 7:02 of the first quarter with the first of Thomas Bertrand-Hudon’s three touchdowns. The Cougars added two more majors in the second period on a six-yard pass from Michael Arruda to Uunda Oboo and a 6-yard run by Arruda.
The Elans only troubled the scorers once, thanks to an 85-yard pass from William Blais to Mathieu Bouchard with 33 seconds to go in the first half. Overall, the Garneau quarterback struggled as he went 10-for-23 for 138 yards with three interceptions.
The second half saw the Cougars pull away as they exploded for 28 points in the third quarter. Bertrand-Hudon found the end zone twice more, while Phillippe Lessard-Vezina (on a one-yard run) and Guillaume Conraud-Arès (on a five-yard pass from Arruda), also hit pay dirt. A fourth-quarter touchdown by Lessard-Vézina and field goal by Vincent Blanchard rounded out the scoring.
Third-year quarterback Michael Arruda, in his final game at Coulter Field, led the offence in another solid showing going 19-for-32 and passing for 209 yards and two touchdowns before leaving after the third quarter.
Guillaume Conrad-Ares was the top receiver on the night with 10 catches for 100 yards and a touchdown. Running back Thomas Bertrand-Hudon also had a solid night carrying the ball 114 yards on 28 carries and three touchdowns.
Champlain’s top tackler was Raphael Simard with 9.5 tackles (eight solo, three assisted). Thompson McCallum had two interceptions for the Cougars, while Adam Auclair and Alexandre Lebreton had one each.
On Saturday, the Cougars look to regain the championship they lost in triple overtime to Vieux-Montreal last November. CNDF spoiled the chance at a rematch, by defeating Vieux 46-10 in the other semifinal. The Bol d’Or starts at 3 p.m. in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu.