Laval Rouge and Down Western Mustangs 34-20 for 10th Vanier Cup title | sports


QUEBEC – Rouge et Or quarterback Hugo Richard ended his college football career in style on Saturday, taking his Laval Rouge et Or to a 34-20 win over Western Mustangs in the 54th Vanier Cup.

Laval drew a measure of revenge against the No. 1 Mustangs in the rankings, who defeated the Rouge et Or 39-17 at last year's national football championship in Hamilton.

This time, in the near-ideal climate of November football, Richard thrilled the city's 12,380 fans, completing 23 of 31 348 yards and two touchdown attempts.

The fifth year QB also ran for 60 meters and a score.

Laval won 10 Vanier Cups in the program's 26-year history. Western was hoping to add a title of eight and keep alive a string of 23 unbeaten games.

This was the third time Laval and Western met in the Vanier Cup. Rouge et Or won their first showdown in 2008.

Western QB Chris Merchant completed 26 of 46 passes for 358 yards and a touchdown but was intercepted three times.

Laval took 10-0 after the first quarter and went up 17-13 in the middle before closing the Western offense to the 10-minute mark of the fourth.

The dealer hit Cole Majoros with a 25-yard touchdown, missing two minutes to reduce the deficit to 14. But the return attempt was emphatically halted when a Hail May pass from Merchant was intercepted at the last minute.

Laval came up 34-13 when Alexis Cote dived over the goal line with just over five minutes left.

Rouge et Or scored a minute for the game, with Richard hitting receiver Vincent Forbes-Mombleau with a 46-yard pass in the end zone. Merchant also got off to a good start with a 26-yard finish for Majoros but was intercepted by Laval's Maxym Lavallee with a 31-year return. David Cote, from Laval, made a field goal in the second set.

The second quarter began with the Western Invasion in the Laval Zone in a 10-yard race by Cedric Joseph. Two finishes for Merchant put the Mustangs in the goal line and Joseph entered the final zone untouched.

Richard threw a 27-yard pass to Jonathan Breton to clinch the next race, then beat Benoit Gagnon-Brousseau 22 yards to a 17-7 record. The Western took control in their own zone, betting on third and in inches to extend the speed before kicker Marc Liegghio hit a 36-year-old basket.

Liegghio kicked an 18-year goal with a second remaining in the first half to leave the score 17-13.

Western's opening of the second half was stopped after a loss and an incomplete pass. Richard then advanced Laval with his own 11-yard race and charged for a TD in the next game by a 24-13 lead.

The Western had a chance to shorten Laval's lead late in the third half when the Rouge et Or knocked out a field-goal attempt.

Peter Black, The Canadian Press


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