November 23, 2012, TORONTO (CIS) – A dominating ground game, led by a 253-yard, two-touchdown performance by running back Maxime Boutin in the 48th Vanier Cup game, drove the Laval Rouge et Or to a 37-14 victory over the McMaster Marauders before a Vanier Cup-record crowd of 37,098 at the Rogers Centre, Friday night.
Boutin, from Quebec City, earned the Ted Morris Trophy as the most valuable player of the CIS football final. His 253-yard rushing performance ranks him second all-time in a single-game Vanier Cup performance, and is a new personal-best for Boutin, surpassing a mark of 213 yards set a week ago in the Uteck Bowl.
“For two straight weeks, I can’t credit my O-line enough,” said Boutin. “They made it easy for me, and I almost always had a huge gap to run into.”
Arnaud Gascon-Nadon of Montreal earned the Bruce Coulter Award as the defensive MVP, with 3.5 tackles, one tackle for a loss, and half a sack.
“This is the reason I came back and didn’t go pro,” noted Gascon-Nadon, who was drafted by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats last spring. “After last year’s loss to Mac in the Vanier, we all wanted to get this payback. We really wanted this seventh banner to become the most decorated team in history.”
The seventh banner for Laval pushes them ahead of the sis championships won by the Western Mustangs. Glen Constantin has been at the helm of six of those championships, itself another Vanier Cup superlative. A year ago in Vancouver, McMaster prevented the Quebec City powerhouse from establishing the new standard thanks to a memorable 41-38 overtime win.
The dominating Rouge et Or defence made seven sacks in the game, also a Vanier Cup record, and held McMaster to 75 rushing yards. All of McMaster’s points were confined to a brief outburst of activity over a 72-second period late in the first half.
On the other side of the ball, Laval pounded out 373 yards rushing, another Vanier Cup single game team mark, eclipsing the previous record of 364 yards set by the UBC Thunderbirds in 1982. Laval’s 605 yards of net offence ranked fourth all-time in Vanier Cup history, and is the highest net yardage in a non-overtime Vanier Cup game.
Rouge et Or quarterback Tristan Grenon (Quebec City) amassed 234 passing yards, connecting on 11 of 25 attempts, tossing one touchdown, and throwing no interceptions. His most prolific target, Seydou Junior Haidara (Quebec City), contributed 106 yards on three receptions.
The defeat also puts an end to McMaster’s CIS-record streak of 21 consecutive wins in regular season and playoff competition.
In the losing effort, 2012 Hec Crighton Trophy winning quarterback Kyle Quinlan completed 25 of 40 passes for 355 yards, with one touchdown and a pair of interceptions.
After a scoreless opening quarter, Laval opened the scoring with a 28-yard pass from Grenon to Matthew Norzil (Montreal) at the 4:02 mark of the second frame. McMaster soon after conceded a safety rather than king from its own end zone, and a 22-yard field goal from Boris Bede (Toulon, France) gave the Rouge et Or a 12-0 lead with just over three minutes to play in the first half.
McMaster’s ensuing possession saw the Marauders drive 75 yards on six play, culminating in a one-yard rushing major by Quinlan. A Laval two-and-out gave McMaster back the ball, and a couple of long passes by Quinlan, climaxing with a 59-yard passing-and-run touchdown connection with Dahlin Brooks (St. Catharines, Ont.), gave the Marauders a 14-12 lead with 29 seconds remaining in the half. A spirited drive by Laval took the ball to the McMaster two-yard line, but time expired before the Rouge et Or could find the scoreboard.
Maxime Boutin provided a much-needed spark for the Laval offence in the third quarter, adding a pair of rushing touchdowns to the Rouge et Or’s tally. Boutin in turn ran the ball in from 11 yards and 84 yards, the latter play being the third-longest run from scrimmage in Vanier Cup history. A trio of field goals by Bede rounded out Laval’s scoring.