2014 CIS Football Team Preview: Bishop’s Gaiters

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Source: Marty Rourke, Bishop’s SportsInfo

2013 regular season record: 6-2
2013 regular season standings: 2nd in RSEQ
2013 playoff record: 0-1
2013 playoff finish: Lost 51-8 to Montreal in RSEQsemi-final

The Bishop’s Gaiters had their best showing in nearly twodecades in 2013. Their six wins were the most since 1993 and theyhosted their first playoff game since 1994.

Quarterback JordanHeather who set the CIS single-season passing record accumulating3132 yards through the air was the clear-cut leader. Hisperformance earned him the school’s first ever Hec Crighton Trophyas the country’s most outstanding player. He was also afirst-team all-Canadian along with his favourite target AlexanderFox who also had a record setting performance. He was theonly receiver in Canada to eclipse the 1000-yard mark and scored 12touchdowns, a school record. His 25 career receiving majorsis the best ever in the RSEQ.

The Gaiters accolades did not stop there. Second-year headcoach Kevin Mackey became the third coach in Bishop’s history towin the Frank Tindall Trophy as CIS Coach of the Year.

The Gaiters have a new look in 2014 as along with Heather andFox, a number of others have graduated or moved on. Althoughmany new faces, Bishop’s had one of its best recruiting classes inrecent years. Along with a solid group of returners, some freshmenwill certainly step in and compete for playing time.

Bishop’s will once again play in the powerhouse RSEQ. They havea pair of contests against Laval (defending Vanier Cup champions)and Montreal (perennially in CIS top-10). They will also play eachof McGill, Concordia, Mount Allison and Sherbrooke on oneoccasion. After a pair of memorable victories for the purpleand silver against their cross-town foe in 2013 (each by a singlepoint), the Gaiters will close out the 2014 regular season byhosting Sherbrooke in the annual Mayor’s Cup on November 1st.

Quote from head coach:

“We had a great season last year,” said Gaiters headcoach Kevin Mackey. “It was nice to see our hard work payoff. Now looking ahead to this year our expectations can’tchange. Ultimately we want to compete for a Vanier Cuptitle. We can’t become complacent and content from ourresults last year. We have to want to get better each andeveryday. I have no doubt if we all work hard that we will beable to accomplish our goals.”

Head Coach:

– Number of seasons as head coach with team (including 2013): 2
– Number of seasons as head coach in CIS (including 2013): 2
– Career regular season record with team: 6-11
– Career regular season record in CIS: 6-11
– Career overall record with team (reg. season & playoffsonly): 6-12
– Career overall record in CIS (reg. season & playoffs only):6-12

OFFENCE

Number of returning starters: 6

Key returning players:

QB Shane McDonald returns for his 5th year. After backing up2013 Hec Crighton winner Jordan Heather, McDonald is a veteran whohas worked with offensive coordinator Bent Bailey for threeyears. He is a big body at 6-foot-5, 240 pounds and will adda different dynamic to the explosive Gaiters offense.

OL Erik Krebbs is back for his 4th year of protectingGaiters’ pivots. He participated in the 2014 East-WestBowl and will be leaned on for his veteran leadership thisseason.

REC Yaata Nyantakyi will catch passes for the second season forthe purple and silver. He is a transfer from the Universityof Kansas. The small but dangerous Nyantakyi made a hugeimpact with 43 catches, 488 yards and a touchdown in 2013.

RB Ron Lee King-Fileen will carry the bulk of the load in 2014in the Bishop’s backfield. He split time with MattBurke a year ago. He rushed 39 times for 147 yards in sixgames last season.

REC Jerome Mercier is back after a career year in 2013. Hegrabbed 27 passes for 336 yards and scored a big touchdown to helpthe Gaiters win the Mayor’s Cup against their cross-townfoes.

Key recruits or transfers:
OL Matthew Ouelette-Decarlo (6-5, 290 lbs., ChamplainCougars) will compete for playing time from the first day intraining camp

FB Jake Rose (6-3, 250 lbs., Champlain Cougars) is anotherplayer who will likely step in and contribute in his freshmanyear

QB Travis Eman (6-1, 220 lbs., Brampton) is a quarterback whowill be the future for the Gaiters. He will spend timelearning the offense from veteran Shane McDonald.

Key losses:

QB Jordan Heather (2013 Hec Crighton Trophy winner)

REC Alexander Fox (CIS leading receiver in 2013)

REC Stephen Adekolu (currently on the BC Lions roster)

RB Matt Burke

OL Kyle Handy

OL Tyler Harding

RB Ryon McCalla

DEFENCE

Number of returning starters: 9

Key returning players:
LB Adrian Clarke is back and will be a leader of the GaitersDefense. His athletic ability is unmatched. He is asideline-to-sideline player. In 2013 he recorded 50 tacklesincluding 3.5 sacks, he also had an interception.

DL Theo Thompson is fresh off competing in the 2014 East-Westbowl. The Chateguay, Quebec native made 33 tackles, 1 sackand forced a fumble last year.

LB David Plourde comes back for what he hopes is a fullseason. He suffered a season-ending injury in the second weekof the year in 2013. The Drummondville native will certainlyhave an impact in the Gaiters front seven in 2014.

DL Michael Bruce will look to breakout in 2014. Theveteran recorded 20 tackles and 1 sack in 2013.

DB Steven Adu comes back to the Gaiters after being part of theOttawa Redblacks training camp. He is an all-round athletethat overcomes his small stature with his desire to compete. Herecorded 58 tackles in 2013 and broke up 3 passes.

DL Steven McCollum returns for his 5th and final season atBishop’s. A captain in 2013, McCollum will lead the defenseonce again in 2014. He fought injuries in 2013 but was ableto record 25 tackles, 4.5 for losses and 4 sacks in five games.

Key recruits or transfers:

DE Mathieu Breton (6-8, 255 lbs., John Abbott) will join thedefensive line and look to step in and make an impact from dayone.

DE Trey Hylton (6-2, 245 lbs., Champlain Cougars) is also apotential starter

LB David L’Heureux (6-1, 215 lbs., CégepLimoilou)

DB Alex Moreau Lacroix (6-0, 190 lbs., John Abbott)

DT Charles Belanger (6-3, 265 lbs., Beauce)

Key losses:

DB/LB Ryland Smith (Defensive Captain)

DB O’Shane Daley (2013 BU Defensive MVP)

DL Brandith Blocker

SPECIALTEAMS

Key returning players:

Yaata Nyantakyi, returner, possess explosive speed that helpshim overcome his smaller stature. He is a threat to returnany kick to pay dirt.

Key recruits or transfers:

K Vincent Dube (6-0, 190 lbs., Cegep La Pocatiere)

Key losses:

K Matheiu Paquette

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