Napanee's Leroy Blugh nearly pulled off his biggest win as a coach last night -- his Bishop's Gaiters took the Concordia Stingers down to the wire, losing 20-18 after being stopped inside the five-yard line in the final two minutes.
Bishop's led in the fourth quarter, no mean feat considering it had faced halftime deficits 23-0, 24-0 and 34-4 in its three matchups vs. Concordia during Blugh's first two seasons. The Stingers were able to get a late touchdown, then make a goal-line stand after the Gaiters had driven to the three-yard line. Bishop's kicker Josh Maveety then missed a chip-shot field goal that would have tied it up -- the second time in the game, actually, that his team had gone for the short three after being inside the 10-yard line. (We're of the opinion, by the way, that teams should go for it for more down there, since the average play gains six yards and the other team, if it holds on, ends up conceding a safety most of the time.)
Bottom line, it was the first game. Regardless, coming so close vs. a program with Concordia's rep might show that Blugh is starting to turn around a Gaiters program that, for reasons not all of its own making, has been barely treading water in the Quebec conference.
Bonus Hometown Breakdown note: Concordia's new starting QB, Robert Mackay, claims Port Dover, Ont., (10 minutes south of Simcoe), as his hometown. Who knew?
Stingers' Mackay has big shoes to fill (Randy Phillips, Montreal Gazette)