The result was secondary on Saturday, when the Division 1 college football circuit season finally got off to a flying start with very specific protocols so everyone involved was safe.
After the cancellation at the last minute of Friday night's game between Garneau and Lévis due to a positive case with the Elans, everyone was holding their breath. Coaches wearing masks, officials using a communications system to avoid rallies and an electronic whistle, teams using their own cleaned ball regularly, a closed-door game, everything was in place to ensure everyone's safety. A few dozen fans watched the game on the sidewalk behind the fence at the end of an end zone.
“I'm just happy that we were able to play the game,” said head coach Dave Parent after his Limoilou Titans won 37-0 ahead of the Lennoxville Cougars. We have proven that it is possible to play a game during a pandemic. Lennox has traveled. There were no hitches. We helped each other all week. It's not perfect, but it's happening. I think the season will continue. I hope it will continue for the young people. It was fun to see both teams in college before the game. ”
Coaches and injured players wore masks on the sidelines.
Return to the Eastern Townships
Jean-François Joncas was in the same direction. “Since August 22 when we started training, the goal has been to play a game,” said the head coach of the defending Bol d'Or champions. The result is disappointing in a way because you want to win as a competitor, but that's secondary. Many young people and many teams would have liked to be in our shoes today (Saturday). I have never felt young people in danger. The young people appreciated having the chance to play. ”
The parents, who could not be admitted to the site, watched the game from across the fence.
Because the Capitale-Nationale is an orange zone, the Cougars took over the direction of Estrie immediately after the game without stopping as provided for by public health directives. Limoilou had prepared lunch boxes for their opponents.
“The Titans are the perfect hosts, they give us a beating and offer us the meal,” Joncas said with a smile. Seriously, there has been a super good collaboration all week between the two colleges. I am confident that we can continue, but no one is immune to a positive case as we saw on Friday, with Garneau. There are always risks, but they are minimal and controlled. Everyone had their eyes on us and everything went well. ”
With 19 graduates, the Titans dominated the game from start to finish. “This game is a sign of progress in our program,” said Dave Parent. The guys played with passion and emotion from the start. They had the taste until the end. It's a great team victory. ”
Joncas noted the youth of his defensive brigade. “We had five or six rookies as starters on defense,” he said. The guys did better in the second half. I expected more from our offense, especially from the offensive line which allowed a lot of penetration. Our porters had little opportunity to reach the line of scrimmage. ”
In the victory, Louis-David Bernier-Cloutier stood out with four receptions for 100 yards and a major. Louis-Félix Doyon had 64 yards and a major in four receptions in addition to amassing 20 yards in two carries. Running back Natan Girouard-Langlois scored two touchdowns. Pierre-Luc Michaud threw three touchdown passes.
On defense, Keith Bourque, Marc-Anthony Girard and Cédric Brière were the best with five tackles each.