September 2007
In a story from the Montreal Gazette, we hear of last year's Bol d'Or hero for the Vanier Cheetahs, QB Liam Mahoney, and his exploits in taking the helm to lead the Concordia Stingers to a hard-fought vioctory over their cross-town rivals, the Université de Montréal Carabins.

Stingers quarterback Liam Mahoney evades Carabins defenders Martin Gagné and Mark Deluca.
Photo by: Tyrel Featherstone, the Gazette
Click for a larger image
Mahoney does it all for Stingers
Kick returner, receiver forced into duty as quarterback
Stephanie Myles, The Gazette
Published: Sunday, September 30, 2007

The first meeting this season between the Concordia Stingers and Université de Montréal Carabins was a messy affair, a 9-6 Stingers win that featured 229 yards worth of penalties and not a single touchdown, offensive or otherwise.

Stingers head coach Gerry McGrath called it "pretty ugly."

The tone was set for yesterday's return engagement at Concordia Stadium before kickoff, when the Carabins ran through the Stingers' pre-game warmup.

Revenge, of course, is a dish best served on the field. And the Stingers had the last word with a 21-15 win that was downright pretty, at least in comparison.

It improved the Stingers' season record to 3-1.

And it also featured the debut - at quarterback, at least - of former Vanier standout Liam Mahoney.

Mahoney, who has caught passes and returned kicks but whose only experience at quarterback came in the preseason, came on in the second half for starter Robert Mackay.

Mackay was sacked by Carabins safety Christian Houle with time running out in the second quarter, and needed help to limp off the field at halftime.

"I return kicks, so I was warmed up. I hadn't thrown a ball in two weeks, but other than that I felt pretty good, because I felt I was in the game already," Mahoney said.

Mahoney connected with Cory Watson on a 13-yard touchdown pass at 6:42 of the third quarter, the only offensive touchdown of the game for the Stingers. Jean-Philippe Binette ran in a blocked punt 25 yards for the other Stingers touchdown.

In all, Mahoney went 3-for-6 for 28 yards and one touchdown. But he also led the Stingers' ground attack, with 74 yards on 10 rushes, including a 24-yard gain.

McGrath said Mackay's left-knee injury didn't appear serious. "But we weren't about to take any chances," he said.

Carabins starting quarterback Marc-Olivier Brouillette, (another Vanier Cheetah alum) who fractured a finger on his passing hand during the first game between the two teams, missed last week and made it only through the first half yesterday. He was replaced by Stephan Larosilière.

Former Cheetah Star QB Liam Mahoney (left) poses with his Player-of-the-game award taken after the 2006 Bol d'Or win. Next to him is current Cheetah football star Ameet Pall, the Defensive Player-of -the-game.
Click for a larger image

Neither was particularly effective, and neither was the Carabins' offence. Despite playing barely a half, Brouillette led his team in rushing with 28 yards on four carries.

And then there were the penalties, more than 300 yards worth in all, the balance tipped only slightly in favour of the Carabins.

"They don't show anybody any respect, and unfortunately we get baited into taking some dumb penalties ourselves,"

McGrath said. "Today was way too many penalties again. I'm really disappointed in our penalties."

Mahoney couldn't argue. "In a game like that, with the other team taking so many dumb penalties, we have to not take the stupid penalties. It was too many, for what coach McGrath teaches us. We really have to work on discipline, and I think everything is going to fall into place this week," he said. "We needed this win, definitely, and I think we built some confidence."

Running-back Corey Greenaway was named Homecoming Game outstanding player. But the game really belonged to Mahoney, who had also returned four punts for 41 yards before coming in to lead the offence.

But he was quick to defuse any whiff of a quarterback controversy. "This is Rob's team. He's been here for a couple of years. My job was to come in on clean-up duty and win the game. That's all I had to do," he said.

The difference between the game at the CEGEP and university levels was immediately apparent. "The thing about CEGEP is that you make one guy miss, you can usually gain about 10-15 years. Here, you make one guy miss, there are probably three or four other guys ready to take your head off," Mahoney said. "It's the speed, and guys are a lot more disciplined."

Well, maybe not these particular guys.

Mahoney hadn't had any reps at quarterback the last two weeks because he was learning the receiver position, another skill to add to his résumé.

"I can count on him not to get many reps and know what to do anyway. He's very composed, very intelligent, has a great football aptitude, and just knows what to do all the time," McGrath said. "But first and foremost, he's a great young man, a first-class young man, everything a student-athlete should be, and someone we're really proud to have be on our club."

In other Quebec conference action, Laval trounced St. Francis-Xavier 51-8 in Antigonish, N.S., while Bishops defeated Acadia 44-12 in Lennoxville.

In Sherbrooke, the Vert et Or pummelled McGill 42-7.

The Stingers hit the road next Saturday to play in Sherbrooke.

Notes - Several athletes were inducted into the Concordia Sports Hall of Fame Friday night, including former Stingers receiver Gerry Prud'homme, who led a large group from the 25th-anniversary 1982 squad (also inducted) onto the field at halftime. Also inducted were Edward Cannon, a track athlete and rugby player at Loyola College in the 1920s, and builder Sally Kemp, a force in women's athletics at Sir George WIlliams University in the 1960s.

© The Gazette (Montreal) 2007

Mahoney appears in this group of ex provincial-champion North Shore Mustangs who all played at Vanier
Top row : Adam Ginsberg, Sammy Lavaude, Liam Mahoney, Mohamad Petrus, Myles Gibbon
Bottom row: Matt Altman, Michael Alfonso, Ameet Pall, Carlos Delcarpo