VANIER CHEETAHS IN THE NEWS     
LIAM MAHONEY CAPS HIS SEASON WITH ATHLETE OF THE WEEK AWARD AND A LENGTHY ARTICLE IN THE MONTREAL GAZETTE. ALL THAT REMAINS IS THE BOL D'OR CHAMPIONSHIP.

November 8, 2006


Mahoney uses legs as well as arm
Quarterback was third in rushing.
Attending Mannings' football camp gave him confidence to shake injury fears



Mahoney's scambling abilities are top-notch

By Arpon Basu, Montreal Gazette,

About four years ago, Lachine native Liam Mahoney was a promising young quarterback in the North Shore football program who hit a major obstacle in his progression.

He had suffered a broken collarbone and dislocated left elbow in his first season of midget football, and the painful rehabilitation had Mahoney second-guessing whether or not he wanted to continue in the sport in which he was obviously so gifted.

While he struggled with his decision, he decided to attend a football camp in Louisiana run by Archie Manning and his sons, Peyton and Eli, the first family of quarterbacks.

Mahoney wasn't sure what to expect of himself competing with American kids, but he shined and that performance gave him what he needed to soldier on.

"That gave me a lot of confidence. It's probably why I'm still playing football," said Mahoney, 18. "It was just such a long rehab, both physically and mentally, because I was always afraid of getting hurt."

One look at Mahoney today, playing his third season at Vanier College, reveals that fear has been wiped away.

It is somewhat ironic that he drew much of his inspiration watching Peyton Manning, the prototype pocket-passer for the Indianapolis Colts, because if anything, Mahoney is the anti-Peyton. Mahoney uses his legs as much as his arm to pick apart defences, and you could count on one hand the number of times in a game he stays in the pocket to deliver a pass.

Mahoney led the provincial Triple-A CEGEP league in passing this year with 1,507 yards, 15 touchdowns and only six interceptions.

Using the U.S. college formula, Mahoney's quarterback rating was a sparkling 127.5. But those numbers become even more impressive when you look at the league's rushing statistics and see that Mahoney ranked third with 497 yards on 89 carries with six touchdowns.


Mahoney (top, center) with members of his offensive line

There is a school of thought that says scrambling quarterbacks actually hurt an offence rather than help, but Mahoney obviously doesn't buy that for a second.

"I've actually had problems with coaches who would tell me not to do it as much," Mahoney said.

"But if you have a guy who can run and use his legs to his advantage, why not use it?"

Mahoney's legs and arm have both been a huge advantage this season for Vanier, which finished atop the standings at 9-1 for the school's first league championship since 1991.

That was also the last time the Cheetahs captured the Bol d'Or title, and Mahoney would love nothing more than to dethrone CEGEP du Vieux-Montreal, which has won the playoffs nine times since Vanier's last title, including the last five years in a row.

"I don't think we focus on (Vanier's last title), but we just want someone else to win the Bol d'Or, it's getting a little tiring hearing about Vieux-Montreal winning all the time," Mahoney said this week. "But it would be great if we could be the ones to break the curse."

Vanier will take its first step toward snapping the title drought Saturday at 1 p.m., when it plays host to Beauce-Appalaches in the league semifinal at Concordia.

© The Gazette (Montreal) 2006


Mahoney is a triple threat: scrambling, running and passing


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