QUEBEC – Rouge et or Hugo Richard's quarterback ended his university football career in style on Saturday, leading Laval Rouge et Or for a 34-20 victory over the West Mustang in the 54th Vanier Cup.
Laval extracted a measure of revenge against the No. 1 ranked Mustang, which beat Rouge et or 39-17 in last year's national soccer championship in Hamilton.
This time, in November's near-ideal weather, Richard excited 12,380 hometown fans by completing 23 of 31 attempted passes for 348 yards and two goals.
The five-year QB also ran 60 yards and scores.
Laval has won 10 Vanier Cups in the 26-year history of the program. West hopes to add eight titles and keep 23 straight matches unbeaten.
This is the third time Laval and Western have met at the Vanier Cup. The Rouge et Or won the first fight in 2008.
Western QB Chris Merchant completed 26 of 46 passes for 358 yards and one touchdown but was intercepted three times.
Laval led 10-0 after the first quarter and rose 17-13 at half-time before closing the West offense for 10 minutes in the fourth quarter.
Traders hit Cole Majoros with a 25-yard touchdown with two minutes remaining to cut the deficit to 14. But the comeback effort was firmly stopped when Hail May passed from the Merchant intercepted in the final minute.
Laval had gone up 34-13 when Alexis Cote fell above the goal with only five minutes left.
Rouge et Or a minute into the game, with Richard hitting Vincent Forbes-Mombleau's recipient with 46 yards in the final zone. Merchant also started with a good start with a 26-yard settlement to Majoros, but was intercepted by Laval's Lavallee Lavallee with a 31-year return. Laval's David Cote scored a field goal on the next drive.
The second quarter begins with Western attacks in the Laval zone on a 10-page run by Cedric Joseph. Two resolutions by Merchant put the Mustang on the goal line and Joseph walked into the untouched final zone.
Richard threw a 27-yard pass to Jonathan Breton to get the position on the next drive, then press Benoit Gagnon-Brousseau with a 22-yard score to go up 17-7. Western took over in their own zone, gambling in the third and inches to extend the drive before kicker Marc Liegghio then nailed the 36-year field goal.
Liegghio kicked the 18-year field ball with one second remaining in the first round, leaving the score 17-13.
The opening of the Western drive in the second half stuttered after losing and the bait was not perfect. Richard then advanced Laval with his own 11-yard and charged for TD in the next game to lead 24-13.
West failed to get a chance to shorten Laval's advantage at the end of the third quarter when Rouge et Or dropped the effort on the field.
Peter Black, The Canadian Press