It’s well known that even the most powerful machines need some start-up time and this was the case for the Cavaliers on Saturday night as they hosted their season opener against Shawinigan at Seaway Park 3 in St-Lambert.
Les Électriks fumbled their first offensive snap which was recovered by Charles Davidson-Parent. It didn’t take long for the Cavaliers to take advantage of Shawinigan’s mishap. Six plays later, for fourth year Quarterback Daniel Lazzara completed his first TD pass of the season. The fortunate receiver of Lazzara’s pin-point pass was rookie receiver Jérome Arsenault out of Collège Durocher.
After teams traded punts, Maxime Giroux brought back the Shawinigan punt for a 55-yard return that put the Cavs offense in scoring position. Unable to capitalize for the major, Champlain settled for an Arsenault 15-yard field goal, making the score 10-0 for the home team.
Shawinigan wasn’t going to give up so easily. A major lack of discipline on part of the Cavaliers, a successful onside kick, and missed tackles led to les Électriks scoring twice in five minutes and giving them a 14-10 lead – the only they would have in the game.
The Cavs offense got the ball back on their 30 and Trenton Matuzewiski capped off an 80-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run, putting St-Lambert back in the lead at half-time, 17-14.
Back-to-back touchdowns by Giroux (a 10-yard reception and a phenomenal 59-yard punt return) opened the game up for the Cavaliers who never looked back. The rookie Running Back out of Greenfield Park, Matuzewiski, also added his second touchdown of the game on a stellar 30-yard run, which put the Cavaliers up 38-14.
Personnel changes and coaching adjustments led to the defense putting in rookie lineman Micheal DiPierro, from the St-Leonard Cougars, in at Nose Tackle, and it effects were felt immediately. Led by both Dalton English and Jarek Richards (8.5 tackles each) the defense was relentless in their effort to close the game off. The defense gave up 5-yards of total offense to Shawinigan in the second half.
The Cavaliers move to 1-0 and they play their next game Friday in St-Jérôme as they face off against the 0-1 Cheminots.