Laval Rouge et Or right tackle Danny Groulx spilled the beans.
Amid tears of joy as he and his teammates celebrated their thumping of the defending champion McMaster Marauders 37-14 in the Vanier Cup rematch at Rogers Centre on Friday, Groulx revealed the secret of Laval's huge and athletic and effective offensive line.
"We go for breakfast every Friday morning at McDonalds," said Groulx, which prompted a follow-up query, "do your coaches know this?"
"They don't care as long as we win," Groulx replied.
Laval won all right. The Rouge et Or won its record seventh national championship, breaking a tie with the Western Mustangs, and Laval has all its titles in 14 seasons.
Laval just didn't win. The Rouge et Or romped. They beat up McMaster and its Hec Crighton-winning quarterback Kyle Quinlan in every area of the championship game.
The Rouge et Or checked in with 603 net yards to the Marauders' 389 and put an end to McMaster's record 21-game win streak before a record Vanier Cup crowd of 37,098.
Laval won the all-important special teams battle, thanks mainly to the booming and accurate leg of kicker Boris Bede. The defence held McMaster's potent offence in check, especially in the second-half when the Marauders failed to score a point. In total, Quinlan was sacked a championship-game record seven times.
The offence moved the ball for the entire game. The score could have been worse if not for Laval's poor time management late in the opening half that saw the Rouge et Or mess up and let the clock expire when they were on McMaster's two-yard line.
The key for Laval was its Mickey-D powered offensive line. Left tackle Karl Lavoie, left guard Philippe Gagnon, centre Pierre Lavertu, right guard Charles Vaillancourt and Groulx had a field day opening holes all evening for tailback Maxime Boutin.
Boutin rushed for 253 yards on 24 carries, just seven yards shy of the Vanier Cup record 260 put up by Calgary's Tim Petros in 1983.
Boutin's big run was an 84-yard scamper for a touchdown in the third quarter. He only became the main backfield threat after Pascal Lochard was knocked out of action with an ankle injury in the Quebec final two weeks ago.
Boutin took over as Laval's starter in last weekend's Uteck Bowl and rushed for 213 yards in the lopsided win against Acadia. He picked up right where he left off on Friday. But he swatted away accolades as recipient of the Ted Morris Memorial Trophy given to the Vanier Cup MVP and instead praised his offensive line.
"They're the reason. They're so good," Boutin said.
Groulx was asked why he and his huge teammates dominated this season.
"We're so tight, so close," he said. "We're all good friends. We're always together - in the morning, at practice and every night."
The good news for Laval supporters and its heavily, privately-funded program is Groulx and the rest of the offensive line are young and will stay together for the next two or three years if they remain healthy.
No school has won back-to-back Vanier Cups since Laval in 2003 and 2004. But because the O-line will return intact, Groulx can't wait for next season.
"I want my back-to-back titles," he said. "I'm already thinking about it."
McDonalds, no doubt, will be happy to fuel the attempt.
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