Kanata, ON — On a beautiful day for football, the OFL kicked off its preseason with an exhibition matchup between the Irish Stout and their bitter rivals, the French Foreign Legion. Initially, a titanic contest was to be decided on historic Entrust Cryptography Field, but key injuries to flashy wideout/QB Louis Aubin (something he swears was caught from a toilet seat) and Stout QB nonpareil Paul McRae (Achilles tendon strain) made this a much less appealing clash. Nonetheless, the retooled Legion began with a squad including shifty QB Peter Arseneau, flanker Rami Al-Tayeche, and massive rookie tight end Sasha Ruzhynsky, seeing his first OFL action. In fact he was seeing his first football action of any kind.

After failing to score on their first possession, the Legion turned the ball over to the Stout. A resolute but gimpy McRae wasted no time in hitting Bevan Watkiss for the touchdown and connecting with returning hero Kirk Ireland for the conversion. The Stout led, 7-0.

Undaunted (or perhaps just a bit daunted), the Legion drove down and scored on an Arseneau-Al-Tayeche connection featuring at least 2 hyphens. The conversion failed, however, and the score remained 7-6.

The Stout then went on a scoring binge, with Ireland returning an interception for a touchdown, McRae passing to big tight end Dan Murdock for a score (Watkiss convert), and another long TD pass to Ireland (Murdock convert) to take a 27-6 lead. Most of the Stout agreed that a drinking binge would have been equally as satisfying (and far less taxing).

With McRae sitting out on defense due to his injury, big Dan Murdock stepped into the role of lineman and recorded a sack and tipped pass while frustrating Legion QB’s all day long. But for his lack of a gap toothed grin, it could have been Michael Strahan out there.

Ireland recorded a second interception, this time on an errant McRae pass as McRae switched sides while Arseneau dealt with an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction. Late in the game, Arseneau returned to pick off a lateral from Ireland to Murdock and dash in for a score. Ruzhynsky scored his first football points on the convert as the gun sounded and the Stout prevailed 27-13.

June 13, 2008
Irish Stout 27, French Foreign Legion 13

McRae       3 TD, 3 PAT, 1 INT
Arseneau    1 TD, 1 INT

Ireland     1 TD, 1 PAT
Murdock     1 TD, 1 PAT
Watkiss     1 TD, 1 PAT
Al-Tayeche  1 TD
Ruzhynsky   1 PAT

Ireland     2 INT (1 TD)
Arseneau    1 Fumble Recovery (TD)