Regis Cibasu ‘relieved’ to score first CFL touchdown
Regis Cibasu was an offensive threat every time he took the field for the University of Montreal Carabins. He left the program as its leading receiver with 183 receptions for 2,231 yards. He added nine touchdowns during his time in USports. But majors have been harder to come by at the pro level for Cibasu.
That all changed on Saturday night, as the Alouettes fullback/tight end/receiver scored his first CFL touchdown on a 37-yard pass from Cody Fajardo in a 27-14 win in Hamilton. The 29-year-old had been waiting to get in the end zone for a long time, as last Saturday’s game was the 53rd of his career.
Premier touché en carrière pour Régis Cibasu!🙌
— Alouettes de Montréal (@MTLAlouettes) August 6, 2023
“I’m not going to lie to you, I felt a huge sigh of relief,” Cibasu said of finally getting into the end zone. “It’s a nice reward for all the work that I have put in since the start of my professional career. It’s a relief. I’m also really thankful that I was put in a position to make that play.”
Cibasu, who re-signed with the Alouettes last winter, went from being the focal point of the Carabins offence to being a core special-teamer and key blocker at the highest level of Canadian football. That adjustment isn’t always easy, but he has done it at a high level.
“He can catch the ball well and he can run routes for his size,” Alouettes head coach Jason Maas said of Cibasu. “He blocks extremely well and he’s very physical. He’s a hybrid between a fullback, a receiver, and a tight end body-wise. Those are all the unsung things he does. We’re able to line him up in different spots.”
The touchdown came at a critical point of the game, as the Als were nursing a six-point lead in the fourth quarter on the road. Cibasu’s touchdown gave the Alouettes some breathing room necessary to put the game to bed.
He was clearly fired up after crossing the goal line. As he got back to his feet, he decided to spin the ball in celebration near Ticats defensive back Kenneth George Jr, which resulted in him receiving a penalty on the play.
“Coach Maas came to speak to me, and he told me to act like I have been there before, and he’s right,” Cibasu explained. “But in my head, I was thinking: ‘I’ve never been there before (laughs)’. I need to stay professional at that moment. We play a game that focuses on details, and a penalty like that can change the game. I have to make sure that I stay locked in all the time.”
Neither Fajardo nor running back William Stanback participated in Tuesday’s practice at Olympic Stadium.
According to the team’s injury report, Fajardo is dealing with a left shoulder injury, while Stanback is working through some hip trouble. The Als starting quarterback wasn’t on the field at all on Tuesday, but Stanback was doing some individual drills on his own on the sideline.
“That’s the expectation,” Maas said when asked if Fajardo would play against the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Friday night.
“I’m not going to divulge anything more than I need to. If I was a betting man, I’d bet on Cody playing.”
This would be the first time that Fajardo gets to play against his former team. It’s also the only regular season matchup between these two teams in 2023.
Stanback is coming off his first 100-yard rushing performance of the season, as he ran for 106 yards against the Ticats last Saturday night. Taking a maintenance day isn’t uncommon for a veteran that plays a physical position like Stanback does.
“Our philosophy is that it’s kind of a mental day anyway,” Maas explained. “We’re going to get off our feet as much as possible. If they have anything lingering or they just don’t feel quite right, we know we’re going to compete tomorrow at practice. We practice as hard as anybody does, but we’re only going to do it once this week because of a short week. Anybody that is feeling anything that’s lingering, we’re going to hold them out.”