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Queen's at Ottawa - 20130921
All photos are by Jeff Chan. Jeff is past Chairman of the Vanier Cup - Canada's University Football Championship and the Premier University Event in Canada, and was a member of the Canadian College Bowl Board and Vanier Cup Organizing Committee from 1978-2000.
All photos are Copyright (c) Jeff Chan 2000-2013, and may be used for personal non-commercial applications including by Queen's University, the CIS and its member conferences, so long as photo credits are shown or the photos are otherwise attributed to Jeff Chan. All other rights, including for all corporate use, are reserved.
QUEEN'S 36, OTTAWA 21
DEFENCE THE DIFFERENCE AS NO. 3 GAELS HALT GEE-GEES 36-21
By Shawn MacDonald, Queens Sports Information
The No. 3 Gaels (4-0) used their defence, combined with timely scoring, to shut down the Ottawa Gee-Gees (2-3) 36-21 in wet conditions at Gee-Gee field in Ottawa on Saturday afternoon.
The rain was steady all day and Queen's took advantage on defence finishing the afternoon with four interceptions, one fumble recovery and two sacks.
It was then the Gaels run game was able to turn those big defensive plays into points on the board for Queen's. Jesse Andrews (Arnprior, Ont.) led the Gaels on the ground with 92 yards rushing and two touchdowns while Ryan Granberg (Sherwood Park, Alta.) added a score of his own and 74 yards.
Andrews first score came after Ottawa fumbled deep in their own territory and Ryan Farrell (Halifax, N.S.) recovered the ball. After a Sam Sabourin (Stittsville, Ont.) interception in the third quarter it was then Granberg who was able to make the turnover hurt that much more for Ottawa with a four yard score.
The Gee-Gees were able to make a game of it late in the third quarter after quarterback Aaron Colbon had a 63-yard run that set up a touchdown pass to Maxime Mireault to cut the Gaels lead to 23-9. Ottawa followed up with and Andrew Mullings 11 yard catch and score to make it 23-15 after a blocked extra point.
Queen's got the big play in the passing game they were searching for as Aaron Gazendam (Kingston, Ont.) hauled in an 80-yard touchdown pass to give Queen's some breathing room, extending their lead to 29-15.
Billy McPhee (Burlington, Ont.) hit Giovanni Aprile (Scarborough, Ont.) late in the fourth for a seven yard score and Ottawa's Miereault added another score through the air to bring the game to a 36-21 final.
On defense, the Gaels had solid efforts from a number of contributors. Yann Dika-Balotoken (Toronto) finished with a pair of interceptions, Sabourin and Matt Webster (Calgary) added the others for Queen's. Sabourin specifically was all over the scoresheet adding two tackles, a forced fumble, a pass breakup and a blocked extra point. Sean Plumley (Sault St. Marie, Ont.) led the Gaels in tackles with six while Farrell finished two tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery.
Ottawa was led by Ty Rusznak who finsihed with 5.5 tackles a pass breakup and a fumble recovery.
McPhee finished 16-32 with 305 yards passing and two touchdowns while Colbon had a 19-39 day with 254 yards and three touchdowns depsite briefly missing time due to injury.
GAELS IMPROVE TO 4-0 WITH VICTORY OVER OTTAWA
By Claude Scilley, SportKingston
On a dog of a day that was dreary, rainy and windy, two football teams played a dog of a game that suited the inhospitable conditions.
Amid dropped passes, missed throws and general misadventure, the Queen’s Golden Gaels and Ottawa Gee-Gees combined to provide such quantifiably dreadful things as five interceptions, seven fumbles and five blocked kicks.
Ultimately — thanks in no small part to a plucky defence — the Gaels emerged with a 36-21 Ontario University Athletics victory, their fourth without defeat this season.
The win allowed Queen’s to keep pace with the league’s other two unbeaten teams, the Western Mustangs and Guelph Gryphons. Western, after spotting Wilfrid Laurier a 10-point lead, scored 33 points in the second half for a 45-24 win. Guelph denied a two-point convert attempt in the dying seconds of their Homecoming game to escape with a 24-22 win over McMaster.
The stage is now set for a battle of the nation’s No. 2 and No. 3-ranked teams next Saturday in London, when Queen’s will provide the opposition at Western’s 100th anniversary Homecoming.
If Queen’s hopes to be in that game beyond the first quarter, they’ll have to reduce their mistakes significantly.
“Usually after games like that you watch the tape and it’s not as bad as you thought,” Gaels coach Pat Sheahan said. “I’m hoping that’s the case.”
Calling the game a “debacle,” Sheahan lamented a general lack of execution.
“I think we left at least 21 points left on the table, maybe more,” he said. “We seemed to be off on the snapping, the holding, (there were) a few uncharacteristic dropped passes. We looked a little rusty.”
Symptoms, perhaps, of having the bye last week and, therefore, 14 days off between games?
“I guess it points to that,” Sheahan said. “We didn’t want to let that be an excuse for anything today but, in reality, we did look a little off.”
Across the field, Gee-Gees coach Jamie Barresi was no less displeased with the performance of his team.
“We just didn’t execute very well,” he said. “(Queen’s) did some things and I’m disappointed that we didn’t take adavantage of some of the things they gave us. There were things wide open on the field that we should have (exploited).
“We made some errors that I was very disappointed about. When I watch the video and we talk with the players, there will be some people who will have to be accountable for that.”
Gee-Gees running back Brendan Gillanders, averaging close to 100 yards in each of his first four games this year, went out of the game early after being hit on a play that caused him to fumble the football. Later, quarterback Aaron Colbon went out, leaving Ottawa with first-year players in those two positions for a time.
That doesn’t excuse such simple mistakes as lining up incorrectly, Barresi said. “I didn’t care if Derek Wendel was in the game or Jordan Sutcliffe. We did not execute the way we should have.
“I’ll give (Queen’s) credit, too. They did a good job. I’m more upset with the way that our offence played than anything else.”
Specifically Barresi regretted two situations late in the second quarter. With Queen’s nursing a 14-0 lead and spinning its wheels offensively, on consecutive series the Gaels turned the ball over after a bad snap on a punt at their own 32-yard line; surrendered a safety; and had a punt blocked that gave Ottawa the ball on their 47.
On the first, the Gee-Gees were two and out. On the last, they failed to move far enough to try for a field goal.
“Our defence did a great job,” Barresi said, “but, still, if we’d have played the way I think we should play … I’m not saying we would have won but it would have been a closer game.”
Speaking of defences, Queen’s was stout again, allowing the nation’s second-best offence a season-low 370 yards.
“There’s nothing more you can say,” Gaels quarterback Billy McPhee said. “What did they have, six or seven turnovers? They’ve helped us out all year and once again, they only allowed 21 points and whenever you do that with our offence, well, we’ll usually score more than 21.”
Tailback Ryan Granberg agreed.
“They’re always so strong,” he said. “I think sometimes we rely on them a little bit too much. They’ve got some ball hawks, and those interceptions definitely helped.”
A pair of first-half touchdowns on short runs by Jesse Andrews staked Queen’s to a 14-2 halftime lead. Granberg scored another major along the ground midway through the third quarter before the Gee-Gees got on the scoreboard with Colbon’s first of three TD passes, a six-yard toss to Maxime Mireault.
Despite their misadvengures, the Queen’s lead was in jeopardy only for about 25 seconds early in the fourth quarter, when Andrew Mullings connected with Colbon for a nine-yard TD strike. On the very next play, Aaron Gazendam beat his man, reacted nicely to the ball and sidestepped a second Ottawa defender on his way to taking a McPhee pass 85 yards for a touchdown.
McPhee and Giovanni Aprile combined for a seven-yard TD pass seven minutes later for a 36-15 lead that rendered Ottawa’s final score, a 39-yard pass from Colbon to Mireault with two minutes remaining, moot.
The ending — Queen’s had 235 yards of offence in the fourth quarter, including Gazendam’s touchdown, a 51-yard reception by Aprile and a 40-yard run by Granberg — was a far cry from the doldrum in which the Gaels found themselves wallowing in the second quarter, when they had 22 net yards, lost ground on six of 17 plays and had the high-snap turnover and the blocked punt.
“The first half was ugly,” McPhee conceded, “but the second half we came out the way we wanted to. First half, … we were executing to a point and we just couldn’t finish, a dropped ball here, a missed pass there.
“We came into halftime and coach said what we’re doing is working. We just need to finish.”
The game was sloppy because of the weather, Granberg said, “but it shouldn’t have been. We’re better than that.
“We were not playing as we were supposed to, then toward the end we kind of had that (feeling) ‘you’ve got to do it,’ so the offence toughened up. Collectively we came together and did what we needed to do.”
Queen’s managed two touchdowns from five takeaways, including four interceptions, but the Gaels also squandered some glorious opportunities. With the score 21-2, Queen’s was challenging at the Ottawa 15-yard line when Granberg was hit by two men as he took a handoff and fumbled. In the fourth quarter, second-and-goal from the Ottawa one-yard line, quarterback Billy McPhee threw an interception in the end zone.
As well, kicker Dillon Wamsley had a frantic day, with a missed 27-yard field goal, a 25-yard field-goal attempt that was blocked, a blocked punt and two blocked converts.
Had those two red-zone opportunities manifested themselves in touchdowns, the field goals, usually gimmes for Wamsley, been good and the converts not been blocked, that was 21 points — the missed field goal went for a single — the Gaels likely can’t afford to leave lying around next week against Western.
“I’d feel a whole lot different about the game if that hadn’t happened,” Sheahan said, “but we’ve played four games and we haven’t lost any yet.
“In games like this you’ve got to be careful because there’s always a few great things that happen. The play of our DBs at times was extraordinary. We had good pass coverage. I thought we ran the ball a lot better, with a variety of guys.”
Indeed, Queen’s four interceptions not only took the ball away from the Gee-Gees, they gave it to the Gaels’ offence in splendid field position on the Ottawa 34, 25, 54 and 49-yard lines. The Queen’s rushing game produced 228 yards, by far the best performance this year, and two of the three tailbacks, starter Andrews and Granberg, had season-best days of 92 and 74 yards, respectively.
Attendance: 1730 @Ottawa
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 T
Queen's 6 8 7 15 36
Ottawa 0 2 7 12 21
Queen's STATISTICS Ottawa
27 FIRST DOWNS 19
12 Passing 13
14 Rushing 5
1 Penalty 1
42.86% (3 of 7) THIRD DOWN EFFICIENCY 33.33% (1 of 3)
491 TOTAL NET YARDS 370
75 Total Offensive Plays 62
6.5 Average gain per play 6
312 NET YARDS PASSING 267
17 - 33 Completions-Attempts 21 - 45
9.45 Net yards per pass play 5.93
4 - 23 Sacked:Number-Yards 2 - 17
1 Had intercepted 4
228 NET YARDS RUSHING 129
38 Rushing Attempts 15
6.00 Average gain per rush 8.60
8 - 253 PUNTS: Number-Yards 10 - 319
31.6 Average 31.9
176 TOTAL RETURN YARDS 214
4 - 78 Punt Returns:No-Yards 7 - 44
2 - 36 Kickof Returns:No-Yards 6 - 139
4 - 62 Int. Returns:No-Yards 1 - 31
7 - 50 PENALTIES: Number-Yards 11 - 106
5 - 2 FUMBLES: Number-Lost 2 - 1
34:28 TIME OF POSSESSION 25:32
All photos on this site are Copyright © Jeff Chan, except as noted, and may be used for personal non-commercial applications, so long as photo credits are shown or the photos are otherwise attributed to Jeff Chan. All other rights, including for all corporate and media use, are strictly reserved, and any use of these photographs without the author’s express written consent is prohibited.