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Queen's at Waterloo 20091010
All photos are Copyright (c) Jeff Chan 2000-2009, but may be used for personal non-commercial use, and by Queen's University, the CIS and its member conferences, and by the Vanier Cup, so long as photo credits are shown or the photos are otherwise attributed to Jeff Chan. All other rights are reserved.
Queen's 43, Waterloo 21
Gaels drive to Sweet 16
By Mike Koreen, Kingston Whig Standard
First, the Queen's Golden Gaels lost their running back on the opening day of training camp. Then, it was their kicker out for the season opener. In the third game, it was no star quarterback. So perhaps it should come as no surprise that the Gaels suffered a loss of another kind this past weekend here in the land of Oktoberfest and responded in the same way as usual -- with a victory. Under the category of bizarre, the Gaels lost the use of two buses when their original vehicle and its replacement broke down Friday night and Saturday morning, respectively -- though thankfully the electrical system problem and air pressure issue both occurred in the parking lot of the team hotel.
"Then we have something you only see in one of those local TV shows, a game show, the mad dash or something," Gaels coach Pat Sheahan said. "We've got taxis, we've got coaches (with cars) -- just an unbelievable shuffle, so the game was delayed. "I think we had about eight taxis, what coaches we had (with cars) and a couple fans (helping transport player) to the field. It was interesting."
In the aftermath of the bus bust and a 15-minute delay to the start time, though, the Gaels pretty much acted as if it was a typical Saturday afternoon. The Gaels (6-0), who changed at the hotel, roared out of the starting gate with a 24-0 lead and did what they needed the rest of the way to record a 43-21 win over the Waterloo Warriors -- the 16th consecutive regular season triumph for Queen's. Apparently, the Gaels don't mind last-minute travel chaos. "We had a couple hiccups in plan early, like our bus (breaking) down," said fifth-year quarterback Danny Brannagan. "Some things happened, but we were just determined we were not going to let that phase us."
It certainly didn't phase Brannagan, who became the career leading passer in Ontario University Athletics (9,989) yards with yet another big day -- 347 yards and two touchdowns. Brannagan should make himself just the second member of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport 10,000-yard club Saturday when the Gaels square off with the Western Mustangs (5-1) in a much-anticipated duel for first place in the OUA. With two games left, Brannagan also has a chance to overtake CIS career leader Matt Connell of McGill (10,455 yards). "It's a very big record," Brannagan said of the OUA mark. "It means a lot to the team as a whole. The offensive line has been fighting for me for five years and the receivers ... everyone was aware it was going to be close. Everyone wanted to help."
Co-starring with Brannagan on was shifty Kingston-born running back Marty Gordon, who had a career- high 214 rushing yards. It was Gordon's second game back after missing the first four games of the season with a nagging hamstring injury. The breakout performance came at a perfect time for the Gaels, who played without their other marquee running back (Jimmy Therrien, knee) on Saturday. "I was a little bit more comfortable (on Saturday)," Gordon said. "Last week, I was shaking off some rust and ironing out some kinks. But it's good to be back, good to be healthy."
The Gaels were far from perfect in their latest victory, though their quick start showed they learned a lesson from the previous week when they led just 15-10 against the overmatched Windsor Lancers at halftime. As Sheahan said, the team had a few lulls against Waterloo. The defence finally allowed a touchdown for the first time since the season opener in the final minute of the first half, breaking a streak of 269 minutes 50 seconds. Then, Warriors quarterback Evan Martin connected with Dustin Zender for two long touchdown strikes in the fourth quarter. In the end, however, the letup did nothing more than make the score respectable for Waterloo (1- 5), a heavy underdog.
In the big picture, the focus shifts to the nationally televised showdown against Western. A win there would lock up first place in the OUA for the Gaels and also secure home-field advantage through to the Vanier Cup. A loss, on the other hand, likely puts the Gaels in a four-way battle for second heading into the final week of the year -- a tougher trip to Waterloo to face the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks.
Local link: Kingston Area Secondary Schools Athletic Association graduates scored the first four touchdowns for Queen's -- Scott Valberg (Bayridge), David Rooney (Regiopolis- Notre Dame), Marty Gordon (La Salle) and Tom Howes (Sydenham).
Ball thief: Rooney, who scored on an interception return, has picked off three passes in the past two weeks.
Race is on: QB Danny Brannagan, with an OUA-best 9,989 passing yards, is just ahead of Western Mustangs counterpart Michael Faulds (9,877) heading into the final two games of the season.
Up next: The game of the year and the individual matchup of the year -- Western vs. Queen's and Brannagan vs. Faulds Saturday at Richardson Stadium.
Brannagan breaks OUA career passing record; inches closer to all-time CIS mark in Gaels win
By Michael Grobe, Queen's Sports Information
WATERLOO, Ont. (October 10, 2009) – Danny Brannagan of Burlington, Ont., became the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) all-time passing leader as the No. 4 Queen’s Gaels (6-0) dumped the Waterloo Warriors (1-5) 43-21 at Warrior Field on Saturday.
Brannagan finished the day 25 for 42 for 347 yards, giving him 9,989 yards in his career. He passed Ben Chapdelaine of McMaster (9,974) as the OUA passing leader and now sits 466 yards shy of the all-time Canadian Inter-university sport (CIS) mark held by McGill’s Matt Connell. Connell set the record at 10,455 yards last season.
“It’s a very big record,” said Brannagan, in his fifth year with Queen’s. “It’s means a lot to the team as a whole. The offensive line has been fighting for me for five years and the receivers,.. everyone was aware it was going to be close on Saturday. Everyone wanted to help.”
Kingston’s Marty Gordon had a career high in just his second outing of the season, collecting 214 yards on 24 carries and recording one touchdown. Scott Valberg also from Kingston, Ont., was Queen’s top receiver finishing with seven receptions for 141 yards and one touchdown.
Waterloo’s touchdown in the final minute of the first half broke a streak of 269 minutes and 50 seconds in which the Gaels defence had not allowed a touchdown.
The Gaels sit atop the OUA standings at a perfect 6-0 and extend their regular season win streak to 16 games dating back to the 2007 season. Next Saturday, Queen’s will face second place Western (5-1) in a battle for first place on national television. The Score will broadcast the game beginning at 1:00pm. Tickets for the game being billed as an ‘instant classic’ are available by calling (613) 533-2500.
NOTES: Next week, Brannagan and Western’s Michael Faulds of London, Ont., will look to become the second and third quarterbacks in CIS history to break the 10,000-yard mark. Brannagan is 11 yards from 10,000 while Faulds is 123 yards shy… An interception by David Rooney of Kingston, Ont., in the first quarter was his third in the last two weeks and his first CIS touchdown… The start time of the game was delayed 15 minutes. The bus which was transporting Queen's to Warrior Field broke down prior to departure from the hotel. Officials at the University of Waterloo graciously delayed the start to allow proper warm-up for the Gaels… Attendance at the game was 724.
Golden Gaels gun for 16th straight win
By Mike Koreen, Kingston Whig Standard
Marty Gordon and Jimmy Therrien -- unselfish, team-first football players -- want nothing more than an opportunity to try out a time-share arrangement. The pesky injury bug, however, has had other ideas.
The Queen's Golden Gaels running backs were supposed to cause double trouble for opponents this season, but Gordon and Therrien have spent a grand total of one half on the field together in five games this season.
First, Gordon missed the opening four games of the season with a nagging hamstring injury. Then, when the La Salle graduate finally returned last week, Therrien suffered a knee injury in the third quarter in Windsor that is expected to keep him out today in Waterloo against the Warriors and perhaps for a few more games. At least Therrien didn't get hurt while Gordon was out. Now, it's up to Gordon to carry the load as the Gaels try to win their 16th regular season game in a row today.
"I think it will be really good once we're both in there," said Gordon. "We're both different styles of runners." Gordon is a shifty, dynamic runner. Therrien is more of a straight-ahead, power guy who is great at turning two yards into four or five. The key, as the Gaels know all too well, is to have the pair at full health come playoff time. Last year, the Gaels' star running back, Mike Giffin, was injured for a disappointing Ontario University Athletics semifinal loss against the Ottawa Gee-Gees.
"A little bit of time off is going to be required for (Therrien) for a number of reasons," said Gaels coach Pat Sheahan, praising the running back for rising up while dealing with a heavy workload in the first half of the season. "Let's get him tuned up for the long haul down the road. To be able to have Marty and Jimmy full-go for the playoffs I think will bode well for our team."
The Gaels can be patient with Therrien because they have a strong replacement in Gordon, who had eight carries for 47 yards last week in Windsor.
Gordon tweaked his right hamstring while running the 40-yard dash in testing on the first day of training camp. The fourth-year player returned to most drills in practice before the season opener, but then suffered another setback. "I was running around, pushing to make it back for that game," said Gordon, indicating he probably attempted to do more than he should have at practice. "I learned my lesson." Gordon also practised before the third game of the season, but the decision was made to keep him out to give him more time to recover.
Gordon is no stranger to injuries. His senior high school season was cut short when he ruptured the medial collateral ligament in his left knee and he suffered a season-ending right knee injury at Queen's in 2006. "I would say I've been frustrated by injuries more than once," Gordon said with a chuckle. Gordon looked excited to play last week for a good reason.
"I've been waiting a long time," he said. "I've been sitting on the sidelines every week wanting to play. I've just had to hold myself back. I felt I was a little rusty but I think I did fairly well." Sheahan agreed with Gordon's assessment. "Pretty good for a first outing," Sheahan said. "It's not a surprise -- we expected him to be good. But he's still playing himself back into game shape I'd say ... He was pretty smooth and he's a great pass-catcher out of the backfield. He brings a different look (than Therrien). ... He brings a new character to the same plays."
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In the present: While Waterloo is 1-4, the Warriors have been competitive in most games. Therefore the Gaels aren't looking ahead to next week's nationally-televised game against the visiting Western Mustangs (5-1). "We shouldn't be discussing that," coach Pat Sheahan said when asked about the looming showdown. "We're talking about Waterloo."
Record chaser: Queen's quarterback Danny Brannagan (9,642 passing yards) is 814 yards shy of CIS career passing leader Matt Connell of McGill and 332 yards behind OUA career passing leader Ben Chapdelaine of McMaster. Current Western quarterback Michael Faulds also is in the running at 9,877 yards, although the Mustangs have played one more game than the Gaels to this point.
Bad memories: Last year in Waterloo, Brannagan suffered a mild concussion and star running back Mike Giffin suffered a knee injury in the season finale.
Head-to-head: Queen's is 10-2 against Waterloo.
Queen’s Gaels are Ontario Football Kings
By Christine Rivet, Waterloo Record
The Gaels are Canadian university football’s version of royalty, though they sure don’t play like Queen’s.After ascending the regular-season throne in 2008, the he-man Queen’s University Gaels are still heads of state. One of only two remaining undefeated teams in the country, Queen’s leads the Ontario conference in several critical categories. Where to begin?
The Gaels feature the most prolific quarterback in Canada this season. Dan Brannagan needs 368 passing yards against Waterloo on Saturday, less than his average per-game total, to become only the second quarterback in Canadian university history to crack the 10,000-yard plateau in career passing. And Brannagan herds a Gaels offence that is as efficient as it is spectacular. Queen’s shares top spot in the country for red-zone scoring, operating at a dizzying 100 percent. “(Brannagan) looks the way a fifth-year quarterback is supposed to look,” said Queen’s coach Pat Sheahan. “The game has slowed down (for him).”
The visitors from Kingston, Ont. also feature a defence that hasn’t surrendered a touchdown in four games. On specials, Gaels return man Jimmy Allin is lightning on two feet. He set a single-game conference punt return record with 259 yards against Guelph earlier this season. Oh, and Queen’s is riding a team-record, 15-game regular-season undefeated streak.
There’s no need to mention the Gaels’ stunning playoff flameout last year, when they threw their perfect season into dumpster with a semifinal loss to Ottawa. Is there? “We know who we are. We have to work hard and coach our asses off. We don’t out-talent people,” Sheahan said.
As for the Warriors, Luke Balch is back in the saddle after losing the starting quarterback spot to Evan Martin in the offseason. Balch, who was shifted to receiver to start the season, then filled in for an injured Martin with impressive results. They shared time calling signals during Saturday’s loss to Guelph. And now, apparently the Warriors have two starters at quarterback, the pocket passer (Martin) and the scrambler (Balch). “They both bring a different dimension to the game,” said Warriors coach Dennis McPhee.
First place Gaels prepare to face Warriors - Brannagan within reach of 10,000 yard plateau
By Jamie Howieson - Queen's Sports Information
KINGSTON, Ont. (October 8, 2009) – After securing a playoff berth last weekend against Windsor, the No. 4 Queen’s Gaels look to extended their undefeated season this weekend against the Waterloo Warriors.
The Gaels are one of only two teams in Canada who remain undefeated to this point in the season after both No. 2 Laval and No. 5 Western were upset last weekend.
Queen’s extended their team-record unbeaten streak in the regular season to 15 games last Saturday when they defeated the Windsor Lancers by a score of 42-13 in Windsor. The game also marked the 200th of Head Coach Pat Sheahan’s career.
The story of the game was the play of the Gaels special teams; in particular, Dan Village of Abbotsford, B.C., and Jimmy Allin of Belleville, Ont. Village accounted for 18 of the team’s 42 points off of three field goals, four converts and five rouges while Allin ran for his third punt return touchdown of the season.
Danny Brannagan of Burlington, Ont., continued his climb up the CIS all-time passing list as he put up 406 yards and two touchdowns against Windsor. He now sits 814 yards shy of the record and needs 368 yards against Waterloo to become just the second quarterback to ever reach the 10,000 yard mark.
As for the Warriors, they have had a tough season so far, putting up a 1-4 record to this point in the season. Last weekend against Guelph, the Warriors played well against the Gryphons but came up on the losing end of a 34-24 scoreline.
Quarteback Evan Martin had one of his best games of the season for the Warriors, throwing for 320 yards and a touchdown in the loss. Rookie receiver Nick Anapolsky benefitted from Martin’s big day, reeling in five catches for 102 yards and a touchdown.
The last time these two teams met, the Gaels were victorious, picking up a 38-22 win. In that game, Brannagan threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns while Marty Gordon of Kingston, Ont., ran for 103 yards and a touchdown.
Kickoff between the two teams is scheduled for 1:00 pm at Warrior Field on the University of Waterloo campus.
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.