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Western at Queen's - 2009 Yates Cup - 20091114
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, Western 39
Danny Brannagan's Golden Gaels tame Mustangs - Queen's wins battle of the star quarterbacks as two-time defending OUA champs upended
By David Grossman, Toronto Star
The clock was ticking not just on the game, but on the careers of the two best quarterbacks in Canadian university football history. Western's Michael Faulds and Danny Brannagan from Queen's, knew that only one would move on after Saturday's Yates Cup Ontario championship. With both in their graduating year, the loser's university career would be finished. In the end, Brannagan and the Gaels were celebrating after downing Faulds and the Mustangs in a 43-39 thriller. There were 1,209 yards of net offence and seven lead changes. It was the first Yates Cup title for Queen's since 1978, ending Western's two-year reign. The Gaels clinched the win with Brannagan's 16-yard touchdown pass to Scott Valberg with 2:49 left in the fourth quarter.
Faulds, the national career passing yardage leader, came close to stealing the victory for Western. A last-ditch pass to Zac Bull at the Queen's 10-yard line fell just short of its intended target.
Brannagan had a monster game. The game MVP threw for 515 yards and five touchdown passes, falling just short of the CIS playoff career record of 561 set by former Queen's quarterback Tommy Denison in 2002. "It's a surreal experience ... always thinking of what it would be like to be a champ – and now it happened," said Brannagan. "When you have a huge offensive line like ours, there's plenty of time to come up with big plays."
Queen's will host the two-time defending Vanier Cup champions from Laval, 31-7 winners over Montreal, in next Saturday's Mitchell Bowl. The other playoff has Calgary, with a late 39-38 victory over Saskatchewan, taking on Saint Mary's, 31-22 winners over St. Francis Xavier in the Uteck Bowl in Halifax.
"We had to hang on at the end – this was one of the great wins in our history," said Queen's coach Pat Sheahan. "They were in position to win, maybe some divine intervention helped. Glad it's over."
Brannagan threw a pair of TD passes to Devan Sheahan and Valberg along with Chris Ioannides while Dan Village kicked a pair of field goals.
For Western, John Leckie rushed for three touchdowns while Jesse Bellamy caught a Faulds pass for a major and Darryl Wheeler kicked four field goals. "Very upsetting that it's the end of my career, but I knew it would come," said Faulds, who finished with 509 yards passing. "Dramatic ending, dramatic game – just a heart-breaking loss," said Western coach Greg Marshall. "I am so proud of the gutsy effort of (Faulds). He'll be remembered as one of the finest in this game."
Gaels win Yates Cup in thriller at Richardson - Brannagan, Faulds combine for more than 1,000 yards in game that saw seven lead changes
By Jake Edmiston , Queen's Journal
The hands of Queen’s football players held the Yates Cup for the first time in 31 years today. The 43-39 game changed leads seven times before Queen’s walked away with the 102-year old trophy.
The game was fan-pleasing football. Most of the student side emptied out onto the field and mobbed the Gaels at the final whistle. Queen’s led by 10 points at half-time, but the Mustangs were up 39-36 with three minutes left in the game. A Queen’s drive that began in their own zone ended in a touchdown when quarterback Danny Brannagan’s 16-yard pass connected with receiver Scott Valberg. It was Valberg’s second touchdown of the game. The score didn’t change after that.
Western’s attempt to retaliate in the final minute was deflated when OUA MVP and Mustangs quarterback Michael Faulds was sidelined after sustaining a leg injury. A hobbled Faulds came back for a last-ditch third and long, but the Mustangs came up short.
Both Brannagan and Faulds passed for more than 500 yards in the game. “We knew it was going to be a shootout—something that the defence doesn’t want,” said Gaels defensive end Shomari Williams. “[Faulds] the best player in the league and he showed it today.”
The OUA championship featured the two most prolific passers in Canadian University history.
Both defences had difficulty. The 7,253-strong crowd at Richardson witnessed a number of long completions, including a 67-yard Brannagan pass to Devan Sheahan for a touchdown and a 59-yard Faulds completion to Jesse Bellamy in the end zone.
Head coach Pat Sheahan said the difference was the Gaels defence made shut-down plays when in counted. “There was over 80 points scored today,” he said. “Fortunately we had some real character defense when we needed it.” Sheahan said today was a different achievement than any other he’s had. “This is my fourth league title,” Sheahan said. “This is my first at Queen’s – it’s special.” Before he lifted the cup to a boom from the celebratory home-crowd, Sheahan thanked the fans.
Brannagan said the crowd at Richardson was the reason behind several plays that clinched the game, including a Mustangs offside in the game’s final drive. “It made a big difference,” he said. Brannagan was named Yates Cup MVP; the first title he’s won over Faulds, who earned both the all-time CIS passing record as well as OUA MVP. Brannagan said awards aren’t the focus. “Overall the win is way bigger,” he said. “Individual awards in a team game are something on their own.” The win today earns the Gaels another week of growing their playoff beards before hosting the Laval Rouge et Or next weekend in the Mitchell Bowl – the last game before the Vanier Cup.
Tight end Chris Ioannides, who made several key first-down catches, said the win’s magnitude is inconceivable to anyone who wasn’t wearing a Gaels uniform. “I’m so happy you have no idea. This is five years of blood, sweat and tears and we’re finally here. This matters more than you can imagine, my friend.”
Queen's Golden Gaels win Yates Cup
Kingston Whig Standard
The Queen's Golden Gaels finally are Ontario university football champions after knocking off a seemingly invincible coach and his battered quarterback in a thriller. A 43-39 win over coach Greg Marshall's two-time defending Yates Cup champion Western Mustangs Saturday gave the Gaels their first Ontario University Athletics title since 1978.
The game, featuring a whopping 1,209 yards in offence and two outstanding quarterbacking performances from the Mustangs' Michael Faulds and the Gaels' Danny Brannagan, went right down to the wire. Faulds re-entered the game with a bum left knee for a last-ditch third-and-20 attempt from the Queen's 33-yard line with 17.5 seconds left. Barely able to walk after his knee buckled with just over a minute left, Faulds somehow avoided a sack in the backfield and fired a pass that fell just short of Zach Bull for what would have been a first down,
The turnover on downs touched off a wild celebration as 7,253 fans at Richardson Stadium celebrated the Queen's win and Marshall's first loss as a head coach in the OUA playoffs this decade, breaking an 18-game winning streak. "What I saw was a story in the making. I saw the headlines the next day — Faulds with a broken leg or a torn ACL and throws for the winning touchdown on third down with no time left on the clock," Queen's centre Dan Bederman said. "But then our fantastic defence stepped it up when it counted and we came away with the victory that we fought so hard for and deserved."
It was a true quarterbacking duel with Brannagan claiming victory after being edged by Faulds in voting for the OUA player of the year award. The Burlington native torched the Mustangs secondary, throwing for 515 yards, fourth-best in Canadian Interuniversity Sport playoff history, and five touchdowns, including the game-winning 16-yard strike to Scott Valberg with 2:49 left. "You always kind of hope for it — winning the Yates at home and the celebration afterwards," Brannagan, the game MVP, said. "Queen's plays Western, you wouldn't want it any other way. "I'm very excited. It's kind of a surreal experience. The last five years, you're always imagining the day and now it actually happened."
It was a rough ending to Faulds' career after the fifth-year quarterback played through pain since suffering the left knee injury Oct. 8. Faulds, who threw for 509 yards, convinced Marshall to let him go in for the final play. "It's very difficult for me to talk about Michael Faulds right now," Marshall said. "He means so much to me and to this football program. I've been very fortunate to have spent the last four years coaching him. He is a warrior."
The Gaels shed their reputation as playoff disappointments with the victory. The Gaels entered this year's playoffs having lost three post-season games in a row, including an OUA semifinal defeat at home against Ottawa last year after an 8-0 regular season. "This year there was resolve right from the beginning. It was going to be Yates Cup or bust," Gaels coach Pat Sheahan said. "(The players) would not have looked at this season as being a success if we didn't win the Yates Cup."
The back-and-forth game featured seven lead changes. Western fought back from a nine-point halftime deficit. John Leckie of Georgetown led the way for Western with three one-yard touchdown runs. Valberg and Devan Sheahan, the coach's son, had two touchdown receptions apiece for the Gaels.
Queen's goes on to face the defending Vanier Cup champion Laval Rouge et Or in a CIS semifinal — the Mitchell Bowl — next Saturday at Richardson Stadium. The other semifinal sees the Saint Mary's Huskies hosting the Calgary Dinos. The Vanier Cup is Nov. 28 in Laval.
SMU to host Calgary, Queen’s to host Laval in Bowl games
The CIS football national semifinals are set following wins by the Saint Mary’s Huskies, Calgary Dinos, Queen’s Gaels and Laval Rouge et Or in Saturday’s conference finals.
The Gaels and Rouge et Or have never squared off on the national stage but met five times in regular-season action when Queen’s was playing in the now defunct OQIFC. Queen’s took the first two head-to-head duels in 1996 and 1997, while Laval won the last three in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
The winners of next week’s Bowl games will advance to the 45th Desjardins Vanier Cup final on Saturday, Nov. 28, at PEPS Stadium in Quebec City.
At Richardson Stadium in Kingston, Ont., fifth-year senior Dan Brannagan passed for 515 yards and five touchdowns as the Queen’s Gaels outscored the visiting Western Ontario Mustangs 43-39 for their first Yates Cup title since 1978.
The much-anticipated duel between the top two all-time CIS passers lived up to the hype as Brannagan completed 27 of 47 passes without being intercepted, while fellow fifth-year veteran Michael Faulds was 25-of-38 for 509 yards, one TD and one interception. Faulds was named OUA MVP on Thursday after he set a single-season CIS record with 3,033 passing yards and a national career mark with 10,811 yards, while Brannagan finished second on the career list with 10,714 yards.
The Yates Cup performances by Brannagan and Faulds rank fourth and fifth, respectively, in CIS history for most yards through the air in a playoff game behind Queen’s Tommy Denison (561 vs. Western, Nov. 2, 2002), Western’s Warren Goldie (555 vs. Toronto, Oct. 29, 1994) and Saskatchewan’s Brent Schneider (528 vs. Western, 1994 Vanier Cup).
In a wild OUA final that featured seven lead changes, a 16-yard TD pass from Brannagan to Scott Valberg with 2:49 left in regulation proved the difference. Valberg finished with 139 receiving yards and two scores, Devan Sheahan also had two receiving majors and 122 yards, while Christopher Ioannides had the other TD catch and ended up with 144 yards for the Gaels, who returned to the OUA from the now defunct OQIFC in 2001.
For Western, John Leckie had three rushing touchdowns, all from one yard out, Jesse Bellamy was the recipient of Faulds’ lone TD strike and Darryl Wheeler kicked four field goals.
Faulds brilliant in final performance, but Mustangs lose 43-39
By Andy Watson, UWO Sports Information
After a 509-passing yard performance on basically one knee, Michael Faulds may have just rewritten the definition of what makes a warrior. Faulds (Eden Mills, Ont.) and the No. 5 ranked Western Mustangs lost a thriller in the Yates Cup, 43-39 to the No. 4 ranked Queen's Gaels in front of 7,253 noisy at Richardson Stadium on Nov. 14.
With the win, the Gaels will host the Laval Rouge et Or in the Mitchell Bowl, the national semifinal, at Richardson Stadium on Nov. 21 at 1 p.m. (tape delayed to 3:30 p.m. on TSN and Radio-Canada). Saint Mary's will host Calgary in the Uteck Bowl, the other national semifinal, in Halifax at 12 p.m. on Nov. 21.
The Mustangs and Gaels provided fans with a thrilling game with 1,024 total yards of offence combined between the two squads.
Faulds, a Hec Crighton finalist playing in his final CIS game, was brilliant. Needing to score four or more points in the final minute, the Mustangs punched the ball inside Queen's territory. But a recurring knee injury caught up to Faulds, and the Western quarterback went down with one minute in the fourth quarter, trying to engineer the game-winning drive. Faulds, who once after the injury tried getting back into the game but could not put any weight on his leg, somehow mustered enough strength and courage to try to throw one final pass intended for Zach Bull (Port Colborne, Ont.). It was an unfortunate yet telling end to a great career. An emotional Greg Marshall paid tribute to one of Western's greatest.
"I've lost football games before, and losing a football game is losing a football game, but looking Michael in the eye after the game, knowing that he would not be back as Western's quarterback, it was tough to do," Marshall said. "It's difficult for me to talk about Michael Faulds right now. He means so much to me and to our football team." "He's a warrior."
Not to be lost was Danny Brannagan's brilliant performance. The fifth-year senior from Burlington, Ont., was 27/47 for 515 yards and five touchdowns. The Gaels last Bowl game was in 1992, defeating Guelph in the Churchill Bowl, 23-16 - Queen's won the Vanier Cup over Saint Mary's the same year, a 31-0 victory in the only shutout in the national final's history.
Faulds finished 25/38 for one touchdown and was sacked twice. "I told him (Greg Marshall) that it might be the last play of my career and I wanted to go in," Faulds said. "It's upsetting, it's the end of my career. But I knew it could be now, or next week or two weeks down the road." "I was stumbling around," Faulds said of the play, "and wanted to give the receivers a chance to catch the ball." The ball thrown, which would have been in first down territory near the Queen's eight-yard line, fell between Bull and the outstretched arms of Mike Hegarty (Sarnia, Ont.) who nearly made the grab.
Faulds, the OUA MVP and Hec Crighton nominee, graduates with the CIS career and season records in passing yards at 10,811 and 3,033 yards respectively. He will leave Western with many other football records and likely will return to coach in the CIS. Sophomore quarterback Donnie Marshall (London, Ont.) went in when Faulds was hurt and despite facing pressure, had two near completions in the late stages. But Faulds wanted another chance and coach Marshall gave him the shot.
"With his arm strength I thought maybe he could make that play... even with his injury," Marshall said. "He wanted to go back out and obviously he could not even stand up. But he went in and almost pulled it off." John Leckie (Georgetown, Ont.) scored three touchdowns on one-yard carries for the Mustangs - his only three majors of the year after fighting through a pre-season hamstring injury.
Marty Gordon (Kingston, Ont.) finished with 11 carries for 81 yards, while Nathan Riva (LaSalle, Ont.) had 29 carries for 100 yards and two catches for 37 yards.
Marshall said penalties and the failure to score on the one-yard line on two attempts hurt his squad. "It looked to me like (Nick) Trevail was in and scored," Marshall said, referring to Trevail's 11-yard catch with just over five minutes left which put the ball at the one-yard line and, had it been ruled a touchdown, would have made the score 43-36.
Instead, the Mustangs settled for a nine-yard Darryl Wheeler (Hamilton, Ont.) field goal, one of four on the day (the others from 29, 19 and 14 yards out). "But no excuses, when we were down on the one-yard line, we should have scored," Marshall said. "Credit to them, they are a good football team. Our defence is young but we'll be better for it. It was a tough experience to put these kids in to such a big game with Queen's having a great line and great receivers."
The future is bright for Western, and Marshall is optimistic for next season. "Whoever is quarterback is coming into a good situation," Marshall said. "We have a great offensive line returning, good defence and good receivers."
John Surla (Niagara Falls, Ont.) led Western with 7.5 tackles. Several other Mustangs playing in their final games. Josh Foster (London, Ont.) finished with three tackles and Cory Watson (London, Ont.) finished with 1.5 tackles. Nick Trevail (London, Ont.) was terrific. After a couple of early bobbles, he finished with nine catches for 171 yards, including several along the sideline requiring great skill. Senior Hegarty finished with one catch for 18 yards. Aaron Handsor (Chatham, Ont.) finished with a strong day with six kickoff returns for 131 yards and five total tackles.
But the day will be remembered for years to come for Faulds' heroic effort. "He's so responsible for our turnaround, what he did and what he's meant to this football team," Marshall said. "He accomplished a lot and helped us get over a hump. He's picked up the flap and kept marching. He told me he wanted to go back in and I gave him that opportunity."
Brannagan leads Gaels to first Yates Cup win since 1978
By Jamie Howieson, Queen's Sports Information
Danny Brannagan of Burlington, Ont., threw for 515 yards and five touchdowns as the No. 4 Queen’s Gaels captured their first Yates Cup since 1978 with a 43-39 victory over the No. 5 Western Mustangs. Brannagan’s 515-yards were the fourth highest total in a playoff game in CIS history and for his performance, the fifth year quarterback was named Yates Cup MVP.
With the win, the Gaels will host the Laval Rouge et Or in the Mitchell Bowl, the CIS national semifinal, at Richardson Stadium on November, 21 at 1 p.m. (tape delayed to 3:30 p.m. on TSN and Radio-Canada. Tickets for the Mitchell Bowl hosted in Kingston are now on sale by calling (613) 533-2500. Saint Mary's will host Calgary in the Uteck Bowl, the other national semifinal, in Halifax at 12 p.m. on Nov. 21.
"You always kind of hope for it — winning the Yates at home and the celebration afterwards," Brannagan, said. "Queen's plays Western, you wouldn't want it any other way. "I'm very excited. It's kind of a surreal experience. The last five years, you're always imagining the day and now it actually happened." The conference championship is the Gaels first since 1997 when they earned the Dunsmore Cup in the now defunct Ontario-Quebec Intercollegiate Football Conference (OQIFC).
In a see-saw affair that saw the lead change seven times, it was a 16-yard pass from Brannagan to Scott Valberg of Kingston, Ont., with 2 minutes and 49 seconds left in the fourth quarter that gave the Queen’s the victory. From the opening play, it was obvious that both teams were going to play their best game of the season. Western opened the scoring on a 1-yard run from John Leckie of Georgetown, Ont., before Brannagan connected with Devan Sheahan of Kingston, Ont., to even the score.
After a Western field goal gave them a 10-7 led, the Gaels offence exploded for 19 points in the second quarter. Brannagan connected with both Christopher Ioannides of Toronto, and Sheahan to push the Gaels in front 21-17. Sheahan’s second score of the game came one play after Frank Pankewich of Thunder Bay, Ont., picked off Western quarterback Michael Faulds of Eden Mills, Ont. on Western’s 19 yard-line.
Queen’s defence stepped up just 3:30 later when Shomari Williams of Brampton, Ont., sacked Faulds in the end zone for a safety. Dan Village of Abbotsford, B.C., added a 44-yard field goal right at the half to stake the Gaels to a 26-17 lead.
Although they were down on the scoreboard, the Mustangs came out to start the third quarter fired up. Leckie ran in his third touchdown of the game to cut into the Gaels lead before Faulds connected with Jesse Bellamy Guelph, Ont., on a 59-yard touchdown pass to put Western back in front for the first time since early in the second quarter.
As they had done all game, the Gaels offence quickly responded to the Mustang touchdown as Brannagan hit Valberg with a 57 yard catch-and-run touchdown for Valberg’s first major of the day.
With the Gaels up by three heading into the third quarter, the Mustangs began to show why they were the two-time defending Yates Cup champions. They prevented the Gaels offence from moving the chains and in turn, their offence did enough to grab the lead as kicker Darryl Wheeler Hamilton, Ont., connected on field goals from 19 and 9 yards.
With the game in their hands, Brannagan put together a drive that resembled the Gaels game-winning drive against the Mustangs in Week 7. The Gaels quarterback hit Ioannides for two first downs to get the Gaels to Western’s 16 yard line. That set the stage for Valberg’s 16-yard touchdown to put the Gaels in front for good.
Faulds and the Mustangs attempted to put together a game winning drive but the Gaels defence held tough and when Fauld’s pass fell short on a 3rd and 20 play with 11 seconds to play, the sidelines erupted in jubilation.
In total, the teams combined for 1,209 total offensive yards on the day with both Brannagan and Faulds throwing for more than 500 yards each. Three Gaels receivers finished with more than 100 yards receiving, including Ioannides, Valberg and Sheahan. Marty Gordon of Kingston, Ont., who picked up a number of key first downs in the game, finished with 81 yards rushing on 11 attempts.
Attendance at Richardson Stadium was a season-high 7,253.
A quarterback, a classmate, a friend
By Mike Norris, Kingston Whig Standard
It was another pressure-packed situation in which Danny Brannagan thrives. The Golden Gaels cool-as-a-cucumber quarterback stood up, looked around and delivered -- an impressive, 15-minute presentation of a major paper in his advanced auditing course last summer.
Whether he's speaking in front of 80 classmates or leading a game-winning drive in front of thousands of fans at Richardson Stadium, Brannagan has a penchant for coming through in the clutch.
"It doesn't surprise me," said Prof. David McConomy of the gridiron success of Brannagan, who was a student in two of his accounting classes. "I see in him a level of confidence that's quite interesting. He's so quiet, but unless you get to know him you wouldn't think he'd be very comfortable in that environment."
Brannagan's next opportunity to stand and deliver comes today at 1 p. m. when Queen's hosts the Western Ontario Mustangs in the Yates Cup game -- the Ontario University Athletics football championship -- at Richardson Stadium.
Brannagan's teammates and coaches speak of that same quiet confidence in describing what makes the soft-spoken 23-year-old Burlington native a team leader. It has been evident since he made his Queen's debut on Sept. 5, 2005, in a fourth-quarter mop-up role during a season-opening 45-0 loss to Laurier.
"The first game he came in, everyone knew he was the man," said fifth-year receiver Scott Valberg, a Bayridge Secondary School grad. "He had a confidence about him.
"With some quarterbacks, you can tell when they're rattled. I've never seen that with Danny. He's been that way since he got here. "All the guys look up to him." On the gridiron, Brannagan is a quiet, calming, confident figure who leads by example.
Brannagan's leadership skills, were put to rest on Oct. 17 when he engineered a last-minute, 84- yard drive that gave the Gaels a 27- 26 win over Western. The victory clinched first place and home-field advantage through the national semifinal.
"In the huddle, you could see in it his eyes," said Marty Gordon, a fifth-year running back and La Salle Secondary School graduate. "He was so calm and cool in the huddle and the pocket. He instills confidence in us. The pivot's poise is a major factor in the Gaels winning 18 of their last 20 games, including a school-record 17 consecutive regular-season games. "He doesn't yell," said Valberg. "He's very calm. I've never heard him raise his voice, he's not one to lose his composure."
Gaels coach Pat Sheahan said there are a couple of reasons why Brannagan is considered a good teammate. He takes outcomes, good and bad, in stride, the coach said, "and he never blames anybody for anything.
"If he throws an incompletion or an interception, he says, 'I could've put it in a better place.' He never hangs his teammates out to dry. The players appreciate that." Brannagan was heavily recruited in high school because of those same qualities.
"He was a great quarterback, a great leader," said Guelph Gryphons running back Tim Randall, a teammate of Brannagan's at Assumption Catholic in Burlington. "When we needed a big play, we'd look to him and he'd deliver. b"I knew that at whatever level he played, he'd do well." Brannagan, who has a B average and will start work for accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Hamilton next fall, has earned the same kind of respect in the classroom, said McConomy.
"The other students know who he is and they treat him based on what he contributes to the scholastic side," he said. "They don't treat him like he's on a pedestal. That speaks volumes about his relationship with (them). He has earned their respect." McConomy said Brannagan is one of the most accomplished students he's ever had. "He's a self-effacing, easygoing guy," the professor said. "Success hasn't gone to his head." Sheahan said Brannagan has done "a magnificent job" during his five seasons as quarterback.
"The expectations here at Queen's are high," said the coach. "Sometimes there are high expectations in the face of overwhelming odds. When Danny was recruited, he was a high-profile kid (and) there was an enormous amount of pressure the minute he arrived. People were expecting him to come in and fill Tommy Denison's shoes and beyond. That's a tall order. He accepted it and became a great leader."
Brannagan and Western quarterback Michael Faulds shared first-team conference all-star honours this week, and on Thursday Faulds was named the conference's nominee for the Hec Crighton Trophy, awarded annually to the nation's top player.
Denison, who played three seasons at Queen's, was a two-time Hec Crighton Trophy winner (2002 and 2003). He was the Gaels career leader in yards passing (7,592), completions (492) and touchdown passes (56) before Brannagan's arrival. Denison still holds team marks in career completion percentage (56.7%) and single-season passing yards (3,001 in 2002). He and Brannagan share the single-season touchdown passes record with 24 (Denison in '03, Brannagan in '08).
Brannagan says this was his best year, his experience allowing him to to reduce his mistakes. "I'm keeping each play in perspective," he said, citing the last-minute drive against Western as an example. "In previous years in that situation, I would try to score right away. "Now we take what the defence gives us, maybe use a seven-play drive to get us points. It's not like last year, let alone years before."
Sheahan said there are two reasons why Brannagan has developed as a passer this season. "He got hit a lot as a young quarterback," said Sheahan. "When you've got 260-, 270-, 280- pound guys running at you and hitting you, you tend to speed up your time of delivery. "And we've done a better job of protecting him and he's gained experience, deepening his drops, moving the pocket. He's come of age in that regard."
Three of the Gaels offensive linemen -- Dan Bederman, Jon Koidis and Vince DeCivita -- are in their fifth seasons. "So there's a comfort level there," said Brannagan. "It makes me more confident and calm in the pocket." One of the beneficiaries of Brannagan having more time to throw is Valberg, who this year led the nation with 913 yards receiving and was second with 55 catches. "He has matured as a quarterback," Valberg said. "The learning curve has come full circle."
Among the highlights of this season for Brannagan was having his father, Dan, working for the Gaels in the spotter's both at every game, relaying defensive alignments to the Queen's sideline. "He definitely loves being involved," said the younger Brannagan, who didn't feel nervous performing in front of his father. "He's coached me all the way up. It's good to have him around."
Brannagan is used to playing in front of his family. His parents have been to every Queen's game, home and away, during his five seasons with the Gaels. His only sibling, older sister Brieanne, a second-year law student at Queen's, has been to all the home games and majority of road games the past two years.
A milestone in Brannagan's 2009 season was when he became -- albeit for about an hour -- Canadian Interuniversity Sport's career passing yardage leader. On Oct. 24, during a game in Waterloo against Laurier, Brannagan passed former McGill QB Matt Connell's mark. The game was stopped briefly and Brannagan was given a game ball. Later that afternoon, Faulds threw for 550 yards against the lowly Toronto Blues to finish with 10,811 in his career. Brannagan was relegated to second place with 10,714. "It is what it is," said Brannagan. "It would've been nice for Queen's football, for all the coaches and players. "I'll just have to make up for it by getting the Yates Cup."
Brannagan likely would have the national record had he not missed one game and half of another after suffering a concussion against McMaster the second week of the season. He sat out the following week, then returned on Sept. 26 to throw for 543 yards and five touchdowns in three quarters in a 67-0 win over York.
"He made a statement that day," said Sheahan. "He was ready to compete. He was back in the flow of things without missing a beat. "Unfortunately he missed a game and a half. Had he been around for that game and a half, he likely breaks every passing record in the CIS, or at least some of them." Brannagan said he was symptom free within a couple of hours, but sat out the following game as a precaution. "If it had been a championship game, I probably would have been OK to play," he said. "(The concussion) hasn't affected the way I play."
And that's good news for the Gaels, whose playoff win over Mc- Master last week was their first since 2006. They dropped their playoff opener in 2007 and last year, following an 8-0 regular season, were upset by Ottawa in a conference semifinal. "It was a good lesson for us," said Brannagan. "It reinforced that on any given day you have to show up. You have to prepare and have the desire to win."
Preparation has never been a problem for Brannagan whether it be for academics or football. "He's an excellent student," McConomy said. "He's very well prepared and he does all the work."
Brannagan has spent the past four summers in Kingston working out with about two dozen teammates in the gym and on the field, where he and his receivers work on running routes and timing patterns. "He's been a leader in setting that up," said Gordon. "We're not just teammates, we've become friends. It's brought the team together."
Brannagan and his teammates are also involved in the Reading Heroes program, visiting local elementary schools to read to the students. "It's important," said Brannagan of the program. "Your career can be greatly affected by academics. If you don't have the literacy skills to get good marks, you can't get into college."
Five years ago, Brannagan knew Queen's was the place for him even though his recruiting trip resulted in him being stranded on a Kingston street early one Sunday morning. "It was less than ideal, but it was an honest mistake," said Brannagan. "We were checking out the Kingston nightlife and I got separated from the rest of the group." He phoned a friend from Burlington, who was in his first year at Queen's, to bail him out. "It worked out. I still came to Kingston," said Brannagan. "I really liked the coach, the players, the system. It was an excellent program (both commerce and football). I wasn't going to change my mind based on one night."
As a result, Queen's ended up with a good student, a great quarterback and a competitive euchre player. "We take it pretty seriously," said Gordon. "(Brannagan) does a little chirping with opponents, but it's all in fun. "He's never like that in a (football) game." Sheahan described Brannagan as "the all-Canadian boy." "Most of the time he's been here, on and off the field, he's done exactly what you'd expect," said the coach. "He conducts himself like a gentleman off the field.
"He's a young man who was raised to say and do the right thing -- and he has." Even if it sometimes takes some convincing to get him to say anything. "He's very quiet in the classroom," said McConomy. "There are times when you have to ease it out of him to get him to participate, but he always has something worthwhile to say." Today, he intends to let his performance do the talking -- again.
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Position:Quarterback. Height:Six feet. Weight:198 pounds.
Hometown:Burlington, Ont. Program:Commerce. Year:Fifth.
2009 regular season:In seven games, completed 174 of 280 pass attempts (62.1%) for 2,580 yards, 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Regular-season career statistics: In five seasons, completed 667 of 1,211 passes (55.1%) for 10,714 yards (second most in Canadian university history), 77 touchdowns (third most in Canadian university history) and 44 interceptions.
Honours:First-team OUA all-star in 2009; first-team OUA and second- team national all-star in 2008; OUA rookie of the year in 2005.
UNIVERSITY RUSH: GAELS, MUSTANGS BATTLE FOR 102ND YATES CUP
It’s a showdown two seasons in the making as the No. 5 nationally-ranked Western Mustangs converge on Richardson Stadium in Kingston, Ont. to take on the No. 4 nationally-ranked Queen’s Gaels in the 102nd Yates Cup presented by Pioneer Petroleums on November 14 beginning at 1 p.m. live on The Score Television Network.
The game will also be webcast on SSNCanada.com and broadcast on CFRC 101.9 FM in Kingston, Ont. and CHRW 94.9 FM in London, Ont.
Queen’s head coach Pat Sheahan and the Gaels will be playing with a vengeance, looking to prove to their fans and foes alike that, despite their finish last season, they are a championship-worthy team.
The undefeated Gaels had a short playoff run last season with a surprising loss in the semifinals to the eventual Yates Cup-contending uOttawa Gee-Gees. After losing top running back Mike Giffin to a leg injury in the final game of the regular season, the Gaels weren’t able to move forward without his superior skills and were unexpectedly knocked out of the race.
Alternatively, the Western Mustangs were able to stick it out to the very end, meeting with Laval in the 2009 Vanier Cup game. Their trip to the national championships ended in a 44-21 loss to the undefeated Rouge et Or.
In the 102nd Yates Cup, Michael Faulds & Co. will be looking to restore their road to the Vanier Cup and finish the season as strong as it started by winning their third consecutive OUA final and solidifying their status as an OUA dynasty.
But along with a new season comes a new crop of talent and the returning players have another year of experience under their helmets, as evidenced by the regular season’s results.
Both teams have been Yates Cup favourites since September and continued to prove their merit throughout the weeks leading up the playoffs. The Gaels went undefeated until their final game against the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks, in which they lost 25-13, while the Western Mustangs started with a four-game win streak and dropped a 42-35 decision to the McMaster Marauders on October 3. Needless to say, both of these squads were bound to end up fighting for the OUA title.
When the Gaels and Mustangs faced each other in the regular season on October 17, it was as close a game as you can get without a tie. After Queen’s went into halftime leading by 11 points, the Mustangs came out in the third quarter and owned the scoreboard, shutting down the Gaels offence but still trailing by one. The last 15 minutes saw the Mustangs showing some promise, nailing two consecutive touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough of a fight and Queen’s took the win, 27-26 on Brannagan’s last-minute touchdown drive.
It was, more than anything, an offensive match-up, as Western’s Zach Bull (Port Colborne, Ont.) completed five receptions for 131 yards, averaging 26.2 yards per catch, while Queen’s Scott Valberg (Kingston, Ont.) made 12 receptions for 154 yards (averaging 12.8 yards per catch) and one touchdown.
The offensive competition continued with Western’s quarterback Michael Faulds (Eden Mills, Ont.) and Queen’s Danny Brannagan (Burlington, Ont.). Faulds was 24-of-40 passing for 384 yards, two interceptions and one touchdown; Brannagan threw 35 completions on 53 passes, for 436 yards, one interception and two touchdowns.
Richardson Stadium will be the stage for not one, but two battles this weekend. OUA’s proverbial quarterback showdown will come to rest on the field once and for all, as Brannagan and Faulds face off for the last time in their university football careers.
The 2009 season was one for the record books, as the two quarterbacks went head-to-head in the chase for both OUA and Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) records. It all came to an end on October 24, when Faulds took the title as all-time CIS career passing yards leader with 10,811. Brannagan, who played against and lost to Wilfrid Laurier that same day, fell short with 10,714.
As impressive as records are, it’s the here and now that matters most to these veteran playmakers. Regardless of who has passed for the most yards, completions, touchdowns or otherwise, the outcome of this championship matters most to these quarterbacks.
Forget everything that went down last season, forget that Western lost to the Gaels this season, forget that Brannagan lost the passing record to Faulds because it all comes down to this Saturday, this game and this title: the 2009 Ontario University Athletics Yates Cup Champions.
Mustangs secondary matures
By Morris Dalla Costa, London Free Press
Sometimes it all comes down to trust. You have to trust your teammates to do their job and make plays because it's impossible to do the entire job yourself. With two of the nation's top quarterbacks throwing the ball, the defensive secondaries of the Western Mustangs and Queen's Gaels are going to have to do a lot of trusting in the Yates Cup game tomorrow in Kingston because chances are good Western's Michael Faulds and Queen's pivot Danny Brannagan are going to be flinging it a lot.
The resurgeance of the Mustangs defence has been the major factor in two playoff wins. The young secondary, which has been attacked unmercifully this year, has really held its own. The real test comes tomorrow. "You have Dan Brannagan, one of the top quarterbacks in the country," said safety Craig Butler, the leader of the Mustangs secondary. "We have to play him a lot tighter than we did last time and more aggressively. We have to trust what we see and make plays."
Having played Queen's this season with first place at stake, coach Greg Marshall said his defence was a little "tentative." "We may have been tentative at the start with a big game, big crowd," Butler said. "We have a lot of young guys. We're starting to jell a little more in these playoff games. We're a lot more confident in each other. We can play to the best of our ability. We trust each other more." There's the "trust" word again.
It's probably no more appropriate than when talking about the secondary. Those guys are often stuck on a island, one-on-one with a receiver. Get beat, and everyone knows it. You need to trust you'll get help when you need it and that your teammates are confident enough to do the job when it's just them and the other guy.
The most experienced guy in the secondary is Josh Foster. Butler is a third-year player but in his first year as the main guy. Aaron Hansor is in his second year but first season as a starter, while Mike Spence and Jamie Symianick are rookies. "Last year every guy was a fourth, fifth-year guy. They had a lot of confidence. They jelled a lot easier," Butler said. "We are a lot younger. We're all starting to understand each other. We know where each other is without having to look. There's a lot more confidence within the group."
Butler was one of three Mustangs along with coach Greg Marshall and video administrator Gary Jubenville who made the trip to Hamilton for the OUA awards announcement and Yates Cup press conference. The Mustangs came away with two of the biggest awards. Faulds was named OUA player of the year and linebacker John Surla, standup defensive player of the year. The press conference part of the day was a clunker. Gaels coach Pat Sheahan did not attend. A press conference with only one coach is like playing touch football. It has no bite. Sheahan reportedly has a bad back and couldn't take the ride/flight from Kingston. He's day-to-day. Marshall was healthy but spent the travel time to Hamilton and back working while Jubenville drove.
What he was working on remains a secret. But while how well the secondaries play will be one key to whoever wins, these teams are so close, it's going to take a complete game to hoist the Yates Cup.
"The game could have gone either way," Surla said of his club's last-minute, one-point loss. "The team that's going to come out on top is the team that makes least mistakes. When you have two good teams coming together, it's the team that makes fewer mistakes." And while these two quarterbacks threw for more than 5,600 yards between then, don't be surprised if both teams try to run and control the ball. The best way to prevent Faulds or Brannagan from beating you and your secondary, is to keep the ball out of their hands.
Mustangs chase three-peat
Arden Zwelling, Western Gazette
Mustangs quarterback Michael Faulds and his Queen’s counterpart Dan Brannagan aren’t brothers but their rivalry is almost sibling-like. “We have a mutual respect for each other,” Faulds said. “We always get pretty excited to play each other — we’ve done that quite a bit over the past five years.” The two QBs were neck and neck for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport all-time passing mark until the final week of the season when Faulds edged Brannagan by 97 yards. A week prior Brannagan’s Gaels defeated the Mustangs 27-26 in a game that was considered by many to be an instant classic.
Now, two days after Faulds was chosen as the Ontario University Athletics MVP over Brannagan, the two will face off once again, in the 102nd playing of the Yates Cups this Saturday in Kingston.
The two QBs have been on a collision course all season with this Saturday bringing an end to a university career for one of them. For Mustangs head coach Greg Marshall, there is no debate about who’s had a better run.
“Michael Faulds will play in his fourth Yates Cup this Saturday and it probably would have been five if he hadn’t broken his hand in his second season,” Marshall explained. “No knock to Brannagan, but this is his first Yates Cup.”
The Mustangs will need more than just consistent play behind centre to beat Queen’s on Saturday. The last time these two teams met, the Gaels escaped with a one-point victory on a Blaise Morrison touchdown with 13 seconds remaining in the game. The Mustangs defence shouldered much of the blame for the last-second defeat.
“For most of the game our defence played well,” Marshall said of his team. “On that last drive we made some mistakes and gave them an easy score at the end. But for the most part I feel like our defence did a good job.”
Faulds agreed with his coach, asserting the responsibility lies on his offence to capitalize on red zone opportunities and score points. “Our defence took a lot of the blame for that loss against Queen’s the first time but there’s so many points offensively that we left off the board,” he said. “Our defence played really well against Guelph and Laurier in the playoffs. They’re pretty eager to face Queen’s again.”
Nagging injuries to Faulds and running back Nathan Riva could pose a challenge to the Mustangs offence as they chase their third-straight Yates Cup championship. Both players were visibly limping in the Mustangs semifinal victory over Laurier last Saturday.
“[My knee] is hanging in there. Only three more weeks — that’s all that matters,” Faulds said of his injury. “At this time of year when you’re playing in the playoffs, everyone is banged up. It’s just a matter of how you fight through it and how you can deal with it.” Marshall downplayed Riva’s injuries, saying reports that Riva was playing hurt have been exaggerated. The sophomore back has paced the Mustang offence throughout the post-season, putting up 450 rushing yards in the Mustangs two playoff games. However, Marshall said he would not be relying too heavily on his ground game this Saturday.
“We have to be like our defence and not be predictable,” Marshall said. “With our offence, I believe that we’re balanced and I think that we can run the football if we need to and we can throw the football if we need to.”
For Faulds and Brannagan, the game will mean the end of a five-year rivalry. “We had a great game earlier this year. It came down to the last drive and we’re expecting it to be similar this game. It’s going to be a tough battle,” Faulds said.
30 years in the making
By Mike Koreen, Kingston Whig Standard
During a photo shoot yesterday at his old stomping ground, the picture-taker asked Bob Mullen why he was looking sombre. "I'm thinking about Greg Marshall," the former Queen's Golden Gaels defensive back chuckled at Richardson Stadium, referring to the ex-Western Mustangs playing great. "He caught one ball in the flat and (the collision was so hard) that I thought I broke my neck."
That bone-jarring play took place in 1979, the last time Western battled Queen's for the Yates Cup. It was fresh in Mullen's mind yesterday as he looked ahead to the first Ontario championship between the longtime rivals in 30 years -- tomorrow at Richardson Stadium.
Marshall will be on the sidelines, coaching the same Mustangs he played for in 1979 when Western beat Queen's 32-14 before an overflow crowd of 9,000 at J. W. Little Stadium. Mullen, a former Queen's defensive co-ordinator, will be in the stands, cheering on the Gaels. And memories are sure to come flooding back as purple meets gold in one of the great rivalries in university sport. "Thirty years?" Marshall said. "It really doesn't seem that long ago.
"I sure do remember (that game). I remember us being able to run the ball pretty well." The bruising Marshall carried the ball 11 times for 98 yards and caught three passes for 42 yards. His running-mate, Ryan Potter, tallied 177 yards on the ground. "I remember Greg Marshall being a load carrying that ball," Mullen said. It was Marshall who put the finishing touches on the win, running to the end zone from 40 yards out to seal a victory over the defending Vanier Cup-champion Gaels.
Like many of the players on both sides will be doing tomorrow, Marshall played through pain. "I remember having two separated shoulders and having them frozen every game from mid-season on," he said. "Then, I got them frozen again at halftime." Or, as Mullen said, "the word was he had three separated shoulders."
Whatever the case, it was a fabulous day for the Canadian university game. More than 1,000 students from Queen's made the trip to London, only to leave in disappointment as the Mustangs tied the overall series with the Gaels at 35-35.
The contest featured two legendary coaches in Western's Darwin Semotiuk and Doug Hargreaves of Queen's. It was a battle between a potent Western offence and the Queen's "Gold Rush" defence.
The Gaels defence struggled on the slippery surface, but a 19-year-old rookie quarterback from Kingston helped keep Queen's in the game. Bob Wright, who started the year as the fifth-string signal-caller before injuries and departures vaulted him to the top of the depth chart, completed 19 of 26 passes.
"It didn't get much better than that for me. I didn't have Danny Brannagan numbers," Wright said yesterday, comparing himself to the current Queen's star quarterback. "It was pretty exciting stuff. That year was a bit of a blur. Everything happened so fast. I didn't expect to play." Wright knew all about the Western-Queen's rivalry, having been a water boy for the Gaels as a youngster. "The only colour uglier than yellow is purple," Wright said. "It was easy to get motivated."
While there was plenty of hype for the contest, the conditions were anything but ideal. "I've heard Michael Faulds (the Western quarterback) say he doesn't like our field, but let me tell you there wasn't anything delightful about J. W. Little Stadium," Wright said. "There were these chicken-wire mesh lockers. It looked like something out of a 1950s movie."
Yet Wright was right where he wanted to be that day. And just like every person who has been involved with the two football programs, Wright is eagerly anticipating a long-awaited showdown for a provincial title. But Wright won't be able to attend tomorrow as his daughter, Jenny, and his son, Jamie, will be playing basketball and volleyball, respectively, for the Regiopolis- Notre Dame Panthers at the Kingston Area high school finals just down the road at Bartlett Gym. "I'll have to try to find a cable TV in the building during breaks," he said with a smile.
After all, it's not every day that the Mustangs and Gaels square off for a provincial crown. "It certainly does make this more special," Marshall said. "The tradition with Queen's goes back way before me. I think there's always been a good rivalry with Queen's since they returned to this conference. "Not only is this important to our team, but it's important to our university and our alumni."
Gearing up for Yates Cup
5,000 tickets bought up as football team looks to win its first OUA title in over 30 years
By Jake Edmiston , Queen’s Journal
Queen’s football hasn’t competed in a Yates Cup since 2002. They haven’t won since 1978. For the first time in 31 years, they’re hosting it tomorrow.The Gaels’ first provincial championship appearance in seven years will be against the bitter rival Western Mustangs who beat the Gaels in their last playoff tilt in 2007.
Gaels defensive end Osie Ukwuoma was awarded OUA defensive player of the week after his performance in last Saturday’s semifinal victory of the McMaster Marauders. He said the rivalry with Western isn’t about football. “It’s more external. It’s about the history between the two schools, not the football teams.”
The two teams aren’t without history, though. This season Mustangs quarterback Michael Faulds and Gaels quarterback Danny Brannagan were both in contention for the CIS all-time passing record. Faulds finished ahead of Brannagan and was named the OUA’s MVP yesterday.
“[Faulds is] a good player, but he’s just one player. He’s not up on any pedestal because of his name,” Ukwuoma said. “We’ve got enough fuel in the fire. We feel what we’ve been building for the past four or five years are going to culminate this year.”
Gaels head coach Pat Sheahan said the team isn’t concerned with records or history. “There’s a lot of excitement about Western.” he said. “I hate to be disappointing here, but, to be quite honest with you, it’s all about the science of the game now for us.”
The game has garnered some major attention. Just fewer than 5,000 tickets had been sold at press time; half of Richardson Stadium’s capacity. The Score will broadcast the game and the band Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker will perform during halftime.
Sheahan said the Western offense is the major threat standing between the Gaels first Yates Cup victory over three decades. “You don’t shut these people down,” he said. “Nobody has shut [Faulds] down this year. He was very good against us.” The last time the two teams met, on Oct. 17, a Gaels 30-yard touchdown in the final seconds decided the game by one point.
The Mustangs are the two-time defending Yates Cup champions. They defeated the Laurier Golden Hawks, the only team to beat Queen’s this season, last weekend in semifinal play to advance to their second OUA championship in two years.
Brannagan said he isn’t worried about Western’s experience. “Because we’ve never played in the Yates Cup doesn’t mean we haven’t played big games,” he said. A victory tomorrow propels the winning team to the Mitchell Bowl, which pits the OUA champion against the Quebec division champion. The winner of the Mitchell Bowl competes in the Vanier Cup.
Brannagan said he isn’t picturing a Canadian championship ring on his finger yet. “The last two years have reinforced the idea that when it’s one-game elimination you can’t look past,” he said. “If a fluke happens in this game, there’s no game after.”
The Gaels host the Western Mustangs tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Richardson Stadium. Tickets can still be purchased from the PEC front desk.
Ticket sales brisk for Yates Cup game between Gaels, Mustangs
By Mike Koreen, Kingston Whig Standard
After receiving lukewarm support for its past two home games, the Queen's Golden Gaels football team seems poised to attract a much bigger crowd for the 102nd Yates Cup contest. Since tickets went on sale Monday, about 2,500 have been sold for Saturday's Ontario University Athletics championship game against the Western Mustangs at Richardson Stadium. It's the first Yates Cup game in Kingston since 1978. "Ever since tickets have been available, we've had lineups going outside the doors (of the Physical Education Centre) at times," said Michael LeBlanc, manager, marketing, communications and events for Queen's Athletics. "Sales have been brisk. We're very happy."
The Gaels already are closing in on last week's attendance -- 2,438 for a OUA semifinal win against the McMaster Marauders -- with the expected biggest sales days still ahead. For a first-place showdown against the same Mustangs Oct. 17, a crowd of 3,816 showed up. LeBlanc acknowledged the crowds for the past two home games have been disappointing. "We think this game will more than make up for it," he said. "There's a great buzz on campus." While a lot of tickets remain in the 10,000-plus seat stadium, LeBlanc believes a near-full house is possible for the game. A crowd of 5,120 was in attendance for the most recent conference final in Kingston -- the Ontario-Quebec Dunsmore Cup -- in 1997.
While the numbers have been down this year, there is some debate among regular attendees about the accuracy of the counts. For last year's OUA semifinal, attendance was announced as 6,552. It did not seem that there was that big of a difference between the turnout at the 2008 game and this year's semi. LeBlanc, hired this year, said Queen's started using a new computerized system this year that gives a very reliable ticket count. "It's a new system -- called Spectrum -- that does ticketing and registration for us," he said. "We're very confident in it."
Queen's is giving the game a heavy marketing push. The Yates Cup arrives in town tomorrow and Queen's officials are taking it all over the city, starting with a tour of morning radio shows. The Cup will make a stop at coach Pat Sheahan's pre-game news conference at the Grizzly Grill over lunch-hour before heading to the K-Rock Centre for the Kingston Frontenacs' Ontario Hockey League game against the Belleville Bulls. Queen's coaches or players will be dropping the ceremonial faceoff.
Also tomorrow at noon at the corner of University and Union, Queen's is having a promotion in which fans can buy tickets to help smash a car spray-painted purple -- the colour of the Mustangs. One of the leaders in trying to generate fan support has been injured star linebacker Thaine Carter, the 2008 national defensive player of the year. Carter, still a Queen's student, and his roommate, one-time Gaels player Mike Bowey, have created T-shirts and helped develop promotions, like the car smash-up, to try to get people into the Yates Cup spirit. "We want everybody to rally behind the team and boost the morale of this city and the university," said the outgoing Carter, who is asking all fans to wear gold or yellow to the game.
Carter also is encouraging fans to be as noisy as possible at the game. "All week, you sit in an office and you're confined to certain social expectations," he said. "At football games, you can do whatever you want.
"A big thing for us is just getting those fans on the alumni side standing up and cheering. We just want to them to let their hair down for three hours and make as much noise as they can. That can really pump up a football team and make it hard on (the visiting team)."
Queen's officials, meanwhile, are working overtime this week to host to three big events on Saturday -- the Yates Cup, the Canadian Interuniversity Sport cross-country championships at Fort Henry and the Kingston Area Secondary Schools Athletic Association volleyball and basketball championships at Bartlett Gym.
What's more, the Queen's women's soccer team is at the national championship in Toronto and the men's rugby team is playing for a provincial title in Markham this weekend. "We don't mind working extra hours if our teams are doing well," LeBlanc said. "Some of our senior executives will be running back and forth (between the cross-country championships and the football game)."
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