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York at Queen's 20090926
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 67, York 0
Quarterback's performance knocks out Lions
By Mike Koreen, Kingston Whig Standard
Danny Brannagan was very careful on his first scramble since being belted just over two weeks ago. Or, at least sort of careful. "I did hold my breath a bit," Queen's Golden Gaels coach Pat Sheahan said of his reaction when his star quarterback decided to use his legs to try to find the end zone before 6,221 fans Saturday at Richardson Stadium. "But he said he got his hand out there (over the goal line) and made sure he didn't get his head hit." Cue the chuckles.
Brannagan is what he is -- a true competitor who is not about to play timid in the wake a mild concussion -- and Queen's (4-0) wouldn't want anyone else. While Brannagan took a few more hits than Sheahan had hoped to see him absorb after missing his first game in five years at Queen's, the poised pivot showed no rust or fear in an outstanding three-quarter performance.
Brannagan threw for a career-best 543 yards and five touchdowns while running for one more as the unbeaten Gaels demolished the overmatched York Lions 67-0. That run, by the way, was a 10- yard scamper for the Gaels' first touchdown, resulting in Brannagan taking his first hard hit since the injury.
"It wasn't really something weighing on my mind," Brannagan said when asked what it was like to experience contact again. "I think maybe other people were a little more worried on my behalf. "When you're out there, you just run around and you're making plays. You can't think about if you're going to get hurt. If you start playing scared, that's when injuries are going to happen."
For Queen's to exorcise its playoff demons, the Gaels need Brannagan to be his best. He showed yesterday he is on the right track. He didn't take too many unnecessary hits before being replaced by rookie Justin Chapdelaine with Queen's up 57-0 after three quarters.
After relying on their defence to pitch touchdown shutouts for their previous two victories, the Gaels had a more balanced effort yesterday. For the third time in a row, an opposing offence failed to score a touchdown, but the defenders could have had an off day and the Gaels still would have won going away.
"Obviously, it's a perk to have Danny back," said fifth-year receiver Scott Valberg, who also had his best game of the season (147 yards) after making some rare -- for him -- drops in the first three weeks of the season. "He's a familiar face. It's back to normal, I guess." Normal, in this case, is very good as the Gaels tied a school record with their 14th regular season win in a row.
Facing a tame pass rush, Brannagan had all sorts of time to explore his options and picked York apart all over the field. With Brannagan throwing for the seventh highest passing total in Canadian Interuniversity Sport history, workhorse running back Jimmy Therrien actually had a quiet 35-yard day. Any doubts about Brannagan's ability to bounce back were erased on the first offensive play -- a 63-yard catch-and-run connection with Blaise Morrison.
"Our prime goal on offence was to get him (Brannagan) back into some kind of rhythm," Sheahan said. "Obviously, we can't be walking around on eggshells thinking every time he gets hit something is going to happen." Nothing happened when he got hit on this day. Brannagan simply got back on his feet and readied himself for the next play.
In regular season play, Brannagan is 23-11 as a starter, a big reason why Queen's is on its record regular season pace. "It's definitely nice to be a part of (a 14-game winning streak)," Valberg said. "But obviously the games that are going to matter are the playoff games. It's nice to have, it's a plus, but playoff games are where it matters."
After all, there are no Yorks in the post-season. Games will get tougher from here on out, though Queen's will remain a big favourite the next two weeks on the road against Windsor and Waterloo. A possible battle-of-undefeated- teams looms after that against the Western Mustangs at Richardson.
Brannagan, meanwhile, now knows what it feels like to have to sit out for a game. "It was," Brannagan said, "a different experience. "Hopefully, I don't have to do that again." Everybody associated with the Queen's football team would say the same thing.
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Laying down the law: Gaels star defensive lineman Osie Ukwuoma missed most of the first half because he was taking the law school admission test. He hustled to Richardson Stadium after the five-hour process so he could play in the second half.
Injury update:Gaels linebacker Chris Smith hurt his shoulder in the third quarter and did not return. Gaels coach Pat Sheahan said it does not appear to be a serious injury.
Double threat:Receiver/third-string quarterback Tom Howes had a one-yard touchdown on a QB sneak and hauled in a 41-yard touchdown pass from Danny Brannagan.
Homecoming imitation: While fall Homecoming officially was cancelled this year, engineering students continued the tradition of charging the field at halftime and repeatedly swinging their jackets onto the grass.
Up next:The Gaels make the long trip to Windsor Friday to face the 2- 2 Lancers on Saturday. Windsor is coming off a 49-0 loss against the Waterloo Warriors. Their two wins are over Toronto and York.
Brannagan spectacular in return as Gaels maul Lions 67-0
By Jamie Howieson - Sports Information Assistant
KINGSTON, Ont. (September 26, 2009) ï¿½ Danny Brannagan of Burlington, Ont., had his best game in a Queenï¿½s uniform, throwing for 543-yards passing for five touchdowns and rushing for another as the (No. 5) Queenï¿½s Gaels beat the York Lions 67-0 on Saturday afternoon at Richardson Stadium.
Brannagan, who was returning from an injury, was sharp all afternoon, completing 24 of 36 passes in three quarters of action. His longest pass was a 62-yard pass to Blaise Morrison of Bedford, N.S., on the first play of the game.
The Gaels improve to a perfect 4-0 and sit tied with the Western Mustangs for first place in the OUA. Queenï¿½s also extends its regular season winning streak to 14 games which ties a school record dating back to the late 1960ï¿½s. With the loss York falls to 0-4 tied for ninth in the OUA with Toronto.
Queenï¿½s receivers benefitted from Brannaganï¿½s return with three recording 100-yards or more. Scott Valberg of Kingston, Ont. led the way with 147-yards and a touchdown while Chris Ioannides of Toronto secured two majors in the lopsided victory.
With the Gaels safely ahead entering the fourth quarter, rookies Justin Chapdelaine of Abottsford, B.C. and Ryan Granberg of Sherwood Park, Alta. came into the game, keeping the ball moving for the Gaels. Granberg tallied 69-yards in the quarter and his first-ever CIS touchdown.
Defensively, Queenï¿½s was led by defensive player of the game Matt Vickers of Stittsville, Ont. who had four tackles and one interception. The Gaels front seven were a menace to the York quarterbacks who were sacked three times on the afternoon.
The Gaels next two games will be on the road as they travel to Windsor to take on the Lancers (2-2) next Saturday. In two weeks time they will challenge the Waterloo Warriors (1-3) at Alumni Field in Waterloo.
Notes: Brannagan set a career high for passing yards in a game with 543ï¿½His 543 yards in a single game is the seventh most all-time in the CIS and just 17 yards shy of the Queenï¿½s all-time record held by Tommy Denisonï¿½Ryan Granbergï¿½s 4th Quarter touchdown was the first of his CIS careerï¿½Attendance at the game was 6,221ï¿½Former CIS Defensive Player of the Year Thaine Carter was on the sidelines for the game.
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.