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Queen's at Carleton 20141025
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 1978-2001.
All photos are Copyright (c) Jeff Chan 2000-2014, and may be used for personal non-commercial applications including by Queen's University, 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 37, CARLETON 15
GAELS END SEASON WITH 37-15 WIN AGAINST CARLETON
By Peter Reimer, Queen's Sports Information
The Gaels spoiled Carleton's playoff hopes in the final game of the regular season, beating the Ravens 37-15 in Ottawa on a rainy Saturday afternoon.
The early part of the game was dominated by the kickers, as Dillon Wamsley (London, Ont.) of the Gaels and Michael Domagala of the Ravens traded field goals in the first quarter. After Carleton gave up a safety, Queen's took a 5-3 lead into the second quarter.
Wamsley hit another field goal to start a Gaels dominated second quarter. Derek Wiggan (Toronto) scored the first touchdown of his Gaels career in his final game in the tricolour, as the fifth year defensive lineman picked up Carleton quarterback Nick Gorgichuk's fumble deep in Ravens territory and walked it into the end zone.
Curtis Carmichael (Scarborough, Ont.) scored the first offensive touchdown for the Gaels with 10 seconds left in the first half. On the play, Billy McPhee (Burlington, Ont.) threw his 54th touchdown pass and finishes his career with 55 to cement him in third, one shy on Tom Denison's 56.
Following Carmichael's touchdown, Tunde Adeleke returned Wamsley's kickoff 96 yards. As time expired on in the first half, Nick Dowd (Gananoque, Ont.) made a touchdown saving tackle on the three yard line, as the Gaels escaped the first half with their 22-3 lead intact.
The Ravens marched down the field in the third quarter, going 54 yards on seven plays down to the Queen's 13 yard line. Jason Shamatutu (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) intercepted a Gorgichuk pass in the end zone to halt Carleton's attack late in the third quarter.
After Alex Carroll pulled in another Queen's touchdown, Wiggan combined with Wesley Mann (Almonte, Ont.) to stuff Ravens backup quarterback Jesse Mills for no gain on third down. On the ensuing drive, Justin Gleben (Barrie, Ont.) punched in the Gaels final touchdown of the 2014 season from one yard out, as Queen's defeated Carleton 37-15.
Jesse Andrews (Arnprior, Ont.) put his name into the Gaels single-game record book on Saturday, as the third year rushed for 221 yards on 30 carries. Andrews rushing yards total puts him ahead of one of Mike Giffin's games in 11th, while the number of attempts ties him with games had by Ryan Granberg and Jimmy Therrien for seventh.
McPhee ends his Gaels career with 8,305 passing yards, securely in second place for all-time Queen's. With 39 yards on the ground in the game, McPhee lands in second place for most rushing yards in a career by a quarterback with 401 over his five years at Queen's.
Carroll's final season with the Gaels was one for the record books, finishing tied for fifth with James Maclean's 2001 season for most receptions in a season with 52. With 875 receiving yards this season, Carroll moves into seventh in most yards receiving in a season.
GAELS END SEASON WITH VICTORY AT CARLETON
By Claude Scilley
Jesse Andrews wasn’t about to let this one get away.
The Queen’s Golden Gaels running back was determined that his graduating teammates would end their intercollegiate careers with a victory Saturday against the Carleton Ravens, so at a point in the game when he suspected some of his teammates may not be doing their utmost to achieve that end, he spoke up.
“We looked great at times and there were some series where we made some big errors,” he said, after the Gaels polished off the Ravens, 37-15, in what turned out to be the final game of the Ontario University Athletics football season for both teams.
“I really wanted to roll this out to all the fifth-years,” Andrews said. “There was one point in the third quarter where I went over and got the O line together and started reaming on them, telling them to get back on their horses.
“The next thing you know, the next two series we go out and score two more touchdowns.”
As someone in the midst of a career-best rushing day, Andrews was speaking with some credibility.
In playing what coach Pat Sheahan called “just a terrific game,” the third-year engineering student from Arnprior finished the day with 221 yards rushing, the 11th-best rushing game in the recorded history of Queen’s football, the best one since Ryan Granberg ran for 240 yards against Waterloo, Oct. 15, 2011.
As someone fully aware of the role his linemen were playing in his success, it was easy for Andrews to recognize when they needed a little nudge.
“They came out firing (at the start of the game),” he said. “The first four plays, we ran almost the same play and we had 45 yards on the ground. They went through that phase through the third quarter where they started slowing down, but we were all exhausted.
“We found a groove again and after a little pep talk they got on their horses and it was like playing in the first quarter again. They were just firing.”
Statistically, it was the best game of Andrews’ career and his fourth 100-yard plus rushing game in a row. His previous best was 168 yards, at Waterloo last year, in a game where he played only about 20 minutes.
“It just felt good to get that solid win,” he said. “I wasn’t really playing for myself. In terms of my best game, I owe it to all five offensive linemen, I owe it to (quarterback Billy McPhee), and I owe it to the receivers.
“We looked at this as our championship game, and it’s always nice to win your last game of the season.”
The Gaels, eliminated from playoff contention after an 0-5 start, won their last three games of the season. Carleton, which finished 4-4 in just its second year back in the league, had to win Saturday to make the playoffs. Instead, the Ravens finished tied with Laurier and they were placed seventh for having been thrashed 53-3 by the Golden Hawks.
GAELS DEFENCE SHOWS SIGNS OF PROMISE IN SEASON FINALE
By Claude Scilley
They may not have balanced the ledger, but the Queen’s Golden Gaels defence made enough positive entries in it Saturday as they defeated the Carleton Ravens 37-15 to make the books look promising for next year.
The Gaels have struggled mightily this year to defend. They gave up 256 points, second most in a season ever only to the 312 surrendered in the 1-7 season of 2000. Six times this year, Queen’s allowed an opponent to gain more than 500 yards in a game. The Gaels allowed that to happen only seven times in the previous 10 years.
So when a group of young, beleaguered defenders with nothing tangible to play for except learning and pride comes out against a team playing at home for its playoff life, and dominates it the way the Gaels did the Carleton Ravens Saturday, it’s significant.
Queen’s allowed the Ravens 372 yards, which is not spectacular but it is 200 yards better than they’d permitted in an average game in the first six weeks of the season.
The Gaels sacked the quarterback three times, forced three fumbles, intercepted a pass in the end zone, twice stopped Carleton on third down—the defence even generated Queen’s first touchdown, when the veteran Derek Wiggan recovered a fumble to create some breathing room in a game the Gaels led just 8-3 at the time.
The group was decidedly young— Queen’s doesn’t get many students who have had five years of high school—and inexperienced. At one point, due to injuries among the handful of experienced defenders they had, the Gaels started five freshmen and five other players who were starting this year for the first time.
People have been predicting good things of this group, but the numbers sometimes made the words ring hollow. Wiggan, however, is one man who believed it all along, and Saturday, after his final intercollegiate game, he was taking some satisfaction in seeing the prophecy start to come true.
“We’ve grown so much from the beginning of the year to now,” he said. “With young teams, it’s going to take time, there are going to be a lot of young mistakes. It’s natural, but we really matured down the stretch.”
In particular he spoke of how the Gaels, who won their last three games in a row, hemmed Carleton in its own end of the field for most of the first half, not allowing the home team past its own 35-yard line for more than 28 minutes when the game was still close.
“We’ve been struggling early in the year with getting off the field when it’s second-and-long, letting teams drive on us when we have them pinned,” Wiggins said. “We did a really great job of, once we had them second and long, of keeping them at second and long.
“It’s just a matter of guys gaining confidence that they can play at this level,” he continued. “Guys are more confident doing their jobs now. They’re not guessing; they know. I went through it in my first year. We had a similar team. We went 3-5, so it’s just a matter of, once you gain confidence in what you’re doing, then you stop thinking and start playing.”
DECISON TO BAR QUEEN'S BANDS FROM CARLETON GAME MISGUIDED
By Claude Scilley
It used to drive coach Doug Hargreaves nuts.
It seemed like every time the Queen’s Golden Gaels went on the road in the old Ontario-Quebec conference, it would be the other team’s Homecoming game. Queen’s would often play against the other team’s biggest, most exuberant crowd of the year.
It was, Hargreaves was convinced, because none of the other schools had a marching band or cheerleaders. Essentially, when those teams hosted Queen’s, they weren’t just getting an opponent, they were importing the college atmosphere they couldn’t provide for themselves: Instant festivities.
As disgruntled as it might have made the Queen’s folk, it was pretty shrewd on the part of those other OQIFC teams, one of which was the Carleton Ravens.
It seems that 20 years out of football has led the athletic brain trust at Carleton to forget that.
A program that professes to be struggling to establish tradition has banished one of the oldest customs in all of Canadian sport from the Ravens’ game Saturday against Queen’s. After the Queen’s Bands bought—yes, bought—their 80 tickets for the game this week, they were told they would not be allowed into the stadium with their instruments.
It’s the first time in 110 years of following the football team across the country that anyone has told the Queen’s Bands they weren’t welcome.
In an excellent piece on his Eh Game blog on Yahoo! Sports https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/eh-game/carleton-ravens-bar-queen-s-university-s-band-from-bringing-instruments-to-oua-football-game-180747609.html Queen’s Journal alum Neate Sager explains that among the reasons Carleton cites for the outrageous demand are (a) the Ravens coaches don’t want the band there (b) Carleton has its own fledgling band and they don’t want it to be intimidated by the experienced Queen’s Bands and (c) Carleton wants to establish its own atmosphere, free of interference from interlopers.
Well, let’s see.
If there’s any truth to the coaching staff—a staff that, in this case, includes ex-Gael Ryan Bechmanis, by the way—spending more than 10 seconds worrying about the other school’s band as they prepare for their team’s most important game of the year, well, shame on them. Frankly, I can’t see it but apparently either it’s true or the Carleton athletics department threw its coaching staff under the bus when that was proffered as a reason to bar the Bands. If it is true, those coaches are badly shortchanging their players by not devoting all their time to things that actually matter.
With regard to the second point, why would Carleton so badly demean its own group of aspiring musicians by assuming they would be intimidated by the Queen’s Bands? And if you’re working from that premise—that the Queen’s Bands can have such impact on a game or a crowd that they need to be silenced—couldn’t you just as easily see this as an opportunity for your rookie band to learn from the masters?
That’s terrific that Carleton wants to establish its own traditions, but traditions can’t be manufactured, they have to evolve. Tearing down those of others does nothing to foster your own. Carleton’s own biggest tradition, the Panda Game, is proof of that. Let’s face it, in its previous incarnation Carleton was traditionally one of those places where Queen’s alumni and parents outnumbered those supporting the home team. Typically at Keith Harris Stadium, if not for the Queen’s crowd, there’d have been no crowd at all.
Evidently the bands approached Ontario University Athletics for some relief on the matter and got a cold shoulder. There’s a surprise. A number of years ago, at a game in western Ontario where the recorded music was playing so loudly it was almost impossible to have a conversation at field level—and the band had no opportunity to play—I complained to an OUA staffer about it and wondered, if Notre Dame and Michigan could establish a protocol whereby the home school would allow the visiting band to play at designated times, why couldn’t the OUA do the same?
That staffer, Bryan Crawford—yes, the former Queen’s running back who now is the OUA’s director of operations—essentially replied that just because the NCAA did it was no reason for the OUA to do it, and each team should be allowed to present whatever entertainment it thought appropriate.
No matter how lame, apparently; no matter how disrespectful it was to one of the game’s oldest institutions.
The main difference, of course, is the NCAA values tradition and is wildly successful. In Canada, traditions are largely shunned, lest we make those that don’t have any feel bad. How feebly Canadian.
(It’s the same kind of weak thinking that leads people to hate Laval for its football success, rather than strive to emulate what it does to achieve that success.)
Schools with bands—Queen’s, Western, RMC; are there any others?—should curry no special favor for that fact; but neither should they be excluded. One of the great stories of the 1989 Churchill Bowl in Saskatoon, where Queen’s played the University of Saskatchewan, was the experience of the band, which got on school buses on Wednesday, travelled nonstop from Kingston, arrived at about 8 a.m. Saturday, played at the game that afternoon—was the halftime entertainment, in fact—and got back on the buses immediately after the game for the trip home.
It may be that the folks at Carleton don’t understand that’s the sort of dedication they’re denigrating here, but it seems there’s lots the deep thinkers on Ravens Drive haven’t considered, not the least of which is that if you’re trying to attract crowds, you shouldn’t schedule your home games on the same day Ottawa U plays at home (which will happen for the second time this year on Saturday, not counting the day they played each other).
Undoubtedly they also don’t grasp the notion that the worst thing anybody can do to Queen’s students is tell them they can’t do something (see: Homecoming, Aberdeen Street). Not only will that only make them want to do it more, you’ve now given them the requisite motivation to figure out a way around the prohibition.
To that end someone among the Bands discovered that while musical instruments may be banned, vuvuzelas are permitted in stadiums in Ontario. You may recall the vuvuzela as a plastic horn, about two feet long, so popular in South Africa that annoyed people around the world to no end at the 2010 World Cup of soccer.
So essentially what the Carleton wunderkinds have done is removed a band, that knows when it is allowed to play and when it isn’t, and replaced it with 80-pissed off musicians from a school where the students are known for their sense of entitlement and armed them with irritating noisemakers they can blow whenever they want.
Now that word of the silly ban has gotten out, ex-bandsies and those loyal to the football team in Ottawa have been working the phones and social media all night long to mobilize Queen’s Nation and get its legions out to the game. Instead of letting that sleeping dog collectively take a pass on attending an otherwise meaningless game, the Carletoids have, to paraphrase Yamamoto, awakened Canada’s sleeping giant of football-loyal alumni and filled it with a terrible resolve.
There are plenty of tickets left for Saturday’s game, and you can bet they will be snapped up the moment the gates open by angry Queen’s folk, and the anti-home team atmosphere the Carleton gang feared from the presence of a band will look downright sedate beside the throng of riled Gaels’ faithful they’re likely going to get instead.
Without question, this whole issue is a tempest in a Tricolour teapot. Whether there are bands playing at football games is not a terribly important part of the Canadian sport mosaic, but that is precisely the point.
Never mind that, as decisions go, this one was needless. Never mind that it was clearly ill considered. The essential question is: Why would you even bother?
Regardless of whether Queen’s wins or loses, let us hope the Gaels at least score a touchdown. I simply can’t wait to hear Oil Thigh played on 80 vuvuzelas.
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.