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Queen's at Guelph 20140920
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 0, GUELPH 66
GAELS SUFFER ALL-TIME WORST DEFEAT AT GUELPH; FALL TO 0-4
By Claude Scilley, SportKingston
It’s hard to believe that on a campus where they still house dairy cattle, there was something here Saturday that smelled worse than the back of the barn.
It was the Queen’s Golden Gaels, playing a game that was, by at least one parameter, the biggest stinker in school history. In being slaughtered 66-0 by the Guelph Gryphons, the Gaels succumbed by the biggest margin of defeat in a program that dates to 1882.
“I’m a little bit numb, really,” Gaels coach Pat Sheahan said after the game. “You don’t want to feel bad because it’s not one that we let slip away. We were never really in it.
“When the execution is that bad, you can’t sit and whine about it. This group needs to develop and get better. We’ve got to be better.”
The largest previous defeat was by 60 points, in a 67-7 whipping at the hands of Laurier in 2000. (Before that came a 49-2 shellacking by McGill in 1913.) The 66 points allowed was the second-most in the history of the team, only to the 67 surrendered in that game 14 years ago.
This one was worse than the debacle in Waterloo, in that the Laurier pasting came on the last day of a season that had already been lost. This one happened at a point in the year when the Gaels were trying to get back in the playoff hunt.
At 0-4, only an unflinching optimist could use ‘Queen’s’ and ‘playoffs’ in the same sentence today with a straight face.
Where does one begin to dissect the Gaels’ first shutout since the season opener of 2005?
• It certainly wasn’t a good omen when Queen’s marched 59 yards to the Guelph 16-yard line early in the first quarter, only to botch a field goal attempt when Dillon Wamsley misstepped, or Alex Carroll didn’t pin the ball properly, or something. The score was 3-0 at the time; Guelph subsequently went 95 yards in nine plays for its first touchdown.
• When Peter Hannon dropped a pass in open field as the Gaels were going for first down on third-and-two, it only took five plays for the Gryphons to go 60 yards for their second TD.
• If the game turned on a single play, it might have been after Queen’s quarterback Billy McPhee completed a pass to Alex Zulys for a 21-yard gain to the Gaels’ 45-yard line early in the second quarter. Then came a quarterback sack, forcing the Gaels to punt, which was followed by a three-play, 72-yard touchdown march by Guelph that gave the Gryphons a 24-0 lead. Back-to-back runs of 25 and 20 yards by Rob Farquharson appeared to sap the Gaels of some their resolve.
• One more Guelph touchdown in the first half, on a drive when the Gryphons gambled successfully on third-and-one and later got first down at the six when the Gaels roughed the passer, sent the home team into the dressing room with a 32-0 lead.
• Guelph scored again four plays after Queen’s fumbled on its first possession of the second half. Another touchdown the next time the Gryphons had the football made it 46-0 and the only thing that remained in question was whether the defeat would reach record proportions.
I mean, if you’re going to be that bad, you might as well be all-time bad, right?
The misadventure continued for the Gaels at that point. Queen’s had six total yards in the third quarter, as McPhee was sacked six times. On three consecutive series in the fourth quarter, McPhee completed a pass only to have the receiver fumble the ball away.
You prefer it by the numbers?
Queen’s had just 86 yards of rushing; the Gaels lost six fumbles; McPhee was sacked 10 times; Guelph had 679 yards of total offence; Guelph rushed for more yards (336) than Queen’s gained altogether (264), and the Gaels have now scored just one touchdown in their last 145 minutes of football.
Or how about this: On a day when Windsor would beat Waterloo by 59 points and York would play McMaster, Queen’s still managed to suffer the most lopsided defeat in the land.
It was enough to make the cows wonder where that bad smell was coming from.
Mind you, the Gaels started six rookies on defence, which in no small part contributed to Guelph quarterback Jazz Lindsey having, by all accounts, his career-best game.
“We do have a good group here,” Sheahan said, “(but) it’s a young group, and once we started to have a few guys go down, as young as we were, we got younger.
“Literally, at the end of the day, on special teams we were searching for bodies.”
Two years after that crushing defeat at Laurier, the Gaels were in the Yates Cup final at McMaster. Sheahan was asked if a young team like his needs to endure a staggering defeat as part of its growth process.
“I hate to say it, and I don’t wish it on anybody, but you do,” he said. “Those are tough lessons to learn. Unfortunately, the ones that hit you right between the eyes are the ones that you remember.”
Calling it “a strange one,” Sheahan struggled to find words to collect his thoughts.
“Obviously we were not able to compete with them,” he said. “I felt bad for the guys. We have a young team on defence. Guelph got on a roll and we just couldn’t stop them. Fortunately, our kids never gave up. They scrapped right to the end, which is what I asked of them.
“It was a disappointing game.”
It would be easy to blame all those quarterback sacks on the inexperience of Queen’s offensive line but that doesn’t completely wash. Defensive lineman Charlie Taggart was involved in four of them, and he’s a freshman.
“We game-planned really well,” Taggart said. “Our coaches called the right plays to make the quarterback take an extra second (to throw the ball) and that gave me and the rest of the defensive line time to get to him.”
Mark Brown, Taggart’s high school coach at Hamilton Westdale, is a Gryphons alumnus and he spoke to the players before the game.
“That really motivated me, gave me the courage to play how I did today,” Taggart said. “This is the first game I’ve ever had an OUA sack so getting four of them in one game felt pretty special.”
Lindsey, who completed 23 of 35 passes for 345 yards and three touchdowns—with no interceptions—played his best game against Queen’s, he said the best game of his career.
“It seems to be coming together,” he said. “It feels like it’s coming together in my head and my body is starting to follow a bit more, where in previous years, maybe one was ahead of the other.
“It’s a good feeling. The chemistry is there with all the receivers and running backs, and my knowledge of what I’m doing is a lot better, so I’m more sure (of myself). It’s the kind of feeling that, after the game, we said we never want to forget.”
Lindsey spoke of the rivalry that has evolved with Queen’s, one that includes each team being responsible for the other’s ouster from the playoffs in one of the last two seasons.
“Any win’s a great feeling,” he said, “but everyone has their own little game where they really want to beat (the other team), and there’s a lot of guys on this team who were taking this game real, real personal.”
Among them was coach Stu Lang, the Queen’s alumnus who got a few dollars’ worth of satisfaction back from the $10 million he pledged to the new Richardson Stadium in the spring. “Most of the people around Guelph like to beat Western. I’m one of the few who likes to beat Queen’s,” he said. “My wife and I loved going there, some of our best friends are alumni, but I guess it’s about bragging rights for the off-season.
“They have a great history so any time you can beat one of the elite teams, it’s a good day.”
Lang said the game was won along the line of scrimmage, as his team exploited the Gaels’ young offensive line more than it did the young defensive secondary. “The DBs, I thought, played well,” Lang said. “We won the battle of the line play today. A couple of times we had huge holes for our running backs. We used a formation called cannon with two tight ends and I think they struggled a bit with that.”
Notebook—The victory delighted most of a Homecoming crowd of 7,855. … Lang agreed with the assessment that Lindsey enjoyed the game of his life. “He threw the ball real well, threw the long ball, and he’s not typically known as a long-ball thrower; and he made some great decisions as to when to run and when not to run himself. It just had a sense of commitment. You could see it. He was really focused today.” … Lindsey and No. 2 running back Johnny Augustine each had two of the five touchdowns Guelph scored along the ground. Rob Farquharson, he of the 167-yard rushing day, had the other. Lindsey completed passes to Alex Charette, A’dre Fraser and Lucas Spagnuolo for the other Guelph majors. … The score would have been more outrageous had the Gryphons not missed two field goals inside the 35-yard line, and had Gaels linebacker Mitch Spataro not knocked the ball out of the hands of James Ingram in the end zone, after he appeared to catch a ball behind coverage for a touchdown. The Gryphons settled for a single point on that drive. … Statistical anomaly: Though the Gaels weren’t long in contention, McPhee actually had his best day passing, percentage wise, this year (.710); the problem was he had so little time, even when he wasn’t being sacked, he wasn’t able to complete a throw for more than 21 yards. … Statistical anomaly II: Queen’s had 24 first downs, which nine days out of 10 is enough to win a game, except those where you allow the other team to get 41 first downs. … The Gaels were determined to get Jesse Andrews going in his first game back after missing two with an injury. The third-year running back was given the ball on first down 12 times in the first half. Though he gained eight, nine and seven yards on three of them, he gained 2, 3, 1, 2, minus-3, 1, minus-2, 1 and 2 yards on the other nine. After he gained two yards on the first carry of the second half, the Gaels shut him down. … Guelph enjoyed splendid field position all day, thanks in part to Ryan Nieuwesteeg’s punt returns. He averaged 25 yards on eight returns
GRYPHONS SHUTOUT GAELS
By Guelph Sports Information
Quarterback Jazz Lindsey threw for 345 yards and three touchdowns to help lead the No. 7 Guelph Gryphons to a 66-0 victory over the Queen's Gaels in front of 7,855 excited Homecoming fans on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Stadium in Guelph. The Gryphons move up to 3-1 on the season while the Gaels drop to 0-4.
Lindsey (Markham, Ont.) completed 23 of his 35 attempts for 345 yards and three touchdowns, and would also rush for 52 yards and two touchdowns, with his longest run being 16 yards.
The offence was firing on all cylinders in their Homecoming game of the 2014 season, racking up 679 total yards including 353 through the air and another 336 on the ground. A total of six different Gryphons found the end zone.
Rob Farquharson (Niagara Falls, Ont.) would lead the offence rushing for 170 yards and one touchdown. Farquharson would average 8.8 yards per carry and a long of 25 yards.
Alex Charette (St. Catharine's, Ont.) would lead the receivers with 10 receptions for 137 yards and one touchdown. A'Dre Fraser (Halifax) would be close behind with eight receptions for 127 yards and one touchdown.
Cameron Walker (London, Ont.) would lead the defense with eight unassisted tackles and two sacks for a loss. Iain Hutchison would be close behind with six unassisted tackles and one assisted for a total of 6.5.
The Gryphon defence came out strong, shutting down the first drive of the game with a big sack on Queen's quarterback Billy McPhee (Burlington, Ont.). Ryan Nieuwesteeg (Niagara Falls, Ont.) would set the Gryphons up with excellent field position on the 39-yard line in Queen's territory on the return. Guelph would be unable to take advantage of the field position after an illegal motion call, and Daniel Ferraro (Mississauga, Ont.) would make a 40-yard field goal, making it 3-0 for the Gryphons early in the first quarter.
The Gryphon defence would continue to pin down the Gaels, forcing them to convert on third and longs. The Gaels would try to fake a field goal, but would be unsuccessful, setting the Gryphons up deep in their own territory. Big runs by Rob Farquharson (Niagara Falls, Ont.) had Guelph able to battle out of their own half. A connection with A'Dre Fraser (Halifax, NS.) would set the Gryphons up on the 10-yard line, with Jazz Lindsey (Markham, Ont.) keeping the ball to run it in for the first touchdown of the game to make 10-0 after the extra point from Ferraro.
Guelph would score again in the first quarter after a pass to Alex Charette (St. Catherines, Ont.) would move the Gryphons up to the 16-yard line. The Gaels would draw a roughing the passer call which would move the Gryphons up to the one yard line, with Lindsey scoring another touchdown after a quarterback keep, making it 17-0 after the extra point.
In the second quarter, a return by Nieuwesteeg would put the Gryphons in a good position on the field again. Farquharson would get the ball up to the 27-yard line. Lindsey would fake the hand off to Farquharson, connecting with Lucas Spagnuolo (Grimsby, Ont.) in the end zone to make 24-0, with the extra point. The Gryphons would find the end zone again before the end of the quarter after Farquharson rolled through defenders for a touchdown. After a rouge point by Ferraro, the Gryphons would end the first half up 32-0.
Gryphons continued with their momentum with a long pass from the 40-yard line to A'Dre Fraser from Lindsey. With the extra point, the touchdown would set Guelph ahead 39-0 at the beginning of the third quarter. When they regained possession, the Gryphons put together yet another touchdown drive after starting at the 43-yard line. Johnny Augustine (Welland, Ont.) would find the end zone, making it 46-0 with the extra point.
Queen's would start the fourth quarter with a fumble, with Iain Hutchison recovering taking the ball to the 23 yard line. The Gaels would hold the Gryphons out of the end zone and Gabriel Ferraro would score a rouge point making it 47-0.
The Gryphons would score another touchdown after recovering a Queen's fumble, with Charette catching a long pass over the middle in the end zone, making it 54-0 with the extra point by Gabriel Ferraro (Mississauga, Ont.). Gabriel Ferraro would kick for a field goal and a rouge point in the fourth quarter making it 58-0. His brother Daniel Ferraro would kick for another rouge point after a long punt to make it 59-0 heading towards the end of the game.
Gryphon player Brandon Gordon (Toronto, Ont.) would put together a few big runs to move the team down to the 11-yard line towards the end of the quarter. It would be Augustine who would put the last touchdown on the board making it 66-0 after the extra point.
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.