Photo by Richard A. Whittaker
Under driving rain and single-digit temperatures, the no. 7 ranked Guelph Gryphons took advantage of an off-balance Ottawa Gee-Gees team and cruised to a 42-7 victory on Saturday.
At no point during the game did the Gee-Gees offence really get going, while the Gryphons offence overcame a slow start to put up 384 total yards and controlled the ball for more than 36 minutes. Robert Farquharson led Guelph with 129 yards rushing, while Ryan Nieuwestee provided the Gryphons with strong field position thanks to 202 total returning yards.
"From the start we didn't even get the ball kicked off properly. But we had chances," said Gee-Gees head coach, Jamie Barresi. "We had people open and we didn't hit them. The defence caused fumbles and we had chances to capitalize on it. Our quarterback has to execute. Our offensive line has to execute. We have to be able to spread the ball around. We were easy for them to defend today."
An extra blow came as Gee-Gees kick returning specialist and receiver, Vincent Campbell went down early with an apparent leg injury. Their special teams struggled from there on out combining for just 55 yards on 12 returns.
The Gee-Gees started the game off by forcing turnovers on the first two Guelph possessions. Then subsequently went two and out and threw an interception on their first two offensive series. uOttawa forced four turnovers in the opening quarter. But each time, they could not take advantage.
In the closing minutes of the first quarter, Guelph was the first to get into the red zone. Jazz Lindsey dropped back and placed the ball in the hands of James Ingram as he laid out for the touchdown catch in the back corner of end zone.
As the Gee-Gees struggled to get their offence in rhythm, the Gryphons were able to march it down the field repetitively with success. Guelph's second major came off a third down stop of the Gee-Gees inside their own 10 yard line. Two plays later, Lindsey found running back Robert Farquharson wide open in the flat for the easy walk-in touchdown.
Guelph made good on all seven of their red zone chances in the game. The Gee-Gees only found themselves there once and that was not until the 10 minute mark of the fourth quarter where Derek Wendel ran in the Gee-Gees only score on a third down, three yard designed QB sneak.
Guelph's defence was solid all game long and intercepted three of Wendel's passes on the day, forced two fumbles and stopped Ottawa three times on third down tries.
"We have to be a little bit better prepared. I take full blame for this. We're not that bad. We'll be better next week," added Barresi. "We rely on a precise passing game. Their kid (quarterback) threw in bad conditions - we have to be able to do that too. We'll have to bounce back. Our team has a lot of pride."
The Gee-Gees look ahead now to the Panda Game next Saturday at TD Place against rival Carleton.
The no. 7 Guelph Gryphons used this game to get back into the top half of the standings after a heart-breaking week one loss to McMaster and a week two drubbing of Toronto. They now sit at 2-1 on the season and will take on Queen's at home next week.