(Photo: Richard Whitaker)
The Gee-Gees came alive in the second half scoring 27 points en route to handing the no. 3 ranked McMaster Marauders their first loss of the season and securing their own spot in the OUA playoffs. uOttawa kicker Lewis Ward contributed 18 points to the 38-18 victory, including five field goals as the Gee-Gees defence smothered the McMaster offence, holding them to just 137 yards and six points in the second half.
With the 15 different tie-breaking scenarios being put to the test in week nine, the Gee-Gees find themselves finishing fifth and will travel to Windsor next week for an OUA quarterfinal matchup with the Lancers.
"I'm very proud of the team," said head coach, Jamie Barresi following the game. "Proud of the defence because they've been much maligned for the whole season. That's a very good offensive line on their side. I know they (McMaster) played some of their backup guys later in the game but that doesn't matter they still came to play."
"The defence did a good job. We've been sitting back a little bit all season long and we felt we needed to take a few more risks and maybe play a little more aggressive."
A relatively even first half that produced a score of 12-11 in favour of the Marauders gave way to a second half where things just fall apart for McMaster.
The turning point the Gee-Gees were looking for came on McMaster's first possession of the second half. Safety Jackson Bennett made a perfectly timed and placed hit on a Marauders' receiver to pop the ball loose. Defensive back Tunch Akkaya then scooped it up and returned it 86 yards down the sideline for the Gee-Gees' first lead.
The Gee-Gees lead was stretched to as many as 18 points before the two teams traded touchdowns in the fourth quarter when the game was already out of reach. It ended 38-18.