Gee-Gees Headed to Playoffs with 38-18 Win over McMaster

Gee-Gees Headed to Playoffs with 38-18 Win over McMaster

(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. 

uOttawa's next possession added to that lead when Derek Wendel connected with a wide open Ian Stewart who went 74 yards for the touchdown. 

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. 

McMaster's Marshall Ferguson was 14-of-23 for 148 yards on the day. Daniel Petermann was the top Marauder receiver with 71 yards and also scored both majors for McMaster.

"Every week is the next biggest game," added Barresi. "I've said it continuously. I'll emphasize it again. We'll bury this one but enjoy it tonight. Tomorrow is another day and the reality is setting in real fast over the week."
 
Ottawa rookie Bryce Vieira ended with 170 rushing yards and a touchdown while the Gee-Gees defence sacked both McMaster quarterbacks a total of five times, three of which were credited to Khadim Mbaye. Zach Wilkinson led the defence with nine tackles 
 
"We have to keep up with this tempo going into the playoffs," said senior defensive tackle, Ettore Lattanzio. "We've showed everyone we can compete with the best. We had a couple of tough losses throughout the season and I think that right now we proved to the entire country that we can play with the best of them."
 
"We knew who they were. We know what they've accomplished in the last couple years. So it was no surprise that this was going to be a battle. We just said 'what do we have to lose? Let's just go in here and play our hearts out.' That's what we did, played hard."
Source: Ottawa Gee-Gees