(Photo: Jason Scourse)
KINGSTON, Ont. (October 3, 2015) - The Queen's Gaels (4-2) pulled off an upset 23-15 win over the No.5 Guelph Gryphons (5-1) on Saturday afternoon at Richardson Stadium.
The Gaels came out in the first half starting the game with a big kick return into Guelph territory. The first offensive drive for Queen's ended with a miss field goal by Nicholas Dowd (Gananoque, Ont.) who was filling in for Dillon Wamsley (London, Ont.) who joined the team in the second half as he was finishing up his LSAT test in the morning. The following series the Gaels defence held the Guelph attack to a three and out. Both teams exchanged possessions back and forth for the next few series. The Gaels got on the scoreboard in the first quarter with Guelph conceding a safety to give Queen's a 2-0 lead. Punt returner Connor Weir (Waterloo, Ont.) had a another big return into Guelphs half and the Gaels turned it into points as they scored the first touchdown in the game when running back Jonah Pataki (Wallaceburg, Ont.) scored a goaline rush to give Queen's a 9-0 lead. Nicholas Dowd hit the extra point.
Guelph began the second quarter with their best offensive drive of the half as they drove deep into Gaels territory, but the Queen's defence came up with an interception in their own endzone by linebacker Luke McQuilkin (Burlington, Ont.). Following the interception the Gaels offence drove into the Guelph half with consecutive first down's but could not get any points off that turnover. The next offensive drive for the Gryphons saw them drive deep into Queen's territory, but once again the Gaels defence came up with another crucial interception of James Roberts again, this time by linebacker Justin Bowman (Mississauga, Ont.) on their five yard line. Guelph's offence answered back on their next drive when running back Johnny Augustine scored on a goaline rush to cut the Gaels lead to 9-7 with two minutes remaining in the half. The Gaels next offensive drive ended when they were unable to convert on a late 3rd down conversion which gave the Gryphons possession on their own 45 yard line. Queen's defence halted Guelph's offence once again before halftime with defensive lineman Zac Sauer (Ayr, Ont.) getting a late second quarter sack. Queen's took a 9-7 lead into the half.
The second half saw the Gryphons offence with another deep drive into Queen's territory early in the third quarter. The Gaels defence once again made a strong goaline stand as the defence stopped Guelph on three straight plays to take over possession on downs. On the very next play with Queen's on their own two yard line the Gaels offence entered the record books when quarterback Nate Hobbs (Burlington, Ont.) completed a 108-yard touchdown pass to receiver Matteo Del Brocco (Leamington, Ont.) giving the Queen's a 16-7 lead. The passing play from Hobbs to Del Brocco broke the team's longest pass touchdown play of 104 yards in team history which was previously held by Danny Brannagan to Rob Bagg on Sept 16, 2006 and as well as Bill Harrison to Jim Pendergast on Sept 17, 1980. The passing play was the fourth longest pass play in CIS history, which was one yard shy of the all-time CIS record of 109 which has happened on three separate occasions. After the biggest play of the year for the Gaels offence the defence continued to make big plays on their side of the ball with middle linebacker Mike Moore (Mississauga, Ont.) catching the third interception off Roberts in the game late in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter started off with Guelph cutting down the lead to 16-15 after Augustine rushed for another touchdown. The Gaels offence answered right back on the next series which started with Pataki catching a screen pass from Hobbs and taking the ball 40 yards to the Guelph goaline. Pataki ended the drive with a goaline rushing touchdown to give Queen's a 23-15 lead in the middle of the fourth quarter. Both teams exchanged back and forth possessions throughout the middle of the fourth quarter. The Gaels offence pulled off a fake punt snap run on a 3rd down play with a minute left in the game which caught the Gryphons off guard. On the very next play Pataki fumbled the ball on his own 50 yard line to give Guelph the possession back with 45 seconds left to play. The Gaels defence once again came up big with a sack on the first down followed by another third down stop to clinch the victory for Queen's.
This was the first time that an unranked Queen's team defeated a ranked team since 2011 when they beat the No. 1 Western Mustangs 37-0 at Richardson Stadium.
BY THE NUMBERS
108 - Longest Touchdown Pass in Team History from Hobbs to Del Brocco
3 - Interceptions by the Gaels Defence
9 - Total Tackles by DL Zac Sauer
2 - Rushing Touchdowns by Jonah Pataki
12 - Consecutive wins during OUA regular season play for Guelph. The streak was snapped today.
179 - Rushing yards by Johnny Augustine for Guelph
232 - Number of yards rushing on the season by Nate Hobbs, 2nd most among CIS quarterbacks
The Gaels football team heads into their bye week next weekend followed by a week eight matchup at York.
Source: Queen's Gaels