The Ottawa Gee-Gees defence kept Asher Hastings off the scoresheet on Saturday afternoon in a 30-8 win over no. 5 ranked McMaster in front of just over three thousand fans at Gee-Gees Field. Ottawa's defence forced three McMaster fumbles in a game which featured multiple turnovers deep in offensive territory for both sides.
The win moves Ottawa to the top of the OUA standings with a 2-0 record while McMaster falls to 2-1.
The Marauders were shut down in the second half, scoring only a safety in the final minute of the game. Ottawa grew its lead from 10-6 at halftime with third-quarter majors from senior receiver Mitchell Baines and third-year running back Bryce Vieira. Vieira was Ottawa's leading receiver on the day, making 13 catches for 146 yards, while Baines had another fine performance with eight catches for 110 yards.
Derek Wendel improved on his league-leading passing totals with 441 yards, connecting on 35-of-47 attempts. His counterpart Asher Hastings had an efficient completion rate in the first half but finished 19-34 for 249 yards. McMaster was also unable to get its ground game in gear, netting 92 yards.
"The thing was, we kept giving the punches and they couldn't get up off the floor," said Gee-Gees head coach Jamie Barresi, referring to the multiple turnovers which Ottawa was able to respond to. "Coming in I knew we needed a sixty minute effort with resiliency and focus. The defence got after it pretty good and I'm proud of them because McMaster is a very powerful offensive team."
"We feel very strong chemistry on defence right now," added Jamie Harry. The second-year corner made his second interception of the season late in the fourth quarter, essentially sealing the Ottawa victory. Both he and linebacker Jackson Bennett had a hand on the ball – an interesting duo as both players came into uOttawa as offensive players. "I told him I was taking it," laughed Harry. "Good thing he let me take it – he got the fumble later too." Harry brought the return back 33 yards to the McMaster 50-yard line. Wendel made it count by driving down the field with a six-play drive for a Mitchell Baines touchdown.
Ottawa's Lewis Ward nailed his one field goal opportunity from 15 yards while McMaster's Adam Preocanin was 2-for-4.
Of note, Ottawa is now undefeated in the first home game of the season since Gee-Gees Field opened in 2013 (4-0).
Source: Ottawa Gee-Gees