October 21, 2017
Guelph 28 Carleton 23
GUELPH – The Gryphon football team left the nation's capital with a win. It's something they hope to be doing again in seven days.
On Saturday afternoon at MNP Park in Ottawa, the Gryphons wrapped up their 2017 regular season with a 28-23 come-from-behind victory over the Carleton Ravens. Guelph trailed 22-9 late in the 3rd quarter before closing out the game by outscoring the Ravens 19-1 to secure the victory. Gryphons' fourth year kicker Gabe Ferraro set a career-high by going a perfect seven-for-seven on field goal attempts. In the process, Ferraro set a new U SPORTS single-season record with 33 made field goals on the year.
With Saturday's result, the Gryphons finish the regular season with a 5-3 record and will enter the OUA playoffs as the No. 5-seed. The Gryphons will head right back to Ottawa next week, this time for an OUA Quarter-final matchup with the No. 4-seeded University of Ottawa Gee-Gees.
"Our kids played with a lot of grit today," said Gryphons head coach Kevin MacNeill. "With that being a must-win game for Carleton, we thought our guys did an incredible job staying focused and displayed some tremendous resiliency down the stretch."
Trailing by 10 late in the 3rd quarter, the Gryphons got a much-needed spark from their defence when second year defensive back Dotun Aketepe (Barrie, ON) came up with a timely interception. Shortly after the turnover, the Gryphons would successfully pull off a fake punt attempt, with Michael Carney taking the direct snap and rushing for a first down to extend the U of G possession. The drive would ultimately end with a 48-yard field goal by Ferraro, which trimmed the deficit to 22-15.
The best offensive possession of the game by the Gryphons would come in the 4th quarter, when the Gryphs would march 86 yards on 11 plays to tie the game at 22-22. The majority of the damage on that drive was done on the ground with fifth year running back Johnny Augustine and dual-threat quarterback Theo Landersleading the way. Landers and Augustine combined for 66-yards rushing during that 86-yard scoring drive. The longest run of the drive was a 20-yard scamper by Landers, with Augustine capping off the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run to tie the game.
Augustine finished the day with 137 yards rushing on 27 carries, while Landers ran for 96 yards on 14 carries while also finishing 19-29, 173 yards through the air.
The Gryphon celebration would be short-lived however, as Carleton's Chad Manchulenko would take the ensuing kickoff back 89-yards to set the Ravens up inside the Gryphons' red zone. The U of G defence would then come up with a timely defensive stand, with fifth year linebacker Derek Drouillard coming up with a huge tackle-for-a-loss during a 1st and Goal situation from the 3-yard line. After an incomplete pass on 2nd and Goal from the 8, the Ravens would settle for a short field goal attempt, which would be missed by Ravens who were forced to settle for the rouge and a 23-22 lead.
Augustine and Landers would lead the Gryphon offence back into field goal range for Ferraro, who split the uprights from 29-yards out with 2:29 remaining to put Guelph up 25-23. Ferraro's seventh field goal of the game would come with 1:05 left to seal the 28-23 win for the Gryphs.
"Gabe was incredible today," said MacNeill of his fourth year kicker, who accounted for 22 of the team's 28 points. "We've had faith in Gabe since he took over our kicking duties a few years ago and he just continues to get better game after game. He's such a competitor and, as coaches and players, we couldn't be happier for him."
Ferraro's record of 33 made field goals in a single-season, surpasses the previous mark of 26, set in 2014 by Gabe's older brother, and current kicking coach, Daniel Ferraro. "We talked about the record a little bit before the game," said Gabe Ferraro, a Second Team All-Canadian in 2015. "Right before kickoff, we kind of looked at each other and agreed we wouldn't talk about it again until after the game."
The Ferraro brothers were teammates with the Gryphons in 2014, when Daniel set the U SPORTS record. Daniel would then stay on with the team as the kicking coach, and on Saturday, watched his younger brother set a new field goal record.
"I've looked up to my older brother my entire life. He's why I started kicking. It's an amazing feeling to know that your coach cares about you and has your best interest in mind. It's been awesome being able to work with my brother."
Ferraro and the rest of the Gryphons will now turn their attention to the Ottawa Gee-Gees, who also finished the season with a 5-3 record but earned the right to host next Saturday's quarter-final matchup after winning their head-to-head matchup with Guelph in double overtime back in Week 1 (Aug. 27). The Gryphons will enter the postseason winners of five of their last six games overall.
Ottawa 10 Western 63
LONDON, Ont. – Three touchdowns by Harry McMaster helped the Western Mustangs complete an undefeated regular season with a 63-10 win over the Ottawa Gee-Gees on Saturday afternoon at TD Stadium.
"I thought it was a little sloppy, but I thought overall we played very well," said Mustangs head coach Greg Marshall. "We settled into it, I don't know if it was just not having played in two weeks, but the first couple minutes we were not as crisp defensively and certainly not offensively but we settled into a very good game.
"It was good we were able to get lots of players in the game. Our backups played almost half the game, and they played very well. That's important because there is going to be times down the road in the playoffs when those kids are going to have to step up and play."
The win gives the Mustangs an 8-0 record heading into the playoffs, with the team having already locked up first place in the OUA with their October 6 win over Carleton. The Gee-Gees finish with a 5-3 record and will enter the postseason as the league's fourth seed.
McMaster led all players with 101 receiving yards on five catches with three touchdowns, scoring from 15, 26, and 37 yards out. Although McMaster led the way for the receivers, the Mustangs spread the ball around in the win with nine different players catching passes against the Gee-Gees.
"I think we knew that a lot of the stuff we had would work and we were just going stick to the basics and just take it to them," said McMaster. "I think we are always confident and we know we are going to have success."
Throwing the majority of the passes was starting quarterback Chris Merchant, who went 10-15 with 168 yards passing with three touchdowns and one interceptions. All three of Western's quarterbacks got into the action with Kevin John completing six of seven passes for 78 yards, while Stevenson Bone threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Valvano before being forced to leave the game due to injury.
While the Mustangs aerial attack may have provided most of the highlights, the ground game was a key factor in the win as Western rushed for 452 yards. Both Trey Humes and Cedric Joseph put up good numbers against the Gee-Gees, rushing for 138 and 137 yards respectively, while Joseph added two touchdowns to finish in first place on the OUA leaderboard with 10 on the season.
The Mustangs defence put on a show for the Homecoming crowd, playing one of their finest games of the season and holding the Gee-Gees to just 189 yards. Veteran Jean-Gabriel Poulin topped the charts with 5.5 tackles and also added an interception, as did defensive back Alex Salytchev.
Just as the offence and defence impressed against the Gee-Gees, so too did the special teams with returner Mike Sananes racking up 119 punt return yards, including one return of 51 yards.
Marc Liegghio finished out his record-breaking regular season with another perfect day, going 4-4 on field goals to extend his streak to 22 consecutive attempts without a miss. The Woodbridge, Ont., native finishes the year with 29 field goals, setting a new standard for the Mustangs and leading the OUA with 125 points on the year.
After failing to pick up points on their opening drive for the first time all year, the Mustangs would open the scoring on their next possession.
Saltychev set things up by picking off Alex Lavric and then the Mustangs turned to the ground game, picking up 40 yards before Merchant hit McMaster on a 15-yard touchdown pass to go up 7-0 just past the midway point of the first quarter.
That lead wouldn't last long, however, as Jamie Henry picked off a pass from Merchant and took it back 60 yards to tie things up.
A good punt from Liegghio and strong punt coverage resulted in a single to close out the opening frame with the Mustangs up 8-7.
After a fairly even first quarter it was all Mustangs in the second frame, starting off with a 26-yard touchdown pass from Merchant to McMaster to put Western up 15-7 less than two minutes in.
Liegghio added another four points thanks to a single on the ensuing kickoff and then a 16-yard field goal to give the home side a 12-point lead.
The Mustangs continued to roll, with Valvano catching a five-yard pass from Bone to make it 26-7 before Liegghio connected on a 36-yard field goal to extend the lead even further.
Joseph rounded out the scoring in the quarter with an impressive 26-yard touchdown run after a long lateral from Merchant to give Western a 36-7 lead at the half.
The Mustangs didn't slow down after the break, with McMaster, Joseph, and John all finding the end zone, while Liegghio added three field goals to delight the Homecoming faithful with a 63-10 win.
"I think we had a really good game plan but that we left a lot of our game plan and we didn't call it because we didn't need too," said Marshall. "I think that it was smart because there are things that we saw that we could do, but we are going to come out against defenses that are very similar to Ottawa's down the road.
"At this point now we need to try some of the new stuff we put in, rep it in practice and get another week at it and have our full playbook. We really ran simple plays at them most of the game. I mean if you look at it other than a few different passes we ran four or five different plays.
Next up for the Mustangs is an OUA Semifinal matchup, with Western hosting the league's lowest remaining seed on Saturday, November 4, at TD Stadium. Check back to westernmustangs.ca following next Saturday's quarter-finals when the Mustangs opponent will be determined.
McMaster 15 Laurier 40
WATERLOO, Ont. (October 21, 2017) – Buoyed by record-setting performances from receiver Kurleigh Gittens Jr. and defensive lineman Robbie Smith, the No. 7 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s football team defeated the No. 5 McMaster Marauders 40-15 on Saturday afternoon at University Stadium to clinch second place in the OUA standings.
Gittens Jr., a native of Ottawa, led the Hawks’ offensive barrage against the second-ranked defence in the country as he had 10 catches for 114 yards and a touchdown. In the process, he became the U SPORTS single-season receptions leader with 75 and Laurier’s single-season receiving yards leader with 953.
Meanwhile, Smith, originally from Brampton, Ont., led a defensive effort that held the Marauders to just 15 points. Smith finished the game with 3.5 tackles, two sacks, one forced fumble and one pass breakup with his two sacks giving him 10.5 on the year to break the Hawks’ single-season record of 9.5.
“Massive win [for our team],” said head coach Michael Faulds. “This is the first time both “O” and “D” came together and both played well in the same week and this just proves what we can do if we do that.”
“It’s a honour [to set the records],” said Gittens Jr. on his performance this season. “I’m a little overwhelmed right now but our first goal was to just get the win and that’s what we got.”
“I just went out there and played,” said Smith on if he knew the record was on the line on Saturday. “It’s definitely a good thing but it’s not something that I was dying to get. But it’s a nice thing to have.”
With the winner of Saturday’s game securing a first round playoff bye, Laurier turned to rookie quarterback Tristan Arndtof London, Ont., for his first career start with regular starter Michael Knevel of Brantford, Ont., sidelined due to injury.
Arndt, going up against a McMaster defence that had allowed just 10 or more points on two occasions going into the game, didn’t show any signs of nerves as he completed 18 of his 23 passing attempts for 213 yards and three touchdowns. He also led the team in rushing, posting 65 yards on three carries, highlighted by a 53-yard touchdown run in the second quarter that gave Laurier a 21-7 advantage.
“He was unbelievable,” said Faulds on his young quarterback. “That’s why we recruited Tristan out of London. We knew he was a very mature individual. We knew he was very calm out there and we’ve groomed him for a couple of years. And you never know when you’re going to get your opportunity. And sure enough he played amazingly. He knows he didn’t have to do too much and all he had to do was spread the ball to our talented receivers.”
After stumbling last week against the Guelph Gryphons, the Hawks came out of the gate strong as Arndt connected with both Gittens Jr. and Mario Villamizar of St. Catharines, Ont., to give Laurier a 14-0 lead after the first quarter.
McMaster cut into the lead on the first play of the second quarter as rookie quarterback Jackson White of Cambridge, Ont., hit Dan Petermann of Stoney Creek, Ont., for a 98-yard major.
Laurier responded with Arndt’s touchdown run two possessions later while Nathan Mesher of Waterloo, Ont., added a field goal after Smith forced a McMaster fumble to stake the Hawks to a 24-7 lead at the half.
The third quarter was much of the same for the Hawks as Elijah Fera of Windsor, Ont., scored his first touchdown of the season before Arndt connected with Daniel Bennett of Scarborough, Ont., for another major. A conceded safety left Laurier with a 40-7 lead after three quarters, an advantage they would make hold up over the final 15 minutes to come away with their sixth win of the season.
With a bye secured through the OUA quarter-finals, Laurier will have two weeks to prepare for their semifinal game on Saturday, November 4.
York 27 Windsor 43
The Lancer Football team closed out the 2017 season with a convincing 43-27 victory over the York Lions Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field.
Both the Lancers and Lions finished the season with identical 1-7 records, and did not qualify for the post season.
Windsor took an early 7-0 lead just five minutes into the game when Sam Girard connected with Marvin Gaynor for a six yard touchdown. Following a 13-yard field goal by by Clark Green, the Lions brought the game within three with a 75-yard reception by Kadeem Hemmings.
York tied the game at ten early in the second, but the Lancers retaliated with ten straight points to take the lead that they were able to hold for the remainder of the game.
Girard, who returned to the Lancer line-up after missing the last six games with a shoulder injury, finished the game 14-for-23, with 285 yards and four touchdowns.
On the ground, Gaynor led the way for the Blue & Gold with 232 yards on 14 carries, while Marcus Kentner had 195 yards. In the air, Kaeden Walls caught the ball five times and finsihed the game with 167 yards.
Prior to the game, the Lancers honoured their graduating seniors.
Queen’s 59 Toronto 38
TORONTO (October 21, 2017) - The Gaels (4-4) went into Toronto (1-7) and closed out the OUA regular season with a 59-38 win over their Old Four rivals the Varsity Blues. The Gaels win, teamed with a Carleton loss to Guelph secure the Tricolour the sixth and final playoff spot.
It was all Toronto early in the game as the Gaels were forced to punt on their first two possessions and Toronto capitalized with touchdowns on each occurrence. The second was a Nick Stadnyk 22-yard pass from Clay Sequeira giving Toronto a 14-0 lead.
The Gaels were quick to respond as Nate Hobbs (Mississauga, Ont.) connected with Chris Osei-Kusi (Brampton, Ont.) for a 73-yard touchdown to cut the lead down to just one score.
With their playoff hopes on the line, the Queen's offence turned up the heat on Toronto.
Hobbs connected with Connor Weir (Waterloo, Ont.) near the end of the first quarter and opened up the second frame with unanswered touchdown passes to Matteo Del Brocco (Leamington, Ont.) and Jake Puskus (Thunder Bay, Ont.) giving Queen's a 28-14 lead.
The defence then got themselves on the board as Nelkas Kwemo (Montreal) picked off Christian Krcilek and took it 61-yard for a touchdown.
Heading into halftime Queen's was ahead 38-21.
The Gaels added another three scores in the second half as Osei-Kusi picked up his second major while Hobbs and Puskus each ran in scores of their own.
On the day, Hobbs finished with five touchdown passes and one rushing score.
BY THE NUMBERS
4 - Straight wins for the Gaels
21 - OUA leading touchdown passes for Hobbs
5 - Straight games with 100+ yards rushing as a starter for Puskus
7 - Touchdown receptions for Osei-Kusi to lead all OUA receivers