Lancers end Gees’ hopes of Yates Cup appearance
ON OCT. 29, the University of Ottawa men’s football team (5-4) hosted the Windsor Lancers (5-3) at Frank Clair Stadium for the second time in two weeks. While the Gees managed to pull out a 32-30 win in the earlier matchup, the tables were turned in their most recent game as the Windsor group effectively ended the Gee-Gees’ playoff run—handing out a decisive 50-33 loss to the home team in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) football quarter final game.
The tone of the game was set early, when a Lancers receiver caught a 24-yard touchdown pass after less than three minutes of play. Adding to their initial lead, Windsor’s offence defeated the Gees with another two touchdowns, two field goals, and a massive 343 offensive yard gain in the first half.
As the Garnet and Grey could muster only a single touchdown and field goal in response, the first half ended with the Lancers up 34-10.
“Credit to [the Lancers’] offence,” said Gees head coach Jean-Philippe Asselin. “They came in with a good game plan and made some big plays, mostly in the first quarter, and that put us out of our game plan. It was tough to come back from that.”
Second-year receiver Justene Edwards helped the Gees begin the second half on better terms, as he returned the opening kickoff all the way to the Lancer’s 17-yard line, and caught a touchdown pass in the end zone less than a minute later.
Motivated by Edwards’ performance, the latter half of the game saw stronger play from the home team on both sides of the ball, as they managed to limit the Lancers’ offensive production and capitalize on their own red-zone drives.
Although the Gees outscored the visitors 13-0 in the fourth quarter, it was the Lancers that prevailed, relying on their athletic defence and aggressive offensive play-calling right until the final whistle.
“They prepared for us pretty well—their defence showed us some things we hadn’t seen all season,” said Gee-Gees fourth-year tailback Mark Stephenson after the loss. “Their athletes played really well against ours.”
Despite acknowledging the Lancers’ strong play, Stephenson was still disappointed to be exiting the playoffs so early.
“I feel like we definitely didn’t play as well as we could have,” said Stephenson. “We played these guys in week seven and we didn’t play as well as we could have then. We ended up taking it by two points. We just didn’t do enough today.”
With the Lancers victory, they will move on to face the top-seated University of Western Ontario Mustangs in one of the two OUA semifinal matches on Nov. 5. The Gees, on the other hand, enter their off-season with higher hopes for next year.
“We’re a young team,” said Asselin. “I thought we could do better, but we’ll keep building and we’ll keep improving.”