U of O ekes out win over Gryphons at home to improve to 2-1
The weather was much improved over last week’s match as the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees football team took the field against the Guelph Gryphons for their third game of the season on Sept.8.
The Gee-Gees, coming off a short week after narrowly beating McMaster in its last match, again just edged out the opposing Gryphons 12-10 to improve to a 2-1 record.
The game was a back-and-forth defensive battle throughout, with a mere safety being the difference for the Gee-Gees in what turned out to be a nail-biting finish.
“(The defence) really hung in there, and the thing is we had to replace some guys, and the guys that have stepped in have done well, and I give them a lot of credit,” Gee-Gees head coach Jamie Barresi said.
First-year quarterback Sawyer Buettner got the start over second-year Alex Lavric.
In his first game versus McMaster, Buettner went 5-for-10 for 134 yards and two touchdowns, ultimately winning the game for the Gee-Gees.
Lavric, who had started the first two games, went 6-for-15 before being swapped out in the second half of last week’s game.
Buettner had a solid start versus the Gryphons under centre, leading the offence down the field for a touchdown on their first drive of the day.
While he didn’t throw for any touchdown passes this time around, he had an accurate game, going 22-for-28 with 228 yards.
“You know what, the atmosphere that Sawyer brought was very positive, he led the guys a lot,” Gee-Gees back Dawson Odei said. “He brought us together. Hopefully the more experience he gets, the more we’ll be able to click, click, and then eventually we’ll come down to it.”
It was Odei who ended up being the real dynamic offensive weapon with 153 yards on the ground off 30 carries, as well as four catches for 36 yards.
He also scored the lone Gee-Gees touchdown, while Zeph Fraser would score the only major for the Gryphons off a huge 85-yard touchdown pass.
There would be no touchdowns scored after that, with both teams engaged in a tug-of-war for superior field possession throughout the second half.
A huge factor here was special teams, with the U of O bringing Loic Legendre out on the field to punt the ball 14 times, often from deep in his own zone to try and push the Gryphons back.
“(Legendre) did a pretty good job under the situation,” Barresi said. “Whether you know it or not, there’s a bit of a breeze coming this way, and I thought he did as much as he could with that. He’s been pretty good for us.”
Special teams was also crucial on the other side of the ball, with the Gee-Gees blocking the Gryphons’ kick with one minute to go in the game after a previous missed field goal opportunity to seal this one and just squeeze out the win at the end.
Next up, the Gee-Gees have a much-needed bye week before they prepare for their next match against the York Lions.
“It gives us a chance to get some guys healthy. It kind of puts us ahead a little bit in terms of the other teams, and it’s a really competitive league. Getting a break now is going to be a huge thing for us,” Barresi said.
The Gee-Gees will square off against the Lions on Sept. 22 at home once again. Grab tickets to the game here.