Gees kicker nails field goal to secure victory
IT WAS A windy afternoon when the Gee-Gees men’s football team (5-2) took to the field at Frank Clair Stadium to face off against the visiting University of Windsor Lancers (4-3) on Oct. 15. In front of a small but boisterous crowd the home team prevailed 32-30 in a hard-fought game against the steadily improving Lancers.
It was the Lancers first out of the gate, as they managed to jump on a mishandled snap in the Gees’ end zone in the third play of the game. The successful convert put the visitors up 7-0 after only a minute of play.
Once the initial embarrassment passed, things settled down for the Gees as the team reacted to a second Lancer touchdown and field goal with a pair of of their own. Third-year running back Brandon Gillanders scored both of the Gees’ touchdowns in the first half, and fourth-year kicker Matthew Falvo was good on both of his field goal attempts. The Garnet and Grey entered the second half with a slight lead, up 20-17.
“We couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start there,” said Falvo. “We fumbled in our own end zone and gave up a touchdown, but we showed a lot of resilience in coming back.”
The second half saw the lead switch four times as the evenly matched offences scored. With the Lancers up 30-29, fourth-year quarterback Aaron Colbon led a 66-yard drive that landed the Gees on the opposition’s 10-yard line with seconds to play.
With the game hanging in the balance, Falvo laced an 11-yard field goal through the uprights to win the game 32-30. Not only did Falvo’s kick clinch the game for the Garnet and Grey, but the field goal was the 54th of his career, which ties him with former Gees kicker Ara Tchobanian for the school’s record.
“Tchobanian is actually one of my best friends, and he was kind of like a mentor to me when he was here,” explained Falvo after the game. “I know he had a really, really great career, so it’s pretty cool that he’s standing right there with me.”
Although there were areas of the Gee-Gees’ game that needed improvement—such as their turnovers and inability to capitalize in the red zone—Ottawa’s successful offence gained 526 yards in the game and was 3-3 on third downs.
Gees head coach Jean-Philippe Asselin noted it was important for his team to have pulled out a win in a close game, as most of their matchups this season have resulted in one-sided blowouts.
“I think that’s very key,” said Asselin after the victory. “Going down the line, we’re going to play tough teams. I think for young players to experience what we experienced in the fourth quarter is key.”
“You try to recreate those things in practice, but you can’t; you have to live it and that’s what we did today.”
The Gees travel to Hamilton to play the McMaster Marauders (6-1) on Oct. 22 in their final regular season game.