Playoffs now a long shot for the Gees
Maclaine Chadwick | Fulcrum Staff
In the second home game of the season, the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees were defeated by the Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks. The Gees, who were in desperate need of a win for a better chance at making the playoffs, lost the game with a score of 35-27.
The game started off in strong favour of the Gee-Gees. Fourth-year quarterback Aaron Colbon exploited weaknesses in the Hawks’ defence and completed a 106-yard touchdown pass to rookie slotback Vincent Campbell in the first minute of play.
It didn’t take long for Laurier to catch up though, and the Gee-Gees lost their lead early in the second quarter when Laurier’s Josh Pirie caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Steve Fantham.
It was a rough game for both teams, who had flags flying during many plays. “The penalties just killed us. We play as a team and have a great atmosphere, but the penalties are just really bad,” said Campbell after the game.
The Gees were set back further when Colbon was put out of the game with a thumb injury.
“When we lost our starting quarterback, it was significant, but his replacement, a rookie, did a very good job given the circumstances,” said coach Gary Etcheverry, referring to first-year quarterback Zac Lesko.
“I was really nervous coming in, but after the first couple plays it felt just like high school and every other time I’ve played football,” said Lesko, who played for almost the entire second half the game.
At the start of the second half ,the Gee-Gees were in the lead with a score of 19-17, but two plays by fifth-year linebacker Tyler Sawyer—he forced two fumbles from Laurier and the Gees capitalized off the turnovers by kicking two field goals—brought the score to 25-17.
Laurier pulled through to score a touchdown and a field goal and increased their lead to 35-25 with only six minutes left in the game. Ottawa scored two points after blocking a punt for a safety, but was unable to secure any further points in the final minutes.
While a win for the 0-4 Gees was crucial this weekend, there is still a chance they will make the playoffs.
“I’ve been here for five years and we’ve made the playoffs every year,” said fifth-year linebacker Trevor Seal. “But you know, at this point in the year it’s not all about making the playoffs … it’s about going week to week and being able to give your best. Seeing every game now is almost your last opportunity to play a game that you love; it’s obviously disappointing not making playoffs, but you still wake up every Saturday looking forward to playing.”
The Gee-Gees football team will be on the road for the next two weekends, playing the Queen’s University Gaels at Richardson Stadium on September 29 and the University of Toronto Varsity Blues at Varsity Stadium in Toronto on October 6. The Gees will be back to playing at Beckwith Park on Oct. 13, against the University of Waterloo Warriors.