Gee-Gees beat Gaels, finish regular season 6-2
The Gee-Gees football team has clinched second place in the OUA following a close 27-22 win on Oct. 20 over the Queen’s Gaels.
It was a cool, crisp day for the Gee-Gees’ last match of the regular season at the new-and-improved Richardson Memorial Stadium, and the Garnet and Grey just happened to be in town for the notorious Queen’s homecoming game.
The Gee-Gees, having already secured a playoff berth, were now just fighting for second place in the OUA conference and a first-round bye.
“It’s very important. So many things are a positive right now, obviously they should be proud of the fact that they earned a bye,” Gee-Gees head coach Jamie Barresi said. “And secondly, to go 6-2 in this conference is quite a feat, so they have to be proud of that.”
The 3-4 Gaels on the other hand had everything to lose.. In addition to a win, they would have needed victories from Western, Windsor, and Guelph to make it into the playoffs.
The Gee-Gees came in with one of the best defences in the province, ranking third in points scored through seven, and fifth in yards allowed per game. They also led the OUA in total interceptions.
Meanwhile, veteran Gaels quarterback Nate Hobbs came in one of the leading passers in the OUA with 339 yards per game. It was something like the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object.
Hobbs, playing in what turned out to be his last football game for Queen’s, looked poised to stay alive late in the game, completing a huge fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Chris Osei-Kusi to keep the Gaels in the game.
Unfortunately for them, around the same time the final score from the Windsor game came in, showing the McMaster Marauders winning 17-7 over Windsor, squashing the Gaels’ hopes of a playoff bid.
Still, they were in a position to knock the Gee-Gees down a peg, but ended up running out of time.
Nevertheless, the Gaels gave them a tough test. Starting quarterback Sawyer Buettner had just 105 yards passing through three quarters, along with two interceptions, forcing Barresi to swap him in for Alex Lavric late in the game.
“We had to make a move, because we weren’t moving the ball very well, and we had some situations where guys were open, and we just had to get it straightened out. I had to put Alex in, and he’s a guy with a big, big arm … and he was pretty calm for the most part,” Barresi said. “It’s a juggling act, and I’d prefer to have one guy, but we did what we had to do there.”
Lavric threw for 66 yards off nine completions after coming in, helping keep the Gee-Gees on top after a late Gaels surge.
Dawson Odei also had another strong game for the Gees, gaining 115 yards off 21 carries, including some big late runs to help run the clock.
“Any team, you want to be able to run the ball, and I wouldn’t even give it off to myself, it starts with the O-line … that’s when you get movement,” Odei said. “So I mean as a running team you start coming in when the O-Line’s there. Our guys are getting good, and they’ve been in the program a while, and everything’s getting better and better.”
With the win, the U of O finishes their regular season 6-2, good for second place in the OUA behind the top-ranked Western Mustangs.This earns them the first-round bye next week, where they will wait to play the highest-seeded advancing team from the quarter-finals.