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Third-ranked McMaster ends Gees’ solid season in Hamilton

Photo by Rémi Yuan

You could describe the Gee-Gees’ 2014 football season in many ways, but you can’t say it was disappointing.

After a statement win against Windsor in the quarterfinals, the Gee-Gees took to the road once again and played the third-best team in the country. The entire season they had been underappreciated, even when they beat the very same McMaster team a few short weeks ago. Despite being on the short end of a 42-31 final score, they walked away knowing they belong among the nation’s elite.

From kickoff, the Gees came out fighting. After a first quarter filled with punts and turnovers neither team was able to take a lead.

Early in the second quarter, the Marauders finally broke the stalemate and ran with it. They put up 18 unanswered points, and become so dominant that it looked as if the Gees were already out of the match. That was until the garnet and grey seemingly flipped a switch, storming back with 13 points of their own before the half.

In the third, the Gees continued their assault, building up a 28-19 lead over a stunned Mac defence. But the Marauders were only shaken for so long, as Gees’ quarterback Derek Wendel became heavily rushed and ended up on the turf multiple times.

In the final frame, Mac was able to slowly put points up and tie the game with 10 minutes remaining. They got two touchdowns in the waning seconds of the game to seal the win.

Wendel was sensational for the Gee-Gees, posting 443 passing yards and three touchdowns, including 187 yards to receiver Ian Stewart, who caught two of the touchdowns.

Defensively, all-Canadian linebacker Nick Lecour and breakout freshman cornerback Jackson Bennett were key in holding back the surging Marauders.

McMaster will now go on to the Yates Cup final to play Guelph, with the winner moving forward to play for the national Vanier Cup championship.

The Gees-Gees have reason to be optimistic going into the next season. They will return a vast majority of starters, including key offensive players Derek Wendel and Bryce Vieira. Barring potential defensive struggles due to the loss of some key players to graduation this offseason, the team should look to become contenders on a national level.