CIS

A 65-30 defeat dashes team’s playoff hopes, raises questions

Photo: Marta Kierkus

After falling flat on their face from the opening whistle, the Gee-Gees watched their playoff aspirations fly away with the Laurier Golden Hawks.

An embarrassing 35-point loss proves that the team is not what they appeared to be at the start of the year. After a strong showing in the early part of the season, many thought the Gee-Gees could do serious damage in the playoffs—but after facing off against Laurier, they’ve only damaged their pride and any shot at contention.

Going into Friday night’s road game against Laurier, it was a classic ‘win-and-you’re-in’ situation. Both teams sat at 2-3 on the year, but after this win Laurier has the chance to turn their season around and will likely claim the sixth and final playoff spot in the conference.

From the first quarter, the Golden Hawks offence was firing on all cylinders, taking advantage of gaping holes in the Gee-Gees defence. In a major blow to the Gees’ usual strategy, Laurier didn’t let quarterback Derek Wendel get any kind of rhythm in the first half.

To top it off, Laurier’s superstar running back Dillon Campbell pounded the Gee-Gee defensive line and tallied a baffling 246 yards on 37 carries.

The Gees came out in the second half down 41-10 and seemed to play with a higher sense of urgency, but penalties and turnovers killed their will to fight back.

After a small ‘garbage time’ push, the Golden Hawks secured the 65-30 win and an all-but-guaranteed playoff berth. On the other hand, the Gee-Gees were sent back to Ottawa licking their wounds and surely reflecting on a failed season that is two games from its conclusion.

More than anything, the team is left with a handful of pressing questions. How did this happen? Where did the defence go? Where do they go from here?

Finding answers to these questions will be difficult, as they have another two matchups against teams that are not likely to fold over to them.

Next on schedule for the Gees is the powerhouse Western Mustangs, a team sitting at 6-0 and averaging 64.2 points per game. After being slaughtered by a team like Laurier, it remains to be seen whether the Gees will even put up a fight.

Head coach Jamie Barresi will have to return to the drawing board. Luckily the Gees are still a young enough unit at their core that success for the team next year wouldn’t be shocking.

Some will blame the tough schedule, others will blame injuries—but at the end of the day, if this team wanted to be elite, they wouldn’t have games that looked as bad as this one.

Kickoff at Western is on Oct. 17 at 1 p.m. the game will be broadcasted live on OUA.tv