Last airing of the Wendel-Stewart show dazzles
After a turbulent season, the Gee-Gees football team saved one of their most emphatic wins until the bitter end.
Coming into their last regular season game against the Toronto Varsity Blues, the Gees had a slim hope for a ticket to the playoffs. All they needed to do was win, and they did 45-9. Unfortunately they also needed Queen’s to also win, but they were blown out by Laurier.
Ultimately, the Gee-Gees were responsible for their own playoff fate, for not capitalizing in games they were projected to win against Carleton and Laurier. Now they are forced to reflect on what went wrong in a season that had so much potential at the start.
In the Gees’ swan song, veteran quarterback Derek Wendel had another defining performance, highlighting a record-shattering season that has become easily overlooked due to the team’s struggles.
Wendel, like in most other games this year, came out bombing early and often. Once he found his rhythm, he connected with favourite target Ian Stewart for a picturesque 90-yard dart for a touchdown.
Throughout the game, he would continually put points on the board and his name in the record books. With his 564 yards and four touchdowns in the air, and 53 yards and one touchdown on the ground, Wendel’s genesis to an elite quarterback was complete.
Of the records to fall in the game Wendel broke his own mark for most passing yards in a game (542), and then broke the conference record in the same category.
Wendel was taken out of the game before any national records could fall, but head coach Jamie Barresi allowed him to go back in and get the records.
He proceeded to break the national record for completions in a season, total attempts, and, the crown jewel of them all, possession of most yards in a season.
“We were rolling on offence,” Wendel told Sports Services. “It was a bit distracting but we stayed focused; as you can see by the result. It’s a great feeling, it would have been better if we would have made (the playoffs).”
“I’m still happy to be a part of this team. We had a great season and I feel great right now that coach gave me a chance to get a couple yards at the end.”
It was not only Wendel that collected records on the day, fifth-year wide receiver Ian Stewart also etched his name in the record books.
He broke the school record for most receiving yards in a season, and also became the first Gee-Gee to ever rack up 1,000 receiving yards. As his career in garnet and grey comes to a close, the game surely left him with a fond memory to reflect on.
Although the season was disappointing in many respects, there were many highlights and the Gees have left much to look forward to for next season.
Kickoff on a new season may be a long 10 months away, but there is great hope for Gee-Gees football to return to their dominant ways with a fresh team.