Francis Perron took to the field one last time in Kingston
Francis Perron took the field one last time in Kingston. Although he may not have been physically present this windy Saturday, his spirit was. Led on the field by his teammates, Perron’s jersey was laid on the turf in his usual position for kickoff. The jersey laid on the field as kicker Campbell Fair stood in position and let the play clock run down.
As the clock struck zero, a yellow flag was thrown on the field. His teammates picked up his jersey, holding it as if it was an injured teammate they walked off the field. The Gaels declined the penalty.
Francis played his last play.
His spirit entrenched forever in his teammates’ souls.
Coming off an 11-10 loss against Toronto to kick off the season, the Gee-Gees were looking to redeem themselves against the 1-0 Queen’s Gaels.
For Queen’s University, this was their home opener, and they had momentum from a win over the Carleton Ravens in week one.
Queen’s was first on offence, and Rasheed Tucker made multiple gains with a strong running game, bringing the team into the redzone. The Gees were able to keep anyone with a gold jersey out of their end zone, and a stoppage on third down put the ball in U of O quarterback Ben Maracle’s hands.
Not much came from that possession, and the next time the Gee-Gees offence was on the field, a Gaels defender managed to get a hand on the ball as Maracle threw. Nolan Bedard snagged the ball and set up the drive for the Gaels.
Queen’s continued their drive into the second quarter, and James Keenan found Richard Burton in the end zone for a 24 yard touchdown.
Nick Liberatore’s kick was good, making it 7-0 for Queen’s early in the second quarter.
The Gee-Gees spent the entire second quarter on their side of the field as they faced many penalty calls. A blocked punt set up the Gaels on the U of O 28 yard line, a drive that led to their second touchdown.
The Gee-Gees offence was back on the field, but the second interception thrown by Maracle put the Gaels in a first and goal situation.
The U of O kept the Gaels out of the end zone on the first attempt, but on their second play, Konner Burtenshaw had an easy gap to run through. After the kick by Liberatore, the score was 21-0.
The Gee-Gees offence found themselves stuck in their own end zone on third down, forced to take a safety. This added two points to Queen’s lead.
The next offensive position looked much better for the U of O . A pair of completed passes and some rushing yards out of J-P Cimankinda got them on Queen’s side of the field with three minutes to work with.
Unfortunately, the Gee-Gees did not make it to the end zone and it remained 23-0 for Queens going into halftime.
The Gee-Gees received the ball to open up the second half. On second down, the Gaels found their way inside the pocket to takedown Maracle.
The Gaels quickly found themselves right at the Gee-Gees four yard line, thanks to a 37 yard rush by Tucker. Burtenshaw finished up the drive with a run to the end zone.
Down 30-0 heading into the last quarter of play, the Gee-Gees had to make up a lot of ground.
In the final quarter, the Gees were able to prevent Queen’s from expanding their lead but could not get any momentum going on offence.
It was only in the final minutes of play that the U of O put numbers on the scoreboard. It was the Gee-Gees’ second string quarterback, Matt Mahler, who found Nathan Walker in the endzone for the touchdown. Campbell Fair’s extra point attempt was clean.
The tough loss ended at 30-7 in favour of the Gaels.
The next time the Gee-Gees play is in TD Place for the highly anticipated Panda Game on Oct. 2. The Carleton Ravens are sitting at 0-1, and Panda could be the boost the U of O needs to turn the season around.