U of O’s offence continued to struggle in home playoff appearance
After a weak defensive performance in the first quarter of their quarterfinal game against the Guelph Gryphons, the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees have been eliminated from the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) playoffs.
At first blush, it was set to be a tight game between the two teams. Both came into the game with 5-3 records, and when the two played in the regular season, the game was as close as it could have been, with the Gee-Gees taking the game 24-21 in double overtime.
However, the momentum was on Guelph’s side, ending the season with three straight wins. Ottawa, meanwhile, has been struggling with its offence all season, a problem that would carry over to its playoff game with Guelph.
The Gees, however, went 3-0 at home leading up to the game, and wanted to keep it going as they played their first home playoff game in six years, and the first at Lees field.
It was a rough start to the game for the Gee-Gees. Their defence had their hands full with the Guelph offence, and it showed on the scoreboard. Gryphons kicker Gabriel Ferraro started off the scoring early in the first quarter, followed by Guelph’s Jacob Scarfone scoring a touchdown to make it 10-0 with five minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Defensive breakdowns and unnecessary roughing penalties didn’t do the Gees any favour, as Guelph would jump to a 20-0 lead before the end of the first quarter, while the Gees’ offence barely touched the ball.
The Gees managed to stop the bleeding in the second. U of O kicker Lewis Ward got the Gees on the board early on, though the Gryphons answered to hold the game steady at 23-3.
Gees fans were holding their breath as Carter Matheson went down after a big hit, but he returned to the game soon after.
The Gees had a good rush after an interception by Ty Cranston, followed a tricky play that saw Cody Cranston go deep into Gryphons territory. But rookie quarterback Alex Lavric struggled to put any more passes away to get to the end zone, and another kick from Ward closed the gap a little to 23-6 before the end of the second quarter.
Things got off to a shaky start in the third quarter. Scarfone actually took the ball into the end zone, but it was called back after a penalty and didn’t count. The Gees then took a penalty for roughing the kicker, giving the Gryphons another shot at a touchdown, but they had to settle for a field goal to make it 26-6.
Later in the third frame, Ferrero made a 45 yard field goal to push the score to 29-6. Early in the game, the Gees got to 29-8 after a safety, but struggled to get their offence going, and saw Gees quarterback Lavric go off on an injury to his hand. Ryan Astrom stepped in as QB, and made some quick passes to Matheson to get to the Gryphons’ doorstep, but couldn’t put the ball home.
The Gees continued to try and get some offence going, but nothing came of it.
In the end, they dropped the game 30-8 and were eliminated from the playoffs.