Wendel, Stewart continue to dazzle even in defeat
Photo: Tasha Falconer (The Ontarion)
The Gee-Gees football team took to the road to take on one of the hottest teams in the nation. The Guelph Gryphons came into the weekend with an undefeated 4-0 record and they would not settle for a loss against the visiting Gees. Guelph got the Gee-Gees on the ropes early, and handed them a 48-26 loss.
In a matter of minutes at the beginning of the game, Guelph capitalized on the Gee-Gee offence’s slow start by forcing deep zone punts. Each of the Gryphons’ early drives resulted in a touchdown as they jumped out to a staggering 28-0 lead with barely any time off the clock. Reeling from these miscues, the Gees had to patch together small drives to keep the Guelph offence off of the gas pedal.
Inability to get the ball moving was the story of the first half for the Gees. Once the second half came, the Gees were able to move the ball more effectively but couldn’t dig themselves out of the hole that they found themselves in.
Quarterback Derek Wendel and wide receiver Ian Stewart continued to put up impressive numbers despite the loss. The Gee-Gees game manager amassed an impressive 471 yards and three touchdowns making Wendel the number one overall passer in the nation. Stewart had 113 yards and two touchdowns bringing the fifth-year receiver’s total to five on the season, which is good enough for third in the country.
Ultimately the only numbers that matter for the Gee-Gees are the ones on the scoreboard, and the game was simply not a good enough performance and the team now sits at 2-2 after losses to McMaster and Guelph. The team’s schedule isn’t much easier but games against weaker competition like Carleton, Laurier, and Toronto will help pave a way to the playoffs.
One worry for the team may be the injuries sustained against Guelph, with defensive ends Sam Randazzo and Osas Obas both leaving the game banged up. If the injuries keep them out of the lineup next week it should make room for first-year Charles Bender of Austin, Texas to make an impact on the defensive line.
Despite a disappointing start to the game, the Gee-Gees are still one of the stronger teams in the country. Unfortunately, with the difficulty of their schedule, the team just couldn’t pull off a win.
Up next for the Gee-Gees is the infamous Panda Game, arguably the biggest regular season college football game in Canada. The Ravens are coming off of a 70-14 thrashing by the Western Mustangs at their homecoming. The game is expected to meet or exceed last year’s attendance of 12,500 at TD Place.