Photo: Remi Yuan.
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Mustangs make light work of ninth-ranked Gees ahead of playoff push

Following a redemptive win over York, the Gee-Gees football team was taken to the woodshed by a powerful Western Mustangs squad on Saturday, Oct. 15.

The final score aptly represented the Gees’ struggles throughout the game, as the nationally third-ranked Mustangs rolled to a 68–17 win at Gee-Gees Field.

From the opening kickoff, Western stole the momentum immediately and scored touchdowns on their first two drives.

The Gee-Gees defence was pounded on the ground early and often, taking far too long to place any pressure on the Mustangs.

Western utilized their potent rushing attack to bait the Gee-Gees into biting on play-action plays time and time again.

The offence didn’t sustain their first scoring drive until early in the second quarter. Unfortunately for the Gees, they were only able to muster another two scoring drives in the game.

Ottawa’s lack of size and execution were the key factors that lead to the embarrassing loss.

Fifth-year senior quarterback Derek Wendel had a somewhat pedestrian day considering his stellar season, passing for 228 yards and one touchdown, picking up another on the ground.

Fellow fifth-year receiver Mitch Baines had the best day on the Gee-Gees offence, reeling in six passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. Baines leads the nation in receptions and yards and ranks second in touchdowns and yards per game, categories he could lead by season’s end.

Western racked up 733 yards of total offence, essentially giving the Gee-Gees no chance at catching up or establishing a lead.

“I expected us to be better than this,” said head coach Jamie Barresi. “We were playing for everything here today and I didn’t expect this to be the outcome.”

“You’ve gotta be able to stay on the field and sustain a drive and against these guys, it’s hard,” Barresi added.

Provided a win, the Gee-Gees would have secured a home playoff game and a first-round bye. But in the wake of this blowout,  the waters are much muddier for the team.

They will play another big game on Oct. 22 against a Queen’s team that has improved as the year progressed. Sitting at 3–4, the Gaels are on the brink of sneaking into the playoffs and a win over the Gee-Gees would go a long way in their pursuit.

“We’re going to have to be ready for a real tough game,” said Barresi. “We’ve beat Queen’s the last two years, but there’s no guarantee. They’re ready to play us.”

Even though the Gee-Gees have already secured a playoff spot, their post-regular season position is still unknown. The likelihood of a quarterfinal matchup with archrival Carleton is looming much heavier than previously anticipated.

Regardless of what happens in the rankings, a solid performance against Queen’s is essential to establishing momentum for the playoffs.

After a blowout it’s all about how you respond, and the Gee-Gees need a big response against  Kingston.

Kickoff at Richardson Stadium is set for 1 p.m. The game will be broadcasted live on