With a 24-21 double-overtime win on the road, facing a team with Yates Cup contention expectations—the Gee-Gees football team showed they’re ready for the new season.
Fifth-year kicker Lewis Ward has been coming up big for the Gee-Gees nearly his whole career. In the team’s season opener, Ward showed why he is one of the best kickers in the nation, as he was responsible for punching in 18 of the team’s points, six of which coming in overtime.
Despite his stellar effort, Ward is not solely responsible for the win. He shares the spotlight with the Gee-Gees defence that looked as promising as ever to start the year.
It was the defence that stifled Guelph early and gave the Ottawa offence time to find some footing. However, after fifth-year quarterback Victor Twynstra was injured in the second quarter of his first career start, the defence amped up another notch.
19-year-old freshman quarterback Alex Lavric was tossed into action for the Gee-Gees and was able to show why he was brought in to be the future under centre for Ottawa. Lavric was calm and composed, efficiently cutting up Guelph’s defence and putting his team in a position to score. Lavric finished 16-22 with 132 yards in his debut.
At this point, the team will have to evaluate Twynstra’s injury and see if he is fit to return to action next week. Although the offence was held without a touchdown, there are plenty of positives to take away from their effort.
Fifth-year seniors Nick Dagher and Tyler McLaren were favourite targets with 60 yards and 58 yards receiving, the pair will be essential to the team’s success going forward this year.
If the Gee-Gees defence can keep up their top-to-bottom strength, the offence will have the time to find their gear. Performances by Khadim Cheickh Mbaye, Jamie Harry, Luke Ffrench, and Ricardo Lubin were instrumental in the win.
The defence held Guelph quarterback James Roberts under 100 passing yards until deep in the fourth quarter, when a 74-yard pass resulted in the Gryphons’ first offensive touchdown.
Despite it not being a flashy win, the grit and determination displayed was the catalyst for the team’s win.
The Gee-Gees head back to Ottawa to prepare for their home opener against Queen’s on Sept. 4 at Gee-Gees Field. Kickoff for the game will be at 2 p.m. tickets are available at tickets.geegees.ca.