The Ottawa Gee-Gees used a huge second quarter to score a 41-17 win over the visiting Queen’s Gaels in front of an appreciative crowd on opening day at Gee-Gees Field. Ottawa scored 34 points in the second quarter to take control of the game.
The Gee-Gees offence came out blazing obtaining four straight first downs on its first possession, but Ottawa was unable to score once in the red zone. The first quarter was a showcase for both defences in which the Gaels opened up the scoring on a field goal to lead 3-0 after one quarter. Gee-Gees head coach Jamie Barresi seemed pleased with the efforts put on by his defence. “I think our defence played fairly well. I was very impressed by what they did. Queen’s is a very good running team.“ Gaels running back Jesse Andrews still obtained 112 yards on the ground but Barresi felt that his defence managed to "at times somewhat nullify” the Gaels’ rushing attack.
“The game plan today was to win and plan B was to execute plan A,” said defensive lineman Rashid Timbilla, who had two of Ottawa’s five sacks in the game. The floodgates opened up for the Grey and Garnet’s offence in the second quarter.
The Gee-Gees scored their first points of the season on a highlight reel touchdown catch by receiver Tristan Bailey. Following a strip sack of Gaels quarterback, Nate Hobbs and a Lewis Ward field goal, Ottawa’s Wendel once again found the end zone, this time using his legs to score the touchdown. Wendel then found receiver Mitchell Baines twice for touchdowns including a terrific 42-yard bomb. The two touchdowns were part of a 4-touchdown day for Wendel who threw for 3 and ran for one.
Baines, starting his fourth season, finished with 62 yards and 2 touchdowns while his teammate Ian Stewart also had a solid game obtaining 113 yards on 7 receptions. However, the offensive star belonged to running back Bryce Vieira who had a massive game. Vieira ran for 110 yards and had another 93 receiving. Though he didn’t find the end zone the Gee-Gee made several highlight reel plays and was named Offensive Player of the game for the Garnet and Grey.
Vieira attributed his success to the offensive line, a group with who he now has complete faith in. “I remember at the beginning of training camp, I was hesitant because there was a lot of youth coming into the line but they did a great job. They made some great holes,” said the running back.
Despite the fact his team finished with 553 offensive yards, 5 sacks, 2 fumble recovery and an interception, Barresi is still looking for more out of his players. “ We still have a long way to go. We’re not running the way I want them to run and our tempo has to be much better.”
“Offensively I thought the execution was good for different periods. I’m going to be upset about our goal line execution I know I’m not too happy about that. That’s two scores that got away from us,” shared Barresi. Wendel shared similar thoughts as his coach but thought the lack of offence in short yardage situation was more self-inflicted than anything else. “I think it was our own fault. We have to make throws and get all the blocks down.”
After the initial field goal, Queen’s was held off the scoreboard until the 3:22 mark in the third quarter when Curtis Carmichael caught a nine yard pass for a major. Hobbs would add a rushing touchdown midway through the fourth quarter.
The Gee-Gees will now travel to Hamilton for a rematch against the team that eliminated them from the playoffs last year, the McMaster Marauders.