The mid-season clash between no. 5 ranked Guelph and no. 9 ranked Ottawa was not as close as many had hoped, as the Gee-Gees trip to the Royal City ended in a 46-28 Guelph win.
Guelph opened up the scoring with a touchdown on their first drive, which led to the opening of the floodgates. The Gryphons then scored again on their second drive and again on their first play of the third drive following a Derek Wendel interception. With a three-touchdown deficit in the early goings of the first quarter, the Gee-Gees needed to get in rhythm, something the highly touted Gryphons defence did not allow them to do until late in the first half.
“A few mistakes were exposed. Wrong coverage, bad tackling, that kind of thing. They were able to capitalize on that,” said defensive lineman Rashid Timbilla about being down early.
Linebacker Brendan Beaudry was one of the bright spots for the Gee-Gees as he finished with 13 total tackles including 6 solos, 7 assisted and 3 for a loss, one of which was a sack.
Beaudry seemingly found ways to get involve in plays or make stops when the Ottawa defence needed it the most. Ty Cranston and Rashid Timbilla also contributed to some key stops for the Gee-Gees.
Despite the blowout, Timbilla still says there are some positives that can be taken away because other than the three touchdowns, the game was much more “controlled” and “In the second half they only scored one touchdown.”
Kalem Beaver provided occasional sparks for his team with huge returns. Beaver finished with 107 kick return yards but the offence never seemed to capitalize on the field position he obtained.
On paper the offence had a nice day; quarterback Derek Wendel threw for a season high 471 yards. Mitchell Baines and Ian Stewart finished with an identical 113 yards. However, Wendel only completed 58.5 per cent of his passes and most of the yards were gained in the late goings of the game when Guelph had a comfortable advance.
Timbilla said the defeat and frustrations couldn’t be attributed to only one side of the ball. “We’re one team. When it comes down to it. We made the mistakes. After the first quarter, realistically the game was more controlled and more in our favour.”
Due to the early deficit, the Gee-Gees all but abandoned the running game. Running back Bryce Vieira finished with 11 rushes for 39 yards. Ottawa also had some self-inflicted wounds as they had 13 penalties for 106 yards – a season high.
With the loss the Garnet and Grey is back at .500 with a 2-2 record. They will look to get ahead in the win column as the next they return to the nation’s capital to face their rivals from the other side of the Rideau canal the Carleton Ravens in the much anticipated Panda Game.