The Gee-Gees seemed to be clicking on both sides of the ball as they trounced the visiting Windsor Lancers 52-24. The win moves Ottawa’s record to 2-1 and to fourth in the OUA standings, while Windsor falls to 0-4.
For the third straight game, Gee-Gees quarterback Derek Wendel threw for at least 300 yards as he finished the day with 381 yards, 5 touchdowns passes, and no interceptions. The veteran was replaced after the third quarter with Victor Twynstra stepping in.
“We took advantage of what they gave us; they made a couple of mistakes early. We kind of got stalled on our first drive and had to punt but after that we took what the defence gave us, “ said Wendel when talking about his performance.
Four of the Garnet and Grey’s six touchdowns were scored in the red zone. “We’re executing a lot better,” said Wendel of his team’s performance in the red zone, an area that according to Wendel the team needed to improve on coming into this game.
Ian Stewart, who hauled in 8 catches for 188 yards and two touchdowns, attributed the team’s success in the red zone to the additional preparation during the week leading up to the game. “All of Thursday was dedicated to scoring touchdowns. We don’t want the field goal, we want six points. Every game we want to make sure we put up six and not three.”
One of the Gee-Gees touchdowns came on a third down attempt, something that Ottawa has been attempting more than usual. Head coach Jamie Barresi saw these attempts as a chance to re-focus the team.
“It’s my job to give the team a spark. Play calling is a critical issue. I didn’t want to be conservative. I think we have to be aggressive. That may happen more often in the future.” Wendel on the other hand, saw this as an additional sign of trust from his coach. “Coach knows we’re going to execute on something like that. If we’re second and 5 and we don’t execute the play he believes in us to get that third down conversion.”
The Ottawa defence recorded four sacks on the day, including two from linebacker Marc-Antoine Laurin. The coverage was solid throughout the first half, and Zach Wilkinson led the team with 8.5 tackles.
Contrary to past weeks, Barresi’s offence did not suffer lapses coming out of the second half. The offence had three drives in the third quarter, scoring a touchdown and a 48-yard field goal from Lewis Ward.
Windsor gained late life, scoring 21 of their 24 points in the fourth quarter. The Lancers finished with 457 total offensive yards including 115 on the ground. A 75-yard touchdown reception by Gilbert Stewart on the final play of the game brought his team-high total to 139 yards as part of quarterback Liam Putt’s 24-41 performance.
Ottawa will now head to Guelph where they will face the undefeated Gryphons (4-0) before coming back to the nation’s capital to face the Carleton Ravens in the long awaited Panda Game on October 3.