After a successful home opener on Sunday the Gee-Gees are looking carry the momentum when they head to Hamilton to face the McMaster Marauders on Saturday. The game is pegged as the Ontario University Athletics Marquee Matchup for week three as it serves as a rematch of last year’s league semi-final as well as pitting the country’s top aerial attacks this season against each other.
Both teams' starting quarterbacks are coming tied for first in the country in passing yards. Derek Wendel threw for 384 yards on 27 completions in Ottawa’s 41-17 win over Queens, while McMaster’s Asher Hastings recorded the same yards on 26 completions against Toronto. The Marauders are coming off their bye week, which was preceded by a victory in the form of a 55-33 shootout against the Varsity Blues.
Even though his offence had a tremendous statistical day against the Gaels, Gee-Gees head coach Jamie Barresi is a bit more cautious reviewing Mac’s defensive tape in preparation for the matchup. Barresi says that the Marauders play a “very physical game” and thinks the 472 yards of offence put up by the Varsity Blues in their loss to the Marauders are “misleading”. One of the reasons for Barresi's caution is the arrival of Mac’s new defensive coordinator, Joe Sardo. “They have a new defensive coordinator and he’s changed a lot of things,” shared Barresi.
Despite those changes, receiver Ian Stewart sees the youth of the Marauders secondary as something that Ottawa can use in its favour. “They have a young defensive back group. There are areas to exploit experience wise."
Players on both offences are coming in hot: Ottawa receiver Mitchell Baines had a two-touchdown game and OUA Offensive Player of the Week Bryce Veira collected 110 yards on the ground and 93 more receiving for the Garnet and Grey. MacMaster on the other hand had two of their receivers obtain 100 yards including a whopping 168 yards from Dan Vandervoort.
Last year, the Marauders ended the Garnet and Grey’s season by eliminating them in the OUA semi-finals, adding to the motivation before this Saturday’s game. “When anyone beats you, you definitely want go back and get back at them. We’re going to get a good opportunity to do that this week,” said fourth-year receiver Ben Fisher. Stewart echoed Fisher’s sentiment adding that: “It feels like there’s a little chip on the shoulder when it comes to these guys. They kicked us out of the playoffs but to get revenge on them would be kind of nice.“
The game will be broadcast on OUA.tv.