A tremendous effort from Queen’s defence led the Gaels to an 18-11 victory over Western on Saturday.
Linebacker Sam Sabourin led Queen’s with 12.5 tackles and two sacks, while defensive backs Justin Baronaitis and Andrew Lue secured timely interceptions.
Gaels head coach Pat Sheahan credited his defensive coordinator, Pat Tracey, who prepared the team for the previously undefeated Mustangs.
“Our guys stood tall all game,” Sheahan said. “We awarded the game ball to coach Tracey and the defence.”
Queen’s offense did just enough to win, scoring two touchdowns on startlingly efficient drives.
Midway through the first quarter, the Gaels covered 75 yards on four plays, cashing in on quarterback Billy McPhee’s 30-yard touchdown pass to receiver Giovanni Aprile.
Trailing by one point in the fourth quarter, running back Ryan Granberg found the end zone from 19 yards out, capping off a two-play, 47-yard drive to take the lead for good.
The Mustangs’ lone touchdown came on a 30-yard interception return, when a McPhee pass ricocheted off of Aprile and straight to linebacker Pawel Kruba, who strode uncontested into the end zone.
Western’s rushing offense, best in the nation in 2011, was held in check. The Mustangs picked up 241 yards on the ground, including 124 from starting back Garret Sanvido, but never really threatened to score.
The lack of significant gains on offense hurt Western, who received nothing from its passing attack. Quarterback Donnie Marshall completed just seven of 19 attempts, including the two interceptions.
“We were way too inconsistent on offense to win a football game,” said Greg Marshall, Mustangs head coach and offensive coordinator. “I didn’t do a very good job today – there were a few play calls I wish I could have had back.”
With the victory, Queen’s improved to 45-40-2 all-time against Western. The Gaels (3-0) are now tied for first in the OUA standings with the McMaster Marauders, who they’ll play next Saturday in Hamilton.
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