Rookie kicker Dillon Wamsley shone in his CIS debut, as the Queen’s Gaels defeated the McGill Redmen 23-9 on Sunday, in an exhibition game at Richardson Stadium.
Wamsley, one of the top-rated kicking recruits in the country, is currently battling with veterans Aaron Gazendam and Garnet Peters to replace the departed Dan Village. While all three saw action on Sunday, Wamsley stood out, drilling a 47-yard field goal in the first quarter and sending the ensuing kick off through the back of the end zone for a single point.
He added five punts for an average of 44.4 yards, twice pinning McGill deep in their own territory with perfectly placed kicks out of bounds.
“It was good to get started, to get a game under my belt,” Wamsley said.
While both teams were hamstrung by mistakes characteristic of early-season play, the speed and athleticism of the Gaels receiving corps made a difference early on.
Eight minutes into the game, receiver Giovanni Aprile soared above a defender to snag a pass from quarterback Billy McPhee, escaping a pair of tackles and racing into the end zone for a 56-yard touchdown.
Late in the third quarter, rookie Austin Geddes threaded a 32-yard touchdown pass to a streaking Timothy Godber.
“I was happy to be able to roll a good number of players in,” said Gaels head coach Pat Sheahan. “What I love about these games is that you never know who’s going to step up. It’s the opportunity to take it to the next level.”
The Redmen, who have registered four winless seasons in the past five years, committed 19 total penalties for 148 yards. Kingston native Tim Silva punted 12 times for McGill, who couldn’t sustain a prolonged offensive drive until late in the game.
Both McGill and Queen’s employed a similar quarterback rotation. Redmen quarterback Dallon Kuprowski keyed a late surge, tossing a 19-yard touchdown pass with five minutes remaining.
Despite the loss, Kuprowski expressed confidence that the Redmen will tighten up their offense by the start of conference play.
“If we clean up a couple of mistakes, I think we showed we can compete among the top teams in the country,” he said.
Sunday’s game marked the first matchup between the longtime rivals since 2008, when Queen’s defeated McGill 32-13 in Montreal.
The Gaels will kick off the OUA season next Monday at Richardson Stadium against the York Lions.
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