Queen’s Football beats U of T in OUA Quarterfinal

Richardson sees over 6,000 fans at Homecoming game

Image by: Herbert Wang
Gaels line up against Varsity Blues. 

On Saturday, the Gaels met the Varsity Blues at Richardson for their annual Homecoming game as the teams competed for a spot in the OUA semi-finals.

Queen’s and the University of Toronto (U of T) both fought hard for the win. It looked like it could be anyone’s game at the end of the first half, but Queen’s secured the win in the fourth quarter to earn a 41-13 victory.

“We knew we were going to have to play the long game. We knew the game might go right into the fourth, so our team was prepared for that,” Head Coach Steve Snyder said in an interview with The Journal.

The students and alumni who came out to support the team brought the energy and enthusiasm the Gaels needed to keep fighting.

“It’s something different [..] seeing all the alumni back and the stands fill up; its great to be a part of,” Queen’s running back Jared Chisari said in an interview with The Journal.

Defensive back Ashton Miller-Melancon echoed this sentiment.

“We really feed off of the atmosphere and the loud noises being made by the crowd. It’s awesome and I love every second of it,” he said in an interview with The Journal.

During halftime, the stadium really came alive as various Queen’s alumni from as far back as 1957 marched on field for the alumni parade.

The game started with some quick points for the Gaels as Alex Vreeken threw a touchdown to Josh Macleod and Tyler Mullan kicked a field goal in the first quarter.

In the second, the Varsity Blues fought back. Less than five minutes into the second quarter, Queen’s threw an interception that U of T immediately returned for a touchdown.

“The big thing is, even though we threw an interception for a touchdown and even though we allowed that big punt to be converted for a first down for them, the guys just stayed steady; they knew it was going to be a long game,” Snyder said.

U of T stayed even with Queen’s for the first three quarters, forcing Queen’s to rely heavily on their defensive line, but the defense was ready for it.

“Our preparation put us in a great position where we could react to what Toronto was doing on the field and put us in a good spot where we could make some great plays,” Miller-Melancon said.

“Every single game is important to us, and our mentality is just to take it every single day at a time, one rep at a time, [and] make sure that that one rep is the best rep possible.”

In the last 40 seconds of the third quarter, with U of T trailing by just one touchdown, Queen’s took off when Chisari ran 70 yards for a game-changing touchdown.

“It was a big play for sure. Kind of game planned it at halftime, and then we went out and executed it,” he said.

After that, U of T didn’t have another chance to score. Miller-Melancon recorded another interception near the start of the fourth to set up another touchdown for Chisari.

Mullan’s kicks remained reliable, and he scored two more field goals in the last quarter. His performance earned him U Sports Special Player of the Week.

Linebacker Justin Pace also finished with an interception for Queen’s.

“I think the defense played well all game. We did a good job of rushing the passer and getting after their quarter back a little bit which forced them to throw quick a little bit and then we were able to block some passes and jump in front of some passes,” Snyder said.

Queen’s ended with a 41-13 victory over U of T. They will play uOttawa in the OUA semi-finals on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Richardson Stadium.

“Ottawa is a very good team,” Miller-Melancon said. “We have to have the same level of preparation and just go out there and don’t underestimate them.”


Football, Hoco, OUA, playoffs, quarter-finals, richardson, U of T

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