HAMILTON — The Gaels were outplayed by the McMaster Marauders in Hamilton on Saturday, falling 40-13 in the OUA semifinal. Constant turnovers and an inability to stop the Marauders’ offence snapped Queen’s seven-game win streak and ended their season.
The Gaels felt quarterback Billy McPhee’s absence — backup Ryan Mitchell threw six interceptions in the first half. Even though it was only Mitchell’s second career start, his inaccuracy was surprising given he had completed 23 of 38 passes for 272 yards against the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks in the OUA quarter-final.
“Everybody did their job except for me,” Mitchell said. “Nobody can turn the ball over six times and win a football game.”
The Gaels’ defence had a few key stops in the red zone, including a TJ Chase-Dunawa interception, but couldn’t compensate for the sputtering offence.
The Gaels’ star running back Ryan Granberg posted 128 rushing yards and scored the Gaels’ only touchdown before leaving the game with an injury. But he struggled early on, picking up only 11 yards in the first 27 minutes of the game.
In addition to McPhee, the team played Laurier without linebackers Ted Festeryga and Sam Sabourin and saw defensive lineman John Miniaci leave the game. All three were on the field against McMaster, but they didn’t seem fully recovered.
Defensive lineman Osie Ukwuoma left the field with an injury in the first quarter, on Saturday, but returned to finish the game. Defensive lineman Derek Wiggan hurt his knee and left the game permanently in the second quarter.
Ukwuoma, who closed out his Gaels career with the game, said it was a tough way to go.
“We didn’t start out on the right foot. It sort of just crumbled from there,” he said.
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