Gaels fail to ‘Kill McGill’

Over 400 Gael supporters travelled to Montreal on Saturday to witness the end of an era.
Over 400 Gael supporters travelled to Montreal on Saturday to witness the end of an era.
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Photo: 
Photo: 
Loyal Gael followers were of no avail in the final Kill McGill.
Loyal Gael followers were of no avail in the final Kill McGill.
Photo: 

The Gaels’ first road game of the season marked the continuation of a series dating back to 1884, as they travelled — along with a 2000—person—strong fan base — to Montreal to face the Redmen in the annual Kill McGill affair. Despite boisterous cheering from that large section of supporters, the Gaels were defeated 30-15, victims of a second half comeback by McGill.

The game started well enough for the Gaels. McGill’s Ben Wearing fumbled the opening kickoff, and Chris Robyn recovered it for the Gaels on the Redmen 23 yard line. But two plays later, Gaels quarterback Darren Cassidy was intercepted at the McGill five-yard line, and McGill responded with a seven-play, 105-yard march capped by Josh Sommerfeldt’s 20-yard touchdown scamper.

The Gaels, playing with the wind in the first quarter, took advantage of good field position. A 67-yard punt by Wil Vreugdenhil pinned McGill inside their own five yard line, and when the Golden Gaels’ defense forced McGill to punt, Roby Ryan’s 18-yard return put Queen’s at the Redmen 30. An offside call gave the Gaels a first down inside the 20, and then Wyatt Hartley emerged from the shadows to take control of a sputtering Queen’s attack. The North Vancouver native galloped 15 yards down the sidelines to the McGill three, and on the very next play took the option pitch from Cassidy and barrelled his way into the end zone to tie the score 7-7.

Hartley again proved to be the catalyst on a 93-yard scoring drive, taking two carries 54 yards to move the Gaels inside the McGill 40-yard line. Cassidy then hit wideout Alan Cheng for a 15-yard gain, and moved the ball to the Redmen 11 himself on an option keeper. Fullback Jeff Colvin punched it in two plays later on a goal line plunge, and the Gaels took a 14-7 lead into halftime.

“I felt that they weren’t prepared for us in the first half,” Hartley said. “But they’ve got the best defensive line in the country and once they made their adjustments it became harder to get things going. I thought our offensive line did an excellent job.” That lead was short-lived, though, as McGill opened the second half with a four play, 71-yard drive, with quarterback Jason Sommerfeldt hitting Ben Wearing on a 32-yard touchdown pass to tie the game. A 71-yard single gave Queen’s the lead again briefly, but fullback Nick Hoffmann put McGill back on top 20-15 with a one-yard plunge.

The Gaels continued to plug away, but facing a strong Montreal wind and an even stronger McGill defensive line, these elements proved too much for the inexperienced Gaels offense.

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