Football defeats Gryphons in Guelph

Gaels execute strong game plan, notch key win to move to 2-0

The Gaels battle it out with the Gryphons on Saturday at Alumni Stadium in Guelph.
The Gaels battle it out with the Gryphons on Saturday at Alumni Stadium in Guelph.
Credit: 
Supplied
Queen’s wide receiver Brad Smith makes one of his four touchdown catches.
Queen’s wide receiver Brad Smith makes one of his four touchdown catches.
Credit: 
Photo supplied by Jeff Chan
Queens’ quarterback Danny Brannagan prepares to launch a pass in Saturday’s game against Guelph.
Queens’ quarterback Danny Brannagan prepares to launch a pass in Saturday’s game against Guelph.
Credit: 
Photo supplied by Jeff Chan

The Queen’s football team had a score to settle last weekend and that’s exactly what they did.

On Saturday the Gaels defeated Guelph 31-10 on Gryphon turf, avenging the loss that put them out of the playoffs last season.

Defender Kevin Magee said all the players knew there was a lot riding on this game.

“It was probably one of the toughest games we’ll play this season,” he said.

The Gaels took the lead early, scoring two touchdowns early in the first quarter. Gaels’ quarterback Danny Brannagan threw both passes to wide receiver and game MVP Brad Smith.

Guelph kicker Rob Maver put the Gryphons on the board with a field goal in the second quarter and running back Nick Fitzgibbon ran in a touchdown with five minutes left in the half, giving the Gryphons their only points of the day.

Magee said Guelph quarterback, Justin Dunk, is very quick on the ball and likes to run for first downs. The Gaels’ game plan was designed to contain him on the ground as well as react to the team’s quick snap to prevent them from running their plays, he said.

He said the team succeeded in that task thanks to practices designed to simulate the Gryphons’ offence.

He said Queen’s offensive line practices in the same way, using the defense to simulate the strategy of their opponent.

Magee said they usually expect teams to continue employing strategies similar to those they have used in the past but they are prepared for the changes that happen year to year.

“It depends on how many returning players they have,” Magee said.

He added that he felt that being accurate and unrelenting with their assignments has allowed the Queen’s defensive line to accomplish its goal of holding their opponents’ offensive runs to five plays or fewer.

“If we do our assignments they can’t make plays and if they can’t make plays they can’t score.”

The Gaels special teams continue to impress, blocking a field goal and forcing two fumbles early in the second half, which lead to two more Brannagan-Smith touchdowns.

Brannagan currently leads the OUA in touchdown passes this season with a total of seven.

Magee said the continued improvement of the back-up players has the whole team excited not only for the current season but for seasons to come.

“Now we have more players who can do a variety of things,” he said.

With greater depth the team will be better prepared for player turnover in the coming season, allowing them to maintain momentum and continue to build from one year to the next.

The Gaels return to Richardson Stadium this Saturday to face the Windsor Lancer at Homecoming.

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