Football drops the ball

Gaels lose fourth straight game; must beat York, Western for playoff spot

The football team practiced Wednesday in preparation for their meeting with York on the 21st.
The football team practiced Wednesday in preparation for their meeting with York on the 21st.

A 34-13 pasting by the visiting Ottawa Gee-Gees marked the Gaels’ fourth loss in a row, after opening their season with a promising two wins. Youth up to Grade 12 were given free admission to the game
with a donation to the Kingston Food Bank and the team racked up an estimated 200 pounds of food
for the charity.

When it came to racking up points, however, the Gaels had less success.

In front of a sparse Thanksgiving weekend crowd, Queen’s opened the scoring with an impressive 47-
yard field goal from kicker Ryan Elger, but quickly lost the lead on a 49-yard touchdown pass from
Ottawa quarterback Josh Sacobie to receiver Wayne Desmond. Ottawa later tacked on an easy four points early in the second quarter on two safeties conceded by Queen’s. The Gaels allowed eight points in safeties in the game— three times by punter Ryan Elger electing not to kick from deep within Gaels territory and once on a fumbled lateral recovered by Queen’s in their own end zone.

Elger’s second field goal from 39 yards out narrowed the margin to 11-6. But, the crowd was soon taken out of the game again, as Sacobie launched a last-second, Hail Mary pass that found receiver David Crane who ran the ball in for a touchdown. The Gaels trailed 18-6 at halftime.

As the second half began, the Gaels’ offensive woes continued. Ottawa had no such trouble, however, as Sacobie connected with Adam Nicolson from two yards out to increase the Gee-Gee’s lead to 24-6.
Queen’s blocked Ara Tchobanian’s extra point on that score but it didn’t help much as Queen’s conceded their final two safeties early in the fourth quarter to extend the deficit to 28-6. Two more field goals from Tchobanian, from 40 and 36 yards, respectively, ran the score up to 34-6.

With less than two minutes remaining on the clock, Queen’s backup quarterback Ibrahim Zylstra connected with receiver Brad Smith for a 23-yard touchdown reception, bringing the final score to 34-13. The late touchdown pass was Zylstra’s first of the season, Smith’s first since catching an OUA-record-tying four against Guelph. It was also the team’s first passing touchdown since Robb Bagg’s 104-yard reception at Homecoming almost a month ago. Queen’s passing attack has sputtered in each of their losses. Quarterback Danny Brannagan completed only 11 of 29 passes against the Gees, throwing only 59 passing yards, a season-low for the starting quarterback. Backup quarterback Ibrahim Zylstra out-threw Brannagan, gaining 88 yards and a touchdown, and completing four of his six passes in less than one quarter of play. Ryan Elger also had 16 passing yards on a successful fake punt earlier in the game. Queen’s defence once again could not contain the opposing quarterback as Ottawa’s Sacobie threw for 291 yards with three touchdowns, completing 18 of 30 passes.

The deep coverage of the Queen’s secondary has caused problems throughout the season.

Starting running back Billy Burke had only 17 yards on seven carries. Starting fullback Mike Giffin was
a bright spot, however, gaining 49 yards on 10 attempts. With the loss, the Gaels fall to seventh in the OUA rankings, one spot out of the playoffs.

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