Football sweeps Warriors aside, prepares for Western

Brannagan sets new OUA passing record with win in Waterloo, looks to break CIS record this weekend

Queen’s tight end Chris Ioannides celebrates a touchdown during last year’s 43-16 Homecoming win over the Western Mustangs at Richardson Stadium.
Queen’s tight end Chris Ioannides celebrates a touchdown during last year’s 43-16 Homecoming win over the Western Mustangs at Richardson Stadium.
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The top spot in the OUA is at stake tomorrow when the first-place Gaels will play the second-place Western Mustangs at Richardson Stadium. The first nationally-televised game of Queen’s season will be the Gaels’ resumption of the home-hero role after playing the visiting-villain to opposing crowds for two games on the road.

The Western game will follow a 43-21 win over the 1-4 Waterloo Warriors last Saturday. Quarterback Danny Brannagan passed for 347 yards to break the all-time OUA record. To break the CIS all-time record, set by McGill Redmen alumnus Matt Connell in 2001, Brannagan has to pass for a combined 466 yards in the remaining two games of the season.

He said he isn’t playing for the accolades.

“It’s something I’m trying not to think about,” he said. “If I only pass for 10 yards, I’ll still be happy if we win.”

Head coach Pat Sheahan said the records are a testament to the offensive units Brannagan has been part of.

“It’s a great tribute to the guys, but it’s very much secondary to what’s really at stake here on Saturday, and that’s first place,” he said. “They’re things that we’ll talk about after, but it’s more coffee table talk than it is the real stuff.”

The Gaels’ defence allowed more touchdowns last week against Waterloo than they had in the previous four games combined. Sheahan said it’s a good cause for reflection, because lapses will be the deciding factor in the upcoming game.

“They scored three offensive touchdowns which kind of shocked us,” he said. “[Saturday’s game is] going to boil down to mistakes. Those mistakes at the wrong time are likely going to be plays of consequence.”

Western’s two running backs, Nathan Riva and Da’shawn Thomas, are both in the top-10 for OUA rushing yards. Queen’s will meet them with fourth-place rusher Jimmy Therrien sidelined.

“He’d like to [play] but he’s not 100 per cent yet,” Sheahan said. “Most teams at this time of the year are likely dealing with some injury issues, so it becomes a little bit of a test of wills.”

Saturday’s game will be longer than usual. With The Score broadcasting the game, both squads will have to accommodate television timeouts.

Sheahan said he’s happy to adjust.

“TV is a fact of sports today,” he said. “There’s a lot of Queens supporters from coast to coast that are going to have access to this game. I’m sure there’ll be a lot of people glued to television sets across the country. This accommodation for them is something we’ll deal with.”

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