Rain, running game wash away Gaels

Western celebrates homecoming by running over Queen’s

Running back Jimmy Therrien is tackled to the ground by the Mustangs.
Running back Jimmy Therrien is tackled to the ground by the Mustangs.
Photo By Jeff Chan

The Queen’s Gaels dropped their Saturday game against the Western Mustangs 46-10 in London.

The Gaels’ loss to the Mustangs has dropped their record to 1-3-1. With a shocking win by the University of Toronto Varsity Blues over the Ottawa Gee-Gees, the Gaels are ranked seventh in the OUA and are sitting outside of the playoffs.

Head coach Pat Sheahan said the game against Western was unlike their previous losses.

“It was the only game this year that has kind of gotten away from us,” he said. “In every season, there’s always one game that has potential to be the one you want to forget and I’m afraid that was it.”

Sheahan said there were many factors which contributed to the loss.

“Despite our best efforts and preparation, unfortunately, things unravelled,” he said. “We had a few players injured [and] we gave up a few plays. We didn’t seem to get too many breaks either but when you add it all up, it was just that one game that was kind of the disaster of the year.” The Gaels battled miserable conditions in London with cold weather and rain beating down on them throughout the game.

“The weather and the wind always have an impact,” he said. “In our situation, we didn’t quite throw the ball that well into the wind and certainly having a wet ball made our passing game a little bit up and down ... Unfortunately it was a slick ball and those conditions certainly didn’t help us.”

Running back Jimmy Therrien was effective despite the loss, running for 111 yards and 20 carries. This was his third 100-plus yard game of his career. Sheahan said much of their running game was abandoned after they fell behind but Therrien’s game against a tough Western defence created momentum for the team.

“I thought that our running game was pretty good,” Sheahan said. “When you get behind, you have to abandon the running game because it’s time consuming ... If we could have drawn them within one score, we could have maintained more of a balanced attack.”

Quarterback Justin Chapdelaine played the majority of the game completing 12 of his 25 passes for 115 yards and running in one touchdown. After the first quarter, the Gaels were never able to pull back into contention.

“We had to curtail our game plans somewhat to be able to stop them,” he said. “Western’s a good team this year and we needed to be full-throttle to be able to compete with them. We weren’t able to get there on Saturday.”

In a weekend full of upsets, the win by the Varsity Blues over the Gee-Gees, who are ranked second in the country, came as a surprise to everyone including Sheahan.

“I don’t think anyone saw that one coming,” he said. “To hear that Ottawa had 600 yards plus was not surprising but to hear that Toronto also had 600 yards was a little bit of surprise.”

With the Queen’s facing Toronto this weekend, there was show of concern over a confident Blues team coming into Kingston. Saturday’s game will have playoff implications for the Gaels who cannot afford another loss.

“This certainly has caused us to take Toronto far more seriously [and] not take them for granted,” he said. “All the rest of the games are playoff games for us because our back is against the wall. This will be a whale of a ballgame because Toronto is performing as well as they have in a number of years and we’re hungry for a win.”

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