York stands between Gaels & postseason

The football team will defend their spot in the playoffs against the York Lions at Richardson Stadium this weekend

The Gaels should have a good opportunity to vent their season’s frustrations on Saturday at Richardson Stadium against last place York University. In their seven games, the Lions have amassed the most turnovers in the OUA, 31, and have been outscored 59 to 364. Just last week they hosted the Western Mustangs and lost 76-0. While statistics aren’t always reflective of a teams play, the Lions 0-7 record speaks for itself.

That being said, no one should be overlooking York. The Gaels need to win this game in order to guarantee themselves a spot in the playoffs. The teams battling for the last two playoff spots are Laurier, Toronto, Queen’s and Windsor. Laurier and Toronto have a 3-4 record while Queen’s and Windsor both have 2-5 records. The Golden Hawks will be facing off against the Lancers in the final week while the Varsity Blues attempts to stave off the No. 1 Mustangs. The ties are broken based off head-to-head matchups so Queen’s holds the tiebreaker over Toronto and Windsor because they have beaten them earlier this season.

Though getting into the playoffs seems fairly likely head coach Pat Sheahan warns against the danger of upsets.

“In college football you can never say never, we have had some tremendous upsets in the season,” he said. “But I think most of the good money is going to be on things to fall in our favour. Not to say we don’t have to play, we still need to come out and execute. The truth of the matter is that the only playoff positions currently nailed down are third and ninth, those are the only things we know for sure.”

The Gaels need to find consistency. In what has been a season of up and downs, the Gaels have failed to follow up on strong performances. Last week’s game against Laurier may have been one of the most worrying loses, as the team surrendered 43 points in the second quarter as a result of an all-around team collapse. Sheahan described the game colourfully.

“The blitzkrieg came to mind there for a second. We just got into a situation where we couldn’t stop the bleeding,” he said. “We had four special team errors in a row, a porous defence. Just when the offence could’ve taken control [to] get a few first downs [and] settle everyone down we couldn’t do that either.”

Justin Chapdelaine has felt his own growing pains this season as he experiences the full-time commitment of the starting quartback role. Although his performances are a part of a greater team effort, the team needs to find a way to shore up his play. Fortunately, a strong running game has emerged for the Gaels in the past few weeks giving them the ability to lessen Chapdelaine’s burden.

Above all, the Queen’s fans need to come out and support their team in the last home game of the season. The game not only has playoff consequences but will also celebrate the inductions of several hall of fame coaches and players. Sheahan felt that the Gaels need fan support.

“I really hope that the Kingston community and the students recognize that this will be our last home game and that they will rally and make some noise,” he said.

The Queen’s Gaels will finish their regular season against the York Lions at Richardson Stadium on Saturday. Kick off is at 1 p.m.

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