Queen's bound for Yates Cup

A victory over Guelph will see the Gaels play in the Yates Cup game for the first time since 2009

Gaels football is Yates Cup-bound after defeating the Guelph Gryphons 34-17 in the OUA semi-finals.

Dealing with strong winds and intermittent rain, Queen's leaned heavily on their defence and running back Ryan Granberg, who finished the game with 113 yards rushing and two touchdowns, adding 27 receiving yards on two screen passes.

Quarterback Billy McPhee was under pressure from the Gryphons' strong front seven all game, getting sacked six times. He finished the game 15-of-28 for 228 yards, with one touchdown and no interceptions.

McPhee also had a clutch 33-yard fourth quarter scramble to bring the ball down to the one-yard line. Granberg punched it in for a touchdown, putting Queen’s ahead 27-17 and giving the team some breathing room.

Granberg opened the game’s scoring 5:05 into the first quarter on a one-yard touchdown rush. Guelph quickly answered with a touchdown of their own as quarterback Jazz Lindsey hit his brother Saxon for a 17-yard score.

Gaels kicker Dillon Wamsley connected on three field goals in the first half, while Guelph added another touchdown and a field goal of their own to lead 17-16 at the half.

That would be the last time the Gryphons led, as the Gaels' defense shut them out in the second half, intercepting Lindsey twice and completely bottling up the run game.

Confident they could score, the Gryphons gave up two third-quarter safeties, surrendering the lead to the Gaels' stagnant offence.

Leading 20-17 going into the fourth quarter, the offence finally came together to set up Granberg’s second touchdown. After the score, the Gaels would pull away, with McPhee hitting receiver Scott Macdonell on a 39-yard catch and run touchdown to seal the win for Queen’s.

The Gaels will face the winner of the other OUA semi-final in the Yates Cup next Saturday: either the Western Mustangs or the McMaster Marauders.

With a McMaster victory, Queen’s would host their first Yates Cup since 2009, while a Mustang win would see the Gaels travel to London for a rematch of their only loss this season.

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