Gaels lose Yates Cup in blowout

Western scores 45 straight points en route to OUA title

Mustangs receiver Matt Uren made a circus catch in the end zone near the end of the second quarter, extending Western's lead to 24-5.
Mustangs receiver Matt Uren made a circus catch in the end zone near the end of the second quarter, extending Western's lead to 24-5.
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LONDON, Ont. – With a chance to win their first Yates Cup since 2009, Queen’s fell flat in the OUA championship.

The Western Mustangs affirmed their status as the country’s top team, cruising to a 51-22 victory at home to win their 30th Yates Cup.

After kicker Dillon Wamsley hit a 30-yard field goal with four minutes left in the first quarter, the Gaels went quiet. Trailing 5-3, Western proceeded to score 45 straight points in 30 minutes, sealing the Ontario title.

The Mustangs will advance to next Saturday’s national semi-final, while the Gaels’ season – their best since the Vanier Cup campaign of 2009 – came to a bitter and abrupt end.

"They’re a great team,” said Gaels head coach Pat Sheahan. “To go out there and beat them, you have to have a great day.

“We had some opportunities to get ahead, we didn’t execute, and it came to back haunt us.”

Two days after being named OUA MVP, Western quarterback Will Finch took home the same honour in the Yates Cup, completing 20 of 27 passes for 252 yards and three touchdowns.

Two of those scores went to receiver Matt Uren, who led his squad with seven catches and 128 yards.

Western kicker Lirim Hajrullahu was perfect on four field goal attempts, hitting his longest attempt from 49 yards.

He also sent four kickoffs through the Gaels end zone, tallying a single point each time.

Gaels quarterback Billy McPhee tossed touchdown passes to receivers Justin Chapdelaine and Doug Corby in the fourth quarter, but threw a pair of costly interceptions against the wind.

Western capitalized quickly on those errors and other ineffective Gaels drives, exploding for 22 points in the second quarter and tacking on 23 more in the third.

The loss in London was Queen’s second of the season, following a 50-31 defeat on Sept. 28.

Story updated at 6:20 p.m.

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