McMaster trip ends in defeat

Bye week up next for winless Gaels

Against an undefeated team that had beaten its previous three opponents by an average of 44 points, the winless Gaels came up just short.

Queen’s fell 28-19 in the McMaster Marauders’ Homecoming game, just seven days after losing 66-0 at the Guelph Gryphons’ homecoming game.

The Gaels (0-5) trailed 21-19 with 10 minutes left in the game before McMaster (5-0) pulled away with a methodical scoring drive, capped off by a Chris Pezzetta touchdown run with 6:35 left.

Queen’s had two more drives to try and close the gap, but couldn’t, as McMaster milked the clock to send their fans home happy.

“We showed a lot of fight this game and we played much better than we did last week,” said Gaels head coach Pat Sheahan. “We had some tough calls go against us today, but despite everything, we gave up just 14 points in the first three quarters and had a shot to win it in the fourth quarter. I was satisfied with our effort and how we responded after last weekend.”

After fumbling six times against Guelph, Queen’s offence performed better against a stout McMaster defence, especially in the running game. Third-year running back Jesse Andrews ran 18 times for 131 yards against the fourth-best rushing defence in the country.

While the Gaels only managed to put up five points of offence in the first half, the defence stepped up big, forcing a fumble and limiting the Marauders to 12 points at halftime.

Fifth-year quarterback Billy McPhee led the Gaels to their first touchdown of the day at the 5:48 mark of the third quarter, completing a 17-yard touchdown pass to fifth-year receiver Alex Carroll to tie the game at 12-12.

McPhee found Carroll three times on the drive for 57 yards and finished 21 of 29 passing for 283 yards and two touchdowns. Carroll had over half of the Gaels’ receiving yards on the day, with 145 on nine catches.

McMaster added a safety at the end of the third quarter and scored two minutes into the fourth quarter when quarterback Marshall Ferguson found Isaiah Mels in the end zone.

Ferguson threw for 376 yards and two touchdowns, but also had a passed intercepted by Gaels defensive back Yann Dika-Balotoken. Dika-Balotoken picked off Ferguson on another occasion, but his ensuing touchdown runback was nullified due to an offside call on Queen’s.

The Gaels answered the McMaster score with a quick touchdown drive of their own, capped off by a five-yard touchdown pass to receiver Doug Corby. But the defence was unable to stop the Marauders’ Pezzetta, who scored on the ensuing drive to ensure a nine-point victory for McMaster. Pezzetta finished with a game-high 151 rushing yards.

“It’s too bad that our effort wasn’t rewarded with a win, but sometimes that’s just how things go. We fought back every time McMaster scored, but couldn’t answer one more time at the end,” Sheahan said. “We’re obviously in a tough spot, but our guys are continuing to fight and we’re going to try and win the next one and as many as we can before the end of the season.”

After their bye week, Queen's will return to Richardson Stadium on Oct. 11 when they host the Toronto Varsity Blues (1-4).

OUA Standings

1. McMaster (5-0)

T-2. Western (4-0)

T-2. Windsor (4-0)

T-4. Guelph (3-1)

T-4. Laurier (3-1)

6. Ottawa (3-2)

7. Carleton (2-2)

8. Toronto (1-4)

T-9. Queen’s (0-5)

T-9. York (0-5)

T-9. Waterloo (0-5)

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