One win away from postseason

Gaels looking to punch playoff ticket 

In last week’s match-up against Guelph, the Gaels tallied 139 yards on the ground.
In last week’s match-up against Guelph, the Gaels tallied 139 yards on the ground.
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Coming off of an upset win against Guelph, Gaels head coach Pat Sheahan expects another solid game from his team this Saturday against York.

“A 14-10 win will not be a great stepping stone moving forward,” Sheahan said. “The idea is to go down there and play well, move the football efficiently, and at times show some dominance. That’s what’s expected.  Anything less than that would be a disappointment.”

Queen’s (4-2) travels to Toronto to face the Lions (1-6) in the first meeting between the teams since the Gaels’ convincing 57-10 victory at Homecoming last year. Despite the lopsided records and results, and his own expectations, Sheahan isn’t taking York lightly.

“They’ve matched up well against us at times, and they have an outstanding recruiting class with some talented young kids.”  

Third-year Gaels defensive lineman Corey Flude anticipates that he and the rest of his unit will be forced to defend the run early and often against York. It will prove to be an interesting test for Queen’s, as the run defense was an area Coach Sheahan noted as needing improvement before the playoffs.

While the Gaels are focused on stopping the Lions, there’s a third factor which could impact this game — the weather. With high winds currently in the forecast for Saturday, Sheahan said it affects his game plan.  

“There’s a whole wind game plan, if you will,” he said. “You have to manage the game in such a way that you can consume time, make good yardage, and not take unnecessary risks.” 

Driving into the wind on offense presents challenges on deep passes and in the kicking game, but Sheahan said his team’s previous experience in similar conditions will help them mitigate any risks.

Despite the unpredictable and potentially game-changing situations that high winds can create, Sheahan knows his team is ready to adapt and focused on winning a playoff spot.

“A win nails down a playoff spot, everyone knows it,” Sheahan said.

Although the Gaels clinched a playoff spot with a victory, seeding is very much up in the air, as they could conceivably finish anywhere between second and fifth in the OUA depending on their results and what happens around the conference.

While looking to enter the season finale on a high note, Sheahan knows things aren’t as easy as they seem on paper.  “Mediocrity is everywhere,” he said. “It can creep into your performance.”  

 

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