Football team picks up first win of the season

Five take aways from Queen's vs. U of T

The Gaels won their first game of the season 20-5 against Toronto at Richardson Stadium.
Matteo Del Brocco carries the ball in the Gaels' first win of the season 20-5 against Toronto at Richardson Stadium.

The Gaels picked up their first victory of the football season Saturday, with a 20-5 win over the University of Toronto Varsity Blues. Here are five things to come away with from the game: 

Nate Hobbs

Gaels’ Hobbs wins the sibling rivalry









Marcus Hobbs (left) and Nate Hobbs (right) playing for their respective teams on Saturday. Photos by Stephanie Nijhuis

Things tend to get ugly when parents are forced to pick sides in a sibling rivalry. On Saturday Gaels’ quarterback Nate Hobbs made that decision easy.

In the first game of the Hobbs’ brother mini-rivalry last year, Nate came out on top, winning 38-18 while older brother Marcus played only a handful of snaps.

Saturday was the first time they’d both been starters for their respective teams, with Nate now pushing his team to 2-0 against his elder.

The third-year quarterback threw for 351 yards, 28 completions and a touchdown pass in the win, while his older brother Marcus completed 19 passes for 219 yards.

“It was fantastic,” Nate said of getting the opportunity to face Marcus. “It was a little weird, I saw him out there and I almost wanted to root for him. Then I saw him getting in a shoving match with one of our guys and I was like, ‘screw this guy’! After that it was just like any other game, but early on it was a bit weird.” 

Defense acts as catalyst for win

The Gaels had their strongest defensive performance in years, allowing only 300 yards of offense and no touchdowns. It was the first game since 2012, 34-0 playoff victory over Laurier that the Gaels did not concede a touchdown. Toronto scored all five of their points in the game’s first seven minutes via a safety and a 39-yard field goal. 

“I presented them with the game ball,” head coach Pat Sheahan said. “We needed a good defensive effort because on offensive our kids probably felt a bit more of the pre-game jitters and pressure. There were some plays we could’ve made offensively that normally we make those with our eyes closed in practice that we didn’t quite connect on today.”    

“We focused on stopping the run, we focused on manning up our guy and dominating him, and it worked out well,” defensive lineman Tanner Gennaro said. Gennaro picked up six tackles, including a sack and three tackles for a loss.

Rookie Liberatore continues to impress

Nick Liberatore (2) kicks for his 34-yard attempt during the first win of the season.  Photo by Stephanie Nijhuis

Queen’s rookie kicker Nick Liberatore continued his strong season, hitting field goals of 34 and 44 yards for his eighth and ninth field goals of the year. His 44-yard field goal with 4:59 left in the fourth quarter pushed the game a little further out of reach for a Varsity Blues comeback, and drew loud cheers from the crowd of around 2,500 fans in Richardson Stadium.

“He hit the ball like a big-leaguer,” Sheahan said of the 44-yard field goal. “He’s really come along. You talk about a kid who turned 18 two and a half weeks ago. The fact is that he’s taken that role on for us and handled himself like a veteran.”

Everybody loves Chris

Chris Osei-Kusi, pictured making a catch against Western, led all recievers on the day with 153 yards against U of T. Photo by Julia Balakrishnan

Second-year receiver Chris Osei-Kusi picked up 153 receiving yards on eight catches to lead all receivers for both teams. 64 of his total 153 yards came on a deep pass down the sideline to start the fourth quarter and put the Gaels inside the Toronto 20-yard line. Fourth-year Peter Hannon would complete the drive with a 6-yard touchdown catch three plays later.

“We called the play in the huddle, I remember Chris going “Wooooo!” Hobbs said of his pass to Osei-Kusi, which drew laughs from his receiver. “Everyone on the defense kind of heard him and they were like ‘Oh, what’s going on?’ but it still worked.”

Osei-Kusi gave the praise to his quarterback.

“Any time I got that much space to run vertical, we’ve got a quarterback that can get the ball there. All I have to do is run fast,” he said.

Good win, but long road ahead

Though the Gaels were happy to pick up their first victory of the season, they’re still facing a long road ahead in the OUA playoff hunt. At 1-3, they sit tied for eighth in the province, needing to fit into the OUA’s top six to qualify for the playoffs. 

“You should enjoy a victory in college football when it happens, but when we wake up tomorrow let’s get back to business,” head coach Pat Sheahan said. “Waterloo is a game that’s there for us to get victory number two. We have a chance to go get our second win if we deserve it.”

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