Gaels head to Carleton with something to prove

Team ‘understands importance of victory,’ coach says

Both Queen's and Carleton hold 2-1 records.
Both Queen's and Carleton hold 2-1 records.
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Supplied by Queen's Athletics

While the Carleton Ravens hope to celebrate their homecoming weekend, Queen’s football has something else planned for their face off on Saturday.

Currently tied in the OUA with 2-1 records, the Gaels will go head-to-head with the Ravens to seek redemption over a game last season in which head coach Pat Sheahan said his team “could’ve, should’ve, would’ve” won. Queen’s fell to Carleton after a game-winning touchdown by the Ravens with 18 seconds in the fourth quarter put them down  22-17.

During a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Sheahan said he feels good about what the Gaels have to offer as his team near the halfway point of the season. 

“Over the years, the games have all been competitive,” Sheahan said about his team’s history with Carleton. “Both teams understand the importance a victory here this week, and the consequence of a loss.”

Last week, against the University of Toronto, the Gaels showed sparks of promise they’ll need this coming weekend in Ottawa.

Queen’s defense limited U of T to 241 yards and 18 first downs; offensively, the Gaels recorded a season-high in both yards (528) and first downs (30). 

The eighth nationally-ranked Ravens have had three testing games. They won both of their most recent away matchups at Windsor and Waterloo, but fell to the 2017-18 Vanier Cup champions, Western, in their first game of the season.

Carleton currently leads the league in turnovers, but the Gaels have also been competitive in that field. In three games, Queen’s has thrown just one interception and lost no fumbles. 

At this point, Sheahan is cautious of the Ravens’ and said they can compete with anybody.

“They have their strengths and they also have places where they give you opportunities, so whether or not you’re good enough to take advantage is to be determined,” he said.

While the Ravens will have home field advantage alongside a raucous homecoming crowd, the emphasis will be placed on recognizing the plays that Carleton tries to implement to get ahead of their game plan. 

“The critical thing is recognizing what they’re doing at critical points in the game, and not allow those guys to make plays,” Sheahan said. 

Currently, the regular season is beginning to heat up for most teams—including the Gaels—as they all vie for a playoff spot. Sheahan said the next five weeks will determine where these teams are able to land. 

“We happen to think that we’re in the thick of it, but we have to prove that,” Sheahan said. “This will be chapter one of a five chapter episode that’s going to determine a large part of where we end up this season … It’s important.”

 

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