Football drops second straight to open season

Western’s offence proves too much for Gaels

Sakhia Kwemo extends for one of his six catches
Credit: 
Jeff Chan

For the eighth time in a row, Queen’s fell to the Mustangs. Their 40-23 loss drops the Gaels to 0-2 on the season, with a challenging matchup against Ottawa on the horizon.

Queen’s won the second half of the match, 13-6, holding the Mustangs to only two field goals, but the 24 point deficit they were faced with at halftime proved too much to overcome.

The story of the game was the Mustangs potent offence refusing to skip a beat against its recently-defected coordinator, new Gaels head coach Steve Snyder. The Purple Machine accumulated 486 yards on the day, 366 in the air, and another 120 on the ground.

Queen’s did well to contain the Western rushing game, but even with two interceptions, the Gaels veteran secondary got shredded by quarterback Chris Merchant and company.

Quarterback James Keenan looked natural and poised on the field in his second consecutive start, often making good reads and extending plays with his feet. 

Freshman quarterback Ryan Licandro impressed in his short time under centre, going 5 for 8 for 76 yards at the end of the fourth quarter.

Veteran leaders Kurtis Schaefer and Zach Kealey paced the defence in tackles, while Gabriel Boucher had himself a day with two sacks that set the Mustangs back 13 yards in total.

Both Kealey and Oliver Mackenzie managed to intercept Merchant.

Sakhia Kwemo made a few great catches, most notably his touchdown grab in the third quarter. Between him and fellow sophomore Richard Burton, who made a 33-yard connection with Licandro, the Gaels young receiving corps impressed.

Ben Arhen also proved elusive, making four catches for 95 yards.

The Gaels will try to redirect their equine-inspired frustrations towards the Ottawa GeeGees next Saturday in Ottawa.

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