‘Exactly what we needed’: Football wins big at home

Stands packed as Queen’s beat Ravens 49-17

Gaels will be back at Richardson Stadium on Oct 1.
The energy at Richardson on Saturday was electric. The stadium felt like it was pulsing, and Gaels football channelled all that energy into a win as they wrecked the Ravens.
“It was exactly what we wanted and exactly what we needed,” Head Coach Steve Snyder said in an interview with The Journal
“That energy you can’t fake it and it goes a long way for a football team. What the students need to understand is they are not coming to watch the game; they are coming to participate in the game. And if they’re into it, it makes a difference.”
The whole Queen’s community coming together created a winning atmosphere at Richardson. 
Students lined up all the way out of the parking lot waiting to be let in, Gael buses helped charter fans to and from West Campus, and alumni showed up donning their ancient tricolour outfits. 
The cheer teams never stopped supporting, and Queen’s Bands gave the football team a well-deserved grand entrance. 
In response, the football team put on a show.
After the Ravens scored an unlucky single during the first kick, Gaels decided totake control. Less than a minute into time, James Keenan ripped a 42-yard pass to Nicodeme Kwemo, bringing in Queen’s first touchdown. 
From that play onwards the stadium was alive. Many fans sang the oil thigh alongside Queen’s Bands and the cheer squads came to life. The tricolour spirit overwhelmed. 
Queen’s set the tone with that first play and followed through. 
In the first quarter, Queen’s Yann Longa and Nathan Falconi each put up touchdowns of their own. The Ravens only responded with a field goal.  
At the start of the second quarter, Aidan O’Neal scored a touchdown of his own. 
From there out, O’Neal was a critical part of the action as he and Richard Burton each went over 100 yards receiving during the game. 
“It’s nice to have [momentum] on your side, you don’t want to lose [momentum], and it’s awesome just to take it right away, first two snaps of the game,” O’Neal said in an interview with The Journal.
Queen’s went out and did what they had planned to do. 
As O’Neal described post-game, they worked on “executing [their] responsibilities,” “resetting every play,” and “not getting too far ahead of [themselves].”
Keenan only had positive things to say about his receivers and their work ethic.
“We have a great receiving core. Everyone loves each other and everyone loves to help each other out,” he said.
The Players kept up their energy into the second half, but the fans seemed to bring even more to the table. Cheering exploded after each touchdown, the Pom Squad performed during a timeout, and the sea of tricolour moved in unison with the band.
The fans were so engaged they even noticed, and cheered on, a squirrel that ran all over the field in the middle of a down. The team couldn’t have asked for a better environment.
“It feels good to know that we have our own of that huge crowd and that atmosphere is awesome,” O’Neal said. “If this is the experience, then I’m in love with it.”
“I love seeing the students out, it’s such a huge help when they get out here. They were loud. I could hear them at multiple times during the game so that was awesome,” Keenan echoed.
After the last rendition of the oil thigh finished, the scoreboard read 49-17. The Ravens were no match for Queen’s football and fans. 
“These guys are so proud to play for Queen’s and become the spirit of the school, so I think its tremendous, I’m so glad [the fans] were there, and I think they got a great show,” Snyder said.
The show was so great, in fact, that it earned Queen’s football the 4th spot in the U Sports Top Ten ranking—the highest spot they’ve seen all season. 
Football’s next home game is Oct. 1 at 3 p.m. against the York Lions. Don’t miss out!

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