Queen’s doesn’t fool around at Guelph HOCO

Gaels beat Gryphons 62-11 as Soles matches touchdown record

The Gaels dominated the Gryphons on the road.

On Sept. 24, Queen’s Football showed off at Alumni Stadium in Guelph.

The Gaels demonstrated a flawless offense paired with an impenetrable defense. Despite it being Guelph’s homecoming weekend, Gryphon spirit was no match for Queen’s football domination.

The expected crowds left the Gaels unphased as they got ready for the game.

“I think it’s exciting; definitely good for the game,” Head Coach Steve Snyder said in a press release.

“Anytime you can put together big crowds and great atmospheres, it’s great for university football. We’re looking forward to playing another big atmosphere. And ultimately, it’s going to come down to the football played on the field.”

After losing their last away game, Queen’s knew they had to be prepared for Guelph.

“That’s what we’re working on right now: just the preparation leading up to it. They’re a dangerous team. They really are; they have a lot of really good players [and] they have a really tremendous coaching staff as well. So [it’s] big challenge ahead for us,” Snyder said.

The game began with Guelph choosing to kick off to Queen’s—giving the Gaels the first possession was the Gryphon’s first mistake as Queen’s gained a first down with their first play.

From there, it was like dominos as the Gaels continued to advance the field before capping off the first possession with a touchdown from running back Yann Longa. These early points foreshadowed the trouble Guelph would find themselves in for the rest of the game.

Queen’s functioned like a machine. Even under pressure, quarterback James Keenan looked comfortable. Receiver Richard Burton was always a reliable target, and Tyler Mullan consistently delivered good kicks. With their confident receivers and resilient running backs, Queen’s delivered a double threat that proved dangerous by both air and foot.

Even when Guelph had possession, Queen’s maintained excellent field position, even forcing the Gryphons to give up a safety early on.

The first quarter ended at 12-3 with both teams putting up a field goal.

Despite racking up the points, things weren’t looking all golden for the Gaels as Keenan, their starting quarterback and star player, sustained a knee injury in the second quarter. He was carried off the field by teammates, and back-up quarterback Alex Vreeken stepped in.

Queen’s shouldn’t have worried, however. Vreeken followed in Keenan’s footsteps and continued to deliver as they turned up the heat.

The Gaels brought in three more touchdowns and a field goal. Of those touchdowns, Anthony Soles scored two; Nathan Falconi earned the other off a 40-yard pass from Vreeken.

Throughout the game, Soles became the player to watch as he lit up the scoreboard with touchdowns, matching the Queen’s single game record with four. His performance earned him both U Sports Player of the Week and Queen’s Athlete of the Week.

At half time, the score sat at 33-3. While singer Nate Haller performed a show for the homecoming crowd, Queen’s prepared for the second half.

When the third quarter began, Vreeken kept throwing bullets. Whether he was on the run or facing mighty defensive pressure, he kept his composure the same way Keenan had.

Queen’s took off in the fourth quarter with three more touchdowns—Soles brought in two of them.

With less than two minutes left Guelph’s fate was sealed, but their players decided to make a push in garbage time.

With 20 seconds left Guelph brought in their first touchdown. Then, they secured a risky two-point conversion by passing it across the line. Guelph capped off their grand finale with an on-side kick in the last few seconds. Too little, too late: the final score read 62-11.

Queen’s is ranked 4th in the country as they prepare for the home game this weekend. They will play at Richardson Stadium at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are free for Queen’s students.

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