Mustangs beat Gaels at 114th Yates Cup 44-16

Queen’s Football left it all on the snow-covered field

Queen’s loses Yates Cup to Western for second year in a row.
Credit: 
Supplied by Michael P. Hall

On Saturday, Queen’s Football travelled to London for the 114th Yates Cup against the Western Mustangs. They lost 44-16.

As the game began, the temperature dropped and less than 20 minutes into the game, both teams were met with another opponent: the first snowfall of the year. Although it dropped to
0° C, the teams delivered a performance worthy of the OUA Championship.

In the first quarter, neither team found the endzone or uprights. As the weather intensified, pulling off plays got increasingly difficult as players lost traction in the slush. At the end of the first quarter, the teams were stuck in a frozen stalemate.

By the second quarter, the teams settled into their rhythm. The Mustangs sent some long balls that gave them the field advantage they needed. Evan Hillock, Western’s quarterback, connected with Savaughn Magnaye-Jones on a 57-yard touchdown pass.

Queen’s, however, refused to repeat last year’s brutal result by sticking to their brand of football. The Gaels persistence eventually paid off late in the second quarter when quarterback Alex Vreeken took it upon himself to run for a first down, setting up the inevitable: a two-yard rushing touchdown from Anthony Soles. Western still led 13-7 at half.

In the third quarter, Western put their running backs to work. The Mustangs used long runs to secure another two touchdowns and a field goal as they went up by 23.

Early in the fourth, Queen’s got their second touchdown of the game, again from Soles. However, Queen’s mistakes had already dug their grave—the touchdown barely put a dent in Western’s 16-point lead.

The Gaels struggled in the snow. They let off a wild snap and began to lose the mental game in the second half. Western executed crisp runs riddled with fake outs that kept the Gaels guessing and the Mustangs in the lead.

Running back Keon Edwards was critical to Western’s success, totaling 24 carries and 260 yards as Western hoisted their second Yates Cup in two years.

Despite the loss, however, Queen’s Head Coach Steve Snyder was optimistic.

"I'm proud of the effort and the commitment level that they have to everything that we're doing and how they care about each other,” Snyder said in a press release.  

“I'm really proud of how our team played four quarters and sometimes the score gets a little more because you play aggressive and give them short fields going for it. But we're going to continue to play to win for as long as we can.”

Snyder is already looking ahead at next season.

"I truly believe that there's something special happening here at Queen’s,” he said.

"We're going to continue to hunt, continue to work. That's the only thing we know. We're not going to rest until probably ever. We'll just keep chasing.”

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