Sunday, September 28, 2008

Football: Recapping Week 6

It was a busy day with work commitments, but here's the game capsules:

ONTARIO

Windsor 40, No. 6 Ottawa 38:
The Gee-Gees might have had the longest bus trip home in modern OUA history.

Ottawa QB Josh Sacobie, according to uOttawa sports information, will have his injured left (non-passing) arm X-rayed today. (Update: No break -- he'll practise Tuesday.)

He got hurt after throwing the Hail Mary on the final play. As cruel as fate as it is for Josh, it was a perfect denouement ("the final unravelling") to a day where the Gee-Gees had five interceptions and a fumble that turned into a scoop-and-score for Matt Bucknor.

Take nothing away from Windsor, which had its biggest win in two years, and first over Ottawa in a generation. It almost got away from them in the second half after a 35-point second quarter put them up 37-3, but the Lancers defence, with the likes of Chad Cossette (1.5 sacks) and Bryan Quayson (three INTs) hung on.

Daryl Stephenson rushed 27 times for 136 yards, enough to keep the clock moving and keep Ottawa's offence on the sideline. He didn't face Ottawa's D during his Hec Crighton season, so that must have felt good him to go above 100 yards and do it in a win.

Ottawa does not travel well -- 1-2 on the road with the win being a three-pointer over a rebuilding Mac team. They might just want to avoid the 519 area code from here on in.

No. 4 Queen's 43, No. 2 Western 16: Please don't begrude a Golden Gaels fan for wanting to get his Grantland Rice on.

You know ... Outlined against a gray September sky the Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore they are known as famine, pestilence, destruction and death. These are only only aliases. Their real names are: Osi Ukwuoma, Kyle MacDonald, Dee Sterling and Neil Puffer ...

The Mustangs' Michael Faulds has almost as many lives as his team had turnovers -- 11. That is one sum-it-up. Queen's handled out a physical pounding -- Greg Marshall mothballed his running game some time between the end of warmups and the national anthem. Faulds spent much of the afternoon scrambling and chucking it deep like Rex Grossman in is his most fevered dream.

It worked well enough to keep Western in the game. They outgained Queen's by some 200 yards, yet still lost by 27 points.

There was some tension wwhen Western got within nine points, 23-14, going into the fourth quarter. MacDonald came up with a sack-forced fumble that ended one drive, then Queen's stacked up Faulds on a third-and-1 sneak.

There's a lot of football left, but Western just had a brutal afternoon. The defence did a good job on Mike Giffin (69 yards), especially since D-lineman Chris Greaves didn't return in the second half. However, getting sucked in on fake punt and a fake field goal, having two long snaps go over the punter's head and having a kick returner slip down on his own four-yard line (which led to Queen's third touchdown) is pretty inexcusable, even in inclement conditions.

Sterling, during an on-fieldpost-game interview, gently corrected The Score's D.J. Bennett -- "We're the Golden Gaels."

Our own Andrew Bucholtz already has his game story online at The Queen's Journal.

Laurier 38, Waterloo 23: The Golden Hawks' steadily improving QB Luke Thompson accounted for more than 400 yards' offence and threw for four touchdowns. It didn't sound like much of a game

Guelph 30, Toronto 0: No one had Week 5 in the pool for when Nick FitzGibbon would finally score a rushing touchdown, huh? Well, we'll just have to roll the jackpot over (no jokes about when York will score its next rushing touchdown).

The OUA has three 3-2 teams and three more at 2-3. Western's loss and the Gryphons' talent means that it's very much in play that they could win out and get to 5-3.

It was a tough afternoon for U of T. It would be good to see them have some close games over the second half of the schedule -- it would help sell the notion that they are rebuilding in earnest.
Both CIS teams in the GTA got shut out this weekend and the Argos lost by 28 points at home. At least Toronto has one winning football team -- the Bills will be 4-0 by this time tomorrow.

Canada West

No. 10 Calgary 24, UBC 11:
No one said it had to be pretty. Calgary TCB'd big time, with its defence stymieing the Thunderbirds, especially in the fourth quarter.

Deke Junior had three touchdowns through the air for Calgary, which is right in the thick of about four or five teams who are slugging it out for the 2-4 slots in the Can West playoff field. His 64-yarder to Nathan Coehoorn broke a long offensive-touchdown drought for Calgary.

Highly touted rookie QB Billy Greene, who was All-Everything in B.C. high school football the past couple years, saw extended action (5-of-13 for 102 yards, but 64 on one play) for the Thunderbirds. His statline didn't include a touchdown pass that would have brought UBC within six points (with the convert), since it was wiped out by a holding penalty. It would not be a shock to see Marc McVeigh end up moving to another position eventually.

Jordan Flagel, the Dinos quarterback for much of 27, is now playing receiver. He caught three passes for 32 yards, including a six-yarder for the day's final touchdown.

Regina 31, No. 7 Simon Fraser 7: The Rams have two games against Alberta left, so they're not out of this by any means. Luke Derkson, who'

Atlantic

Mount Allison 27 St. FX 24 (OT):
When Mount A wins, fans of 25 other teams always get a warm feeling. Olivier Eddie kicked the game-winning field goal on the second overtime possession, capping a homecoming victory for a team who's surely suffered for it.

Mounties d-back Callan Exeter was in on 13 tackles. Presumably, St. FX's James Green might still be running if Exeter had not been all over the field. Green's 27-carry, 214-yard day was the second-best in the country this weekend.

Four of the Mounties' games have been decided by five points or less and they led Saint Mary's for a half in their other outing. For a team which lost its coach not too long before the season, they've hung in there every week, to the best of their ability.

Saint Mary's 28 Acadia 23: Erik Who? The Huskies ran for their obligatory 340 yards, with two hundred and fifty-one coming from Devon Jones, and weathered a strong effort from a snakebitten Acadia team which remains winless.

Saint Mary's doesn't need a statement game, but if they want to have one next week at St. FX, sure, that would be nice. It's understandable that they know most of their league games are cake. They're still playing with fire -- a last-minute fumble actually gave Acadia to get in range for a Hail Mary pass before a sack stalled the last desperate drive.

The Axemen (0-4) still have their home-and-home with Mount Allison upcoming, but there's a trip to Sherbrooke yet for Acadia. The bottom line is sweeping the Mounties likely means a playoff berth and then it's two wins to a bowl game.

Quebec

Bishop's 15 Sherbrooke 10: That's it, the Vert et Or's Thursday night TV privileges have been taken away for two weeks. They evidently watched USC's loss to Oregon State and figured that's how you play against a lightly regarded 1-2 team.

Jamall Lee ran 26 times for 176 yards, bringing him up to 724 halfway through the season. Laval has a quarterback who's an 80% passer, so Benoit Groulx might be the conference's nominee. However, the Laval QB always leads the country in completion percentage -- Lee is probably more valuable to the Gaiters.

Sherbrooke probably figures to get Bishop's back for this next week, but it might cost them a home playoff game -- unless they're fixing on winning at Concordia and/or Laval. They might be the Q's answer to Ottawa -- very talented, but struggle on the road. They were 10 yards from winning this, and took two holding penalties in the red zone that left them in third-and-18 on the game's decisive play.

Montreal 58 McGill 7: Oh, please.

The Carabins have Concordia and Saint Mary's on the road the next two weeks.

Laval 21 Concordia 12: If you hold Rouge et Or QB Benoit Groulx to an exacting Alex Rodriguez standard, then 20-of-31 for 293 yards (no TDs, no interceptions, but ouch, five sacks) is a bad game for him. For any other QB on any other team, it's great.

Étienne Légaré had 6½ tackles and sack for the Rouge et Or, giving him four takedowns of the quarterback in the past two games. He springs to mind as a Presidents' Trophy shortlister in the Q.

2 comments:

  1. You're right that Laurier-Waterloo wasn't much of a game. Even the 21-11 halftime score is a little misleading, since the Warriors got a major with 15 seconds left in the second.

    I will say Waterloo is better than I expected (or Laurier's offence is just worse--three interceptions and three conceded safeties?), but it was still a struggle to hang around for the free postgame concert by The Trews.

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  2. Nice pickup on the Sacobie injury... that will certainly be one to follow in the coming weeks.

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