Football: Ottawa and McMaster are playoff foes straight out of Poe

You could say Edgar Allan Poe's work has had an influence on football beyond inspiring the NFL team in Baltimore to use the name Ravens.

Poe's short story "William Wilson," which is about a man who becomes obsessed with someone with similar characteristics, came to mind while putting together the Ottawa Sun's preview for Saturday's OUA quarter-final, No. 10 McMaster at No. 7 Ottawa. Hey, the game is on Halloween.
  • Each team went 6-2 with a quarterback in his first season starting, Ottawa junior Brad Sinopoli and McMaster sophomore Kyle Quinlan, who are each about 6-foot-4 and each wear No. 12.
  • McMaster averaged an OUA-best 31:20 average time of possession, one second more than Ottawa (31:19).
  • Ottawa and Mac are 1-2 in the OUA in rushing (second and third in CIS behind Calgary).
  • They are the only two teams with two rushers to have gained more than 600 yards apiece. (Ottawa: Jordan Wilson-Ross with 790 for Ottawa and Sinopoli with 624; McMaster: Jordan Kozina with 720 and Joey Nemet with 612).
  • Both teams turned their season around by spoiling a homecoming game on Oct. 3, with Ottawa beating Laurier 27-25 and Mac outlasting Western 42-35. Both were homecoming games for the other guys.
  • Kozina and Wilson-Ross, the feature backs with the same first name, have each represented Canada internationally in rugby.
  • Each team has a Coach P (Piché and Ptaszek) who was once the offensive coordinator on a Vanier Cup-winning team before taking his current position.
Those are more fun things for us fans than serious analysis, of course. Ottawa's defence plays an attacking defence and can match up man-to-man, especially with someone like Chayce Elliott on the corner. Mac defensive coordinator Greg Knox's group forces teams to try to dink and dunk, go 8-10 plays, which is tough in three-down football. (Mac's offence plays the patient, methodical game pretty well.)

The combo of Wilson-Ross, whom Mac coach Stefan Ptaszek describes as someone "who runs more like a fourth- or fifth-year guy" and Sinopoli, who combines pocket presence with serious afterburners when he runs, will test the Marauders.

As best one can recall, in the Poe story it turns out there weren't two William Wilsons, but the person the title character was actually obsessed with was himself. And McMaster and Ottawa also have similar colours. Just sayin'.

By the way, Ptaszek had a sit-down with The Score's Donnavan (D.J.) Bennett last week.
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