Football: Sheahan on the "well-orchestrated loss"

Remember when Queen's lost its regular-season finale 25-13 to Laurier and dropped from No. 2 to No. 4 in the last Top 10 poll prior to the OUA playoffs? Gaels coach Pat Sheahan, in Belleville, Ont., to speak at sports dinner (defensive coordinator Pat Tracey attended high school in the Friendly City, as did defensive back-kick returner Jimmy Allin) had a colourful way of describing that game:
"Queen's was already guaranteed top seed in the OUA playoffs.

"'So, in the final regular season game against Wilfrid Laurier, at 7-and-0 and learning from last year, anybody with a bruise did not play in Week 8,' said Sheahan. 'And, even though we didn't want to tip-toe into the playoffs, sometimes a well-orchestrated loss can pay off.' "
Suffice to say, it worked out a lot better than the Seinfeld episode in which Jerry took a dive ("who wants to laugh?") in an effort to sabotage a hack comedian named Kenny Bania.

Putting on the Queen's hat, there was a sort of calm descending after that result. (I made a point to attend a Windsor-Ottawa game to eliminate the distraction.) Neither of the top two tailbacks, Marty Gordon and Jimmy Therrien, dressed, and there was a feeling afterward that they would be fine in the playoffs so long as the offence could convert in situations like, say, second-and-5 and third-and-1. It seemed like it worked out.

On a Queen's related-note, there is word defensive end Neil Puffer has earned a CFL free-agent shot with the Edmonton Eskimos. Unfortuanately, inside receiver Chris Ioannides will apparently not attend training camp with the B.C. Lions. Each player posted Facebook updates recently.

Queen's coach praises Belleville duo; Sheahan says Allin, Tracey instrumental in Vanier Cup victory(Paul Svoboda, Belleville Intelligencer)
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  1. The Queens' hiccup to the Hawks last year had alot to do with line-play. Those you didn't dress that game made an impact due to their absence but the physicality of Queens' lines left much to be desired in that game. For all the cudos that Brannigan received in the march to the Vanier, it was the improved play of the lines that propelled them to the top. Western, Laval, and Calgary all failed to match Queens' physicality in the playoffs.

  2. Like I say, Slide, as a Queen's follower I actually felt better about the playoffs after that loss. It indicated the focus was in the right place with the Big Yellow Guys.

    And you're right ... lines win championships. If you can't pass protect or convert second and third and shorts, your offence will big down. Same for the D if it can't get heat rushing just 4-5 guys and can't get stops in those short-yardage sitautions.