Gryphs battle Gryphs in intersquad match

Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal

GUELPH – The Guelph Gryphons did some learning in a game situation Monday as the on-field activities on the fourth day of the team’s OUA football training camp was mostly its intersquad game.

“I saw a lot of (good) stuff,” head coach Kevin MacNeill said. “Considering this is just our fourth day of camp, being able to get plays off in 20 seconds was awesome to see. We saw the guys really grasping the system and being able to implement it on all three phases of football. It was nice to see guys playing hard.”

The team had to be happy to see touchdowns from veterans Jacob Scarfone and Johnny Augustine. Scarfone, who missed last season with a knee injury, caught a pass for a TD and Augustine also hauled down a pass for a TD. Augustine is to feature more in the passing game this season.

OUA referees were used for the game and as is to be expected in the first week of training camp, there were plenty of flags thrown. Those are things the Gryphs will try to take out of their game before their Aug. 27 season opener.

“The key is to learn these lessons now,” MacNeill said. “We don’t want to just use that exhibition game to learn these lessons, we want to get these lessons learned right away so we can focus on the smaller details of being successful.”

A pair of Canadian university football coaching legends served as head coaches of the intersquad game’s teams. Gary Jeffries, who is an assistant coach with the Gryphs, ran the sidelines for one team and Brian Towriss, the winningest coach in university football history who resigned his position with the Saskatchewan Huskies in December, coached the other team. Towriss is a guest coach at the Gryphons’ camp.

Jeffries and Towriss picked their teams for the intersquad. It wasn’t a player-by-player draft, more a team-by-team draft in that Jeffries selected the first-team defence first so Towriss picked the first-team offence. In the end, Towriss’s team won 25-8.

The Gryphs will play the St. Francis Xavier X-Men and Mount Allison Mounties in preseason action at Antigonish, N.S., Saturday.

“We’ve got three days of training camp still to come so we have to make sure those three days that we use them wisely to make sure that we’re in a position to grow and execute at a higher level come that exhibition game against StFX/Mount Allison,” MacNeill said.

The Gryphs are to host the Ottawa Gee-Gees in their OUA opener Aug. 27 at Alumni Stadium. Game time is 1 p.m.