Guelph Gryphons ousted from football playoffs
HAMILTON — It’s all over for this season.
The Guelph Gryphons were knocked out of the OUA football playoffs Saturday when they were handed a 17-11 setback by the McMaster Marauders at Ron Joyce Stadium.
The loss put the defending Yates Cup champions out at the quarter-final stage this year.
The Marauders prevailed with a fourth-quarter comeback that saw the hosts rally from a four-point deficit at the end of the third quarter.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Gryphs shot ahead when A’dre Fraser found the endzone after connecting with quarterback James Roberts on a 32-yard catch-and-run play down the left sidelines early in the second quarter. Gabe Ferraro booted the convert.
Fraser finished his final game with the Gryphons on the sidelines with a protective boot on his left foot after suffering an ankle injury in the fourth quarter.
He was one of five Gryphons who used up their five years of eligibility on the field Saturday. The others were defensive back Tristan Doughlin, offensive lineman Kyle Fraser-Audit and defensive linemen Donnie Egerter and Corey Flude.
Defensive back Colin Mandich is also not eligible to come back due to playing five seasons, but an injury held him out of the game.
Other players who might not be back next season as they’ve used up four years of eligibility include defensive backs Orion Edwards and Shaquille Munroe, receivers Ryan Nieuwesteeg, Jacob Scarfone and Thomas Bresciani, linebackers Justis Croasdale and Andrew Graham, running back Johnny Augustine and defensive lineman Derek Drouillard.
After Fraser’s touchdowns, the teams traded field goals later in the first half. McMaster’s Adam Preocanin kicked a 38-yarder and Ferraro replied with a 48-yarder on the final play of the half to put Guelph up 10-3.
Preocanin cut into that gap with a 13-yard field goal, the only scoring play of the third quarter. He added a rouge on a punt into the endzone in the second minute of the fourth quarter, but Ferraro got that one back with a rouge on a missed field goal two minutes later.
The Marauders went ahead for the first time in the game midway through the final quarter when an uncovered Dan Petermann caught an eight-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Asher Hastings to finish an 11-play, 75-yard drive.
Preocanin converted that touchdown and added a 23-yard field goal with 2:32 to go to complete the scoring in the game.
While both teams had 21 first downs in the match, the Marauders had possession of the ball for almost nine and a half minutes longer than the Gryphs.
Penalties weren’t a factor for the Gryphs as they took one for 10 yards while McMaster took 12 for 70 yards, one of them nullifying an interception return for a TD.
Roberts completed 23 of 35 pass attempts for 257 yards and had one interception on the final play of the game while Augustine carried the ball 20 times for 74 yards. Fraser caught seven passes for 93 yards while Jordan Terrio caught six for 69 yards and Kade Belyk hauled in five for 37 yards. Terrio and Belyk also combined to return seven punts 36 yards.
Lukas Korol made nine solo tackles and one assisted tackle while Graham made six solo and two assisted tackles and Doughlin made five solo and three assisted tackles. Flude had a sack and a fumble recovery and Charlie Taggart also had a sack.
McMaster advances to play the Laurier Golden Hawks in the semifinals while the Western Mustangs will host the Carleton Ravens in the other semifinal.
- Guelph Sports Journal