Football Gryphons kick Queen’s aside in overtime
KINGSTON – Kicker Eric Stranz redeemed himself and clinched a playoff berth for the Guelph Gryphons as he booted a 26-yard field goal in overtime to give the Gryphs a 27-24 win over the Queen’s Gaels Thursday night at Richardson Stadium.
Stranz, who had entered the game perfect on field-goal attempts this season, missed twice during regulation time. He missed to the right on a 44-yard attempt late in the second quarter and to the left on a 47-yard attempt on the final play of regulation time.
The Gryphs came back twice in the second half for the win. While they had opened the scoring with a four-yard Kiondre Smith touchdown run on a reverse in the final minute of the first quarter, the Gryphs trailed 14-7 at halftime.
Guelph led 17-14 with a TD on a keeper by Theo Landers on the final play of the third quarter, but the Gaels his a short field goal and followed with another TD three and a half minutes later to go up 24-17 midway through the quarter.
However, the Gryphs tied things up again on Smith’s second TD of the game, this one on a 25-yard pass from Landers.
Stranz scored all the other points for the Gryphs as he had also booted a 42-yard field goal midway through the third quarter and he converted all three TDs.
Rasheed Tucker scored two of the TDs for Queen’s as ran in from 17 and 28 yards for the majors. Ben Arhen caught a 15-yard TD pass from James Keenan in the final minute of the first half. Ben Hadley kicked a 19-yard field goal and three converts for the Gaels.
Keenan took over at QB for the hosts at the start of the second quarter after starter Ryan Licandro completed six of nine pass attempts for 34 yards. Keenan completed 10 of 18 for 143 yards the rest of the way and he also ran seven times for 94 yards.
As was the case early in the season, the Gryphon offence sputtered in the first half before getting it into gear in the second half.
The win lifts the Gryphs to 5-2 and clinches them a spot in the playoffs. Western Mustangs lead at 7-0 while the McMaster Marauders are second at 5-1 and the Gryphs are third. The Ottawa Gee-Gees are fourth at 4-2 while the Waterloo Warriors and Laurier Golden Hawks are tied fifth at 4-3 after Laurier outlasted Waterloo 53-50 in triple overtime Thursday night.
Those six are the likely playoff participants although the Toronto Varsity Blues and Carleton Ravens, both at 2-4, could push their ways in with help from tie-breaker rules.
The Gaels are ninth at 2-5, Windsor Lancers 10th at 1-6 and York Lions 11th at 0-6. Those three will not participate in the playoffs.
The Gryphs are to complete their regular season with a game against Toronto at Varsity Stadium Oct. 19 at 1 p.m.
Gryphons 27 Gaels 24 (OT)
- Guelph Sports Journal