No TDs as football Gryphs edged by unbeaten Gaels
KINGSTON – One thing has become clear in this shortened OUA football season – the seventh-ranked Guelph Gryphons are able to keep games close despite having trouble scoring touchdowns.
Friday night at Richardson Stadium on the Queen’s University campus, the Gryphs were held without a TD as they were handed a 14-8 setback by the host Gaels, the lone undefeated team in the league and sixth-ranked team in the country.
Queen’s 14 Guelph Gryphons 8
It was the foot of Eric Stranz that accounted for most of the points as he kicked a pair of field goals – one from 13 yards out late in the first quarter that opened the scoring in the game and the other one, a 47-yarder, in the third quarter that narrowed the gap to the Gaels to 14-6.
The other points for the Gryphs came on a safety with 1:12 to go in the game.
Rasheed Tucker scored a pair of TDs for Queen’s, both on runs. He found the Guelph endzone from 10 yards out late in the second quarter to put the Gaels ahead for good and then added another one from seven yards out early in the third quarter. Nick Liberatore converted both.
Guelph led 3-0 at the end of the first quarter, but trailed 7-3 at halftime and 14-6 after the third quarter.
The Gryphs are 1-2 on the season. They scored two touchdowns in their season-opening 23-21 surprise of the then top-ranked Western Mustangs Sept. 25 and then were edged 14-12 by the Windsor Lancers at Windsor last weekend when Stranz accounted for all the points with four field goals.
Queen’s had 21 first downs, six more than the Gryphs, and 130 yards rushing while the locals were held to 71 yards on the ground. Guelph gained 228 yards with its aerial attack, seven more than the Gaels.
Shawn Lal started at QB for the Gryphs and completed seven of 15 pass attempts for 116 yards and was sacked once. Deandre Rose completed eight of 19 attempts for 112 yards, was intercepted twice and sacked twice.
Kiondre Smith and Clark Barnes each had four catches, Smith gained 77 yards and Barnes 64 yards. Nick Mirijello had three catches for 24 yards.
Kwame Osei carried the ball 14 times for 55 yards while Rose ran three times for nine yards and Lal once for three yards. Ross graduate Teo Jean-Gaston had his first OUA carry and gained four yards.
Smith had six punt returns and one kickoff return for a total of 62 yards while Barnes returned his lone punt return 19 yards.
Stranz booted nine punts for 359 yards.
Jared Beeksma had eight tackles including one for a loss of yards while Kristian Stewart had 3½ sacks for a loss of 21 yards. Anthony Moretuzzo had a sack for a loss of 10 yards and also had an interception while Devynn Cromwell had an interception.
James Keenan completed 18 of 24 pass attempts for 221 yards and was intercepted twice and sacked seven times.
Sakhio Kwemo had five receptions for 84 yards while Richard Burton had four for 38 yards and Ben Langlois had three for 40 yards.
Tucker had 18 carries for 102 yards and his two TDs and Nolan Bedard returned all nine Guelph punts for 23 yards.
Liberatore had 11 punts for 393 yards and Ethan Martin had eight tackles and Eric Johnston had four tackles including two sacks.
Western Mustangs and Waterloo Warriors are tied for top spot in the West Division at 2-1 while McMaster Marauders and Windsor are tied at 1-1 and the Gryphs and Laurier Golden Hawks are tied at 1-2. Two teams do not qualify for the playoffs.
McMaster is to play at Windsor Saturday in the only other Thanksgiving weekend game involving West Division teams.
Western, Waterloo and Laurier all have holiday weekend byes.
The Gryphs are to host Waterloo at Alumni Stadium next Saturday at 6 p.m.
- Guelph Sports Journal