Golden Gaels pull off a royal upset
Ruggers' playoff hopes quashed
Soccer team hands Ryerson 11th loss
Mustangs split weekend games 2-1
Mustang loss a disgrace
Golden Gaels pull off a royal upset
By John Dinner
KINGSTON David versus Goliath!
Well not quite, but an upset nonetheless, as the previously winless Queen's Golden Gaels outlasted the 8th ranked Western Mustangs 41-40 in crossover play this past Saturday.
The 0-5 Golden Gaels entered the game as obvious underdogs, except to Mustang head coach Larry Haylor. "There was a lot of talk about how young they were, but people forget how young we are. We've got seven first time starters on offence," he said. "[Queen's] was probably looking forward to playing us."
Every season, each of the eight teams in the Ontario University Athletics association cross over to play against the six teams from the Ontario Quebec Intercollegiate Football Conference Toronto and Laurier will play their crossover matches this weekend.
Playing in the tough OQIFC, Queen's 0-5 record was misleading, but the nationally ranked Mustangs handed the Golden Gaels a gift on the first play from the scrimmage, fumbling the ball on their own 33-yard line. This gave the Queen's struggling offence the chance it needed to get off the ground, scoring three plays later and never trailing the rest of the way.
Queen's first-year quarterback Craig Spears, having struggled badly throughout the year, threw a 6 yard touchdown pass, putting Queen's up 7-0 and started what turned out to be a spectacular offensive showing.
Spears completed 23 of 40 passes for 355 yards and four touchdowns and ran one touchdown in from 14 yards out.
"He has struggled this year, but it wasn't all on him. Today however he played great," said Golden Gaels head coach Pat Sheehan. "He was in the zone. He came off the field and told me he could see it and it's obvious what he can do when he's in the zone."
Spears' prime target that afternoon was All-Canadian receiver James McLean, who picked up 200 yards on 10 catches with two touchdowns, including a 64-yard strike.
"McLean created a lot of space and offence for them out there," Haylor said. "We didn't have an answer for him all afternoon and couldn't counter anything he did."
McLean shied away from the praise, sighting a total team effort on offence. "It's been a pretty tough year for us, especially offensively," he said. "You've got to take your hats off to the [offensive] line. They allowed [quarterback Craig] Spears time to find receivers. It was great, everyone was having fun."
While not being able to contain the Queen's offence, the Mustangs offense rolled on. Quarterback Mike O'Brien had another incredible day throwing for 417 yards on 26 of 48 passes, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Runningback Fabian Rayne rumbled for three touchdowns and 68 yards on 17 carries.
The Mustang defence could not force the young Queen's qurterback into making mistakes or giving up any breaks. "Good teams don't talk about getting breaks," Haylor said. "Good teams manufacture breaks and create from that."
With the offence seemingly rolling along, it will be the defence that now determines the fate of the Mustangs the rest of the way. The toughest test of the year comes this Saturday, as they host the third-ranked McMaster Marauders who boast the Hec Crighton award favourite, runningback Kojo Aidoo, at TD Waterhouse Stadium.
Other scores from the interlocking play were McMaster over Bishop's 37-11, Waterloo upset 7th ranked McGill 27-25, second ranked Laval crushed York 48-11, Guelph lost to Concordia 37-14, Ottawa walked all over Windsor 52-17 and 6th ranked Laurier destroyed Toronto 55-1.