More thoughts on the Laurier game

Players of the Game

Jedd Gardner - Guelph's all-time leader in receptions (153) and receiving yardage (2,520 yds)

Offence – Jedd Gardner
Defense – Jaryd Baines
Special Teams – Zack Androschuk

I listed Gardner’s stats yesterday so I think it’s enough to say that he had a great game to conclude a great career.  Baines probably had his best game as a Gryphon with 7 tackles, 3 assists, a fumble recovery & a tackle for loss.  As he’s done many times before Androschuk played a solid game on special teams and recorded a tackle and an assist.

Scout Team Player of the Week – Matt Woehl [freshman QB from Ridgeway-Crystal Beach HS & Niagara Spears]

*     *     *

A Gryphon fan I spoke with this morning said of the Laurier game, “this was a more disappointing loss than I thought”.  He had attended the game and was impressed with Guelph’s ability to compete with Laurier but hadn’t realized until he looked at the stats how significantly Guelph had outplayed the Hawks.  He blames me for making him aware of that in yesterday’s blog post.  He and most Gryphon fans will feel even more disappointed with the result when they hear that the video shows that the 20 yard TD in the middle of the 4th Q was indeed a legal pass play and the touchdown should have counted. 

Further, consider Laurier’s scoring drives:

Drive # 1 – 3 yards on 3 plays – field goal
Drive # 2 – 9 yards on 4 plays – field goal
Drive # 3 – 17 yards on 3 plays – TD

They started Drive #1 on our 31 after a 15-yd “no yards” penalty.  They started Drive # 2 on our 45 after a fumble.  They started Drive #3 on our 17 after a fumble.

While we outplayed Laurier in most aspects of the game – the offensive, defensive and special teams stats all favour Guelph – the bottomline is we made more mistakes.  Turnovers and penalties were the difference in that game.  Remember the old adage: the team that wins the turnover battle wins the game.  And there is a reason people say “stats are for losers”.  I’d rather have won on the scoreboard than on the stats sheet.  With respect to the mistakes and penalties, a lot of it relates to youth in some key positions and getting used to a new offence. 

The last time Laurier had to replace an OC or DC was 2006.  Their players have been playing in the same offensive and defensive systems since the day they arrived on that campus.  Add to that the fact that we fielded a younger, less experienced team and we had a lot to overcome.

It’s worth noting that the two fumbles were both by receivers rather than running backs.  Neither of the receivers were inexperienced players but they are new to carrying the football.  Our receivers were rarely asked to take hand-offs in years past but using receivers to carry the ball is an integral part of OC Galloway’s offence.  I fully expect that we’ll see even more of that in future seasons.

We haven’t even been through a spring camp yet with this OC.  Guys like Haid and Honig will have a lot more reps at those plays before they hit the field next September.  There will be time to instruct guys in all of the fundamentals involved in this new system.  And look for our coaches to recruit personnel to fit this scheme.

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