More thoughts on the Western game

Players of the Game

Offense – Michael Fortino
Defense – John Rush
Special Teams – Julian Tropea

Giuliano Tropea #12

As I said yesterday it would be pretty hard for coaches to give anyone other than Tropea the special teams honour. Playing for the first time since 2010 Tropea hit 5 of 5 FGs, including 32, 42 & 27 yarders in the fourth Q. A true clutch performance. Fortino‘s teammates call him the Boss Man because “he can do things other people generally can’t”. He is having a big season. A 5th year receiver he is playing a new position and making his presence felt with more playing time this year. He caught 4 passes for 66 yards & a TD. All Rush did was have another great game, but that is “par for the course” this season. He tallied 8 solo tackles, 3 assists, a tackle-for-loss and his first regular season INT. Rush leads the entire CIS in tackles. All three of these players are former members of the Niagara Spears.

Scout Team Player of the Week:  Receiver Amitaj Gill [Clarkson SS, Mississauga]

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Saxon Lindsay’s TD

Receiver by committee?

In spite of the Gryphons having a good season, no individual receiver is having a BIG year statistically. Guelph’s top receivers based on yardage are ranked #42 [Dillon Dimitroff] and #43 [Michael Fortino] in the CIS. It would seem that not one but 3 or 4 guys have stepped up to replace Jedd Gardner. The game stats versus Western show 8 players making catches including 4 players with 4 catches each – Dimitroff, Fortino, Saxon Lindsey and Carl Trivieri.

Carl Trivieri’s TD

The Western game was no exception. Guelph has spread the ball around on a very consistent basis – 8 receivers caught passes vs Laurier, 7 vs UofT, 8 vs Waterloo, 9 vs Windsor. Jazz Lindsey has completed 100 of 168 for 1258 yards and 11 touchdowns with only 4 interceptions. That is only one INT since the opener against McMaster. His passing numbers against Western were pretty much right on his season averages though the 3 passing TDs were a season high. I’m waiting for (expecting) Jazz to have a big game statistically that would come close to his 300+ yard efforts versus UWO & WLU last year. It may come when an opposing defense overcommits to stopping our newly successful running game.

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I noticed that starting DE Kalvin Seilis didn’t play on Saturday.  That came as a surprise to me. I still haven’t heard an explantion for his absence. [Upper body injury. He will be ready for the Queen’s game.] Seilis has shifted to defensive end this year after playing most of last season at the 3-tech DT position. The solid play of Jeff Finley, the improved depth on the interior of the d-line and the increased use of a 3-4 front were likely all factors in the change. With Seilis out the Gryphons seemed to use more 3-4 thus giving Cam Walker more snaps.

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Update: Video highlights from CTV London

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One Response to More thoughts on the Western game

  1. Bob from Burlington says:

    Quality game at Alumni Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The walk down to the arena to get coffee and hot chocolate(bitter cold with wind) at half was a tough one for us Western followers. I was likewise faked out by the first INT by Western (your comments elsewhere on and I thought it was Huggins that was in for the first Western possession- we were both obviously wrong- announcer didn’t help in that regard!

    Overall the Gryphons looked like the team to battle for Yates in that first half and they sped down the field in that opening possession with virtually no big resistance by Western. Obvious adjustments made in the second half by the opposition and really all Gryphons needed was a converted TD in the second half to ice the game. I recall mentioning to someone next to me after that last PAT going off the bar to keep it a 23-0 for Guelph that it might bite them in the butt later but I was actually joking. The Gryphs may need to tighten up on defense if they are going to contend for bigger games(likewise for Western who seemed very porous in that first half complete with turnovers and special team occasional fluff).

    I will be at the game this Saturday down in Hamilton(Mac/Windsor), but the best game of the weekend will be Queen’s at Guelph. Both teams much better than the last tilt at home between them at Alumni Stadium I attended in 2010 that was settled really on the last play or two. Who can forget another close one at Richardson Stadium in Kingston on Labour Day in 2009 that resulted in at 52-49 finish between Gaels and Gryphons- no player on field likely again to play in a 100 point game settled on the last play of the game there.

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