My first thought is that the game I saw yesterday was a little disappointing. It’s almost as if these teams needed another four days of training camp to get their acts together. [I won’t repeat my opinion about a 1o-day training camp here.] Having reflected on it for 24 hours I also think that part of the disappointment stems from overly rosy expectations that I and others had. My view of the season’s potential hasn’t changed a bit. It was just unrealistic to expect this team to pick up where they left off last season. Or to be in mid-season form.
Sure! The score should have been a little higher but it was still a decisive win. Think back to where the Gryphons were after Week 1 last year – a 50-9 blowout loss at McMaster. This is actually not a bad situation. There are plenty of things that can clearly be identified as needing work. And plenty of things to draw motivation from. We saw how this team responded last year after a devastating Game 1.
Not to look ahead but we face the same Week 2 opponent this year. And while we may have opened both seasons with underwhelming performances, our opponents the Windsor Lancers have won with stunning blowout performances – 78-11 over Waterloo yesterday and an even more shocking 63-18 demolition of Ottawa in 2012. I don’t see any way that the Gryphons can overlook the Lancers now. That would have been possible if we had smoked the Golden Hawks by 30 or 40 points.
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Getting back to the game, the defensive performance was stellar. Zero points allowed, 144 total yards but only 59 net yards given up. As for the offense, remember what I wrote in the preview … I just hope they [Gryphon O] do a better job than last year of turning offensive yardage into points. That was again disappointing. Good field position, 29 first downs and 377 yards only produced 17 offensive points. But that also brings up special teams. Missing 3 of 4 FGs hurt. Daniel Ferraro’s punting started out inconsistent but finished strong [37.9 yds with 5 inside the 20]. Our return game was good but we didn’t totally shut down the Hawks the way I thought we could.
A final thought for today. I was very happy with the way our freshman played. We put the ball in the hands of three freshmen tailbacks who produced 154 yards on 28 carries with ZERO fumbles. TB Johnny Augustine and DE Ian Marouf were perhaps the most noticeable but other freshmen or redshirt freshmen with solid performances were DB Mikey Carney, CB Orion Edwards, TB Bryson Dobush and TB Rob Carnegie. Sophomore LBs Pat McGrath and Curtis Newton responded to more playing time with solid performances. DL Blake McNeely saw the most game action of his young career. Cam Thorn played his first ever game at LG while LT Jake Piotrowski saw his first game action since 2011.
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You will find a game story in the Guelph Mercury – Football Gryphons take season opener. A few highlights:
Guelph rookie defensive lineman Ian Marouf had three solo tackles, two assisted tackles, sacked Laurier quarterback Julien John twice and also had two tackles for a loss.
The Gryphons kept ticking in their ground game even though all-star running back Rob Farquharson sat out with a hamstring injury. Rookie John Augustine churned ahead for 129 yards on 16 carries while fellow rookie Bryson Wishloff-Dobush had 24 yards on nine carries.
As always you can find complete game stats, box score and play-by-play at on the CIS website.
The game story at gryphons.ca – Gryphons start 2013 season with victory at home over Laurier 21-7 also has a nice selection of pics in a photo gallery. Find the complete photo gallery here. The traditional red jerseys with yellow pants make for great photos.