More thoughts on the Carleton game

PLAYERS OF THE GAME

Offense – Rob Farquharson
Defense – Tristan Doughlin
Special Teams – Andrew Graham

As he has done in every game he has played this year Farquharson rushed for over 100 yards totalling 122 on just 12 carries. That said, his biggest run of the day, a 52-yd burst up the middle, was nullified by a penalty … On defense, coaches selected safety Doughlin. The game’s box score credits him with two solo tackles and while he may not have gotten credit for it on the stats sheet coaches also cite him for making a TD saving pass break-up. If I’m not mistaken this was likely the fourth career start for the sophomore … Graham‘s name is becoming a familiar one in these announcements. This being his third selection as Special Forces P-o-G. Graham is still getting it done on specials even though he is playing considerably more on defense as well. His highlight play of the night was a 66-yd punt return for a TD.

SCOUT TEAM PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Zachary Bader-Shamai

Andrew Graham returns a shanked punt 66 yards for a TD Photo: Lou Toppan

Andrew Graham returns a shanked punt 66 yards for a TD
Photo: Lou Toppan

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Several people let me know that Carleton made use of fireworks at the game on Friday night. I had brought the issue up when discussing the Friday night game at Guelph the week before. Apparently the fireworks display was quite impressive and something that at least two Gryphon fans thought Guelph should try to emulate. In fact, I heard the atmosphere at the game was pretty good overall. Unless of course you happened to be seated among drunken CU students. One Gryphon parent said the problem wasn’t that alcohol was served but that Carleton’s security was too slow to react to the problems. Food trucks inside the gates provided some excellent food. The pulled pork tacos sound like something worth trying.

I did hear several complaints about the lighting. The field was not nearly as bright and well lit as Alumni Stadium. There were dark zones on the field and long shadows that made photography challenging. My perception from watching the webcast was that the turf was old and worn. Certainly the yardage numbers were almost invisible from my perspective. Several times I found myself counting yard lines from the soccer markings to know where on the field the ball was. We are very lucky at Guelph, not just to have a new field but, one free from soccer/lacrosse/field hockey markings.

*     *     *

With their victory in Ottawa the Gryphons extended their OUA regular season winning streak to 14 games. That is the OUA’s longest current streak. McMaster set a record last year with a run of 23 consecutive wins but their OUA regular season streak only reached 15 games. I would guess the only other team in recent years that has had a streak of 14 or more games would be Queen’s with a 17-game streak from late 2007 thru 2009. The next longest current streak belongs to Western Ontario. The Mustangs have won 9 consecutive games since their loss at Guelph last October.

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The last of this season’s Quarterback Club Luncheons will be this Wednesday at the Cutten Club. As usual the doors will open at 11:45 and the event will be wrapped up by 1 o’clock. I can’t recommend these luncheons too emphatically if you want insights into what is going on in the program. You can expect to see some video highlights from the most recent game, get a preview of what coaches expect for the upcoming game and hear from several veteran players. Head Coach Stu Lang will be the featured speaker this week.

If I hadn’t attended several of these luncheons in 2010 I may never have started this blog. It was learning more about what was going on in the games via video breakdown and more about what was going on in the program that convinced me there was a lot of important information to share with Gryphon fans. No reservations are required. The food is excellent and a bargain for the small fee that is charged.

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A story I missed yesterday – Carleton Ravens glory short lived – in the Ottawa Citizen has a few insights into the Ravens’ QB situation:

Ravens coach Steve Sumarah said Gorgichuk had earned the right to start and now is the point in the season when evaluating talent for next season becomes paramount.

“We’re sort of in that situation where we want to be able to evaluate our guys,” Sumarah said.

“We thought that Nick has had some good weeks and because of that, we wanted to give an opportunity coming out of the gate to start.”

And the special teams battle:

The Gryphons scored the final 14 points of the second half, including a 56-yard punt return for a score by Andrew Graham after Banerjee barely got off a short, line drive punt following a bad snap over his head.

… With time running down and the Ravens down by 22, they elected to fake a punt on third and long. Unfortunately for Carleton, the play came up a couple of yards short and Banerjee, who ran the ball instead of punting, was injured on a tackle by Graham.

However, Banerjee just had the wind knocked out of him and he’ll be fine, much like the Ravens.

“There were some things that we did OK but our special teams hurt us tonight and they had been OK up to this point. When you start to lose field position series after series, it starts to hurt you,” Sumarah said.

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