Last year in the visiting locker room at Guelph, Gaels’ head coach Pat Sheahan told his team … “Just because you are good enough, doesn’t mean you are going to win.” It applies equally to this Gryphon team. They proved they were good enough to win this game. Through three quarters it looked like they were going to. But it is a four quarter game. The Gaels got/made the breaks in the 4th.
With Guelph only trailing by 3 after the 3rd Q [20-17] and having the wind at their backs in the 4th, it looked very good for the Gryphons. The turning point, in my opinion, was Rob Farquharson leaving the game injured. At that point the Gryphons were outrushing the Gaels. In fact, at the end of the 3rd Q Guelph was leading Queen’s in total offense. Both our O-Line and our D-Line seemed to have the upper hand along the line of scrimmage. That, in my opinion, was enough to think that Guelph would be able to close this one out. But things change.
Queen’s quarterback Billy McPhee was the obvious player of the game in my opinion. Though I think RB Ryan Granberg was the Sportsnet360’s choice in spite of being outgained by Farquharson before he re-injured his hamstring. [Actually they were virtually tied – Farq 85; G-berg 84] Guelph repeatedly sacked and pressured McPhee but he still made enough plays to lead his team to the win. In fact, his stats aren’t much different or better than Jazz Lindsey’s. McPhee 228 yards; Jazz 212 yards.
I think Jazz did himself proud and proved he could play at this level (again), even to his doubters. His two INTs didn’t occur until the final 4 minutes when things were already desperate. He had 41 rushing yards (exclusive of sacks) and a couple of first down pickups. Exactly as I was looking for. It seems to me Jazz is further ahead at this point than McPhee was last year. I expect like McPhee did, he will benefit from a CFL training camp invite.
Queen’s did a good job of containing receiver Carl Trivieri who hurt them big time two weeks ago. Dillon Dimitroff had an excellent outing after missing 2 games. He led Guelph receivers with 5 catches for 66 yards. Saxon Lindsey wasn’t far behind with 4 for 61 but he and brother Jazz Lindsey failed to connect on several other pass attempts in their final game together.
After Farquharson left the game late in the 3rd the play calling changed. Replacement tailback Johnny Augustine only had 3 carries in the balance of the game. A couple of other plays were costly in the 4th Q. A 12-yard punt with the wind behind us and a dropped punt recovered by the Gaels on our 27.
It seemed that Queen’s frequently went after DB Iain Hutchison but he was repeatedly up to the task. He broke up a couple of deep passes including one in the end zone. In fact, the entire defense had an outstanding game. They held the Gaels almost 100 yards below their previous total. 354 yards vs 439 yards. I love the fact that the D-Line recorded 6 sacks and a boatload of QB pressures against a much bigger and 5th year laden O-Line. DB Taylor Palmer was the only starter on the defense beyond his 3rd year of eligibility. Overall, if there is one thing that separated Queen’s from Guelph in the end it was probably experience.
It would seem to me that some Guelph DLs didn’t get credit for a few plays they made. For sure, Guelph DLs blocked several passes in the backfield and at the L-o-S. DE Cam Walker blew through an OT and burst into the QB’s face so fast the pass bounced off Walker’s helmet and 15 yards backwards. Ian Marouf got a hand up to block another. Several other passes were deflected. None of Guelph’s DLs were credited with a block or a breakup.
Jordan Thompson, as he has done every time he has played Queen’s, sacked his former H.S. teammate Billy McPhee. Sportsnet360 clearly showed it, even gave a close up on JT but it doesn’t show up in the game’s boxscore. Sportsnet360 commentators repeatedly called the name of DT Jeff Finley but the stats only credit him with 3 assists. I think they were correct when they called Finley the key to the D-Line.
It was nice to see that Boundary Corner Colin Mandich was back in the lineup after missing 4 or 5 games with a shoulder injury. DC Kevin MacNeill actually had me convinced a week ago that Mandich was done for the season.