PLAYERS OF THE GAME
OFFENSE – James Roberts – QB – Jacob Hespeler, Cambridge ON
DEFENSE – Curtis Newton – LB – AB Lucas, London ON
SPECIALS – Daniel Ferraro – P/K – St Marcellinus, Mississauga ON
In the first start of his career, against a team that needed to win to ensure themselves a playoff birth, Roberts set the tone early with a 50-yard TD pass on his first throw, on just the second play of the game. Roberts completed 11 of 24 for 196 yards with 2 TDs and 1 INT. Newton, who already led the team in tackles on the season, had a phenomenal game recording another 12 solo tackles & 3 assists, a tackle for loss, a INT with 59 yard return and PBU. Laurier’s entire offense revolves around CIS rushing leader Dillon Campbell, and Newton helped to hold him 2.6 yards per carry below his season average [5.8 vs 8.4]. Ferraro was a perfect 3 for 3 on FGs and 4 for 4 on PATs. Ferraro set a new CIS record for most field goals in one season. He had an all round outstanding day with 5 kickoffs for an average of 53 yards including two touch backs, and eight punts for an average of 44.2 yards per punt with his longest punt going for 71 yards. With two rouges he totaled 17 points on the day, pushing into the lead in the national scoring race.
Scout Team Player of the Week – Quincy Reid – Waterdown DHS, Waterdown ON
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♦ I have to admit I was impressed that the Golden Hawks didn’t give up after being down 36-4 at the half. We’ve seen a couple other teams just “going thru the motions” to finish out some games this year. Laurier’s second half effort makes the game experience even more valuable for James Roberts and the other young Gryphons who were in the game. That is much better for them than garbage time minutes in a blowout. Also, nice for these young guys that Guelph coaches let them “win it on their own” so to speak. You never saw Jazz Lindsey warm up or John Rush put his helmet back on even when things started to get tense.
♦ Laurier RB Dillon Campbell really impressed me. His numbers the past two season have been too impressive to ignore but he only had 2 carries in the game at Guelph last year so I hadn’t really seen him with my own eyes. His 35 rushes for 203 yards on Saturday was all I needed to see to believe he is a CFL-level prospect. No one runs the ball 35 times any more. In fact, WLU didn’t even give the ball to another RB in the entire game. Laurier would have a HUGE hole in their offense if Campbell were to make it in the CFL next year.
♦ The victory means the Gryphons finish 7-1 for an unprecedented third year in a row. In 2012 and 2013 those 7-1 records were good for 2nd place. In 2014 though 7-1 puts them into a 1st place tie with the McMaster Marauders. This is noteworthy since Guelph has never before finished first in the OUA. The unfortunate part of it is that Guelph’s OT loss to McMaster back on Labour Day gives Mac home-field advantage through the OUA playoffs. Guelph leads all OUA teams with a 21-3 record, while Mac has gone 20-4, Western 19-5 and Queen’s 16-8.
♦ Speaking of the playoffs, Guelph will face the highest seeded team to win a quarter-final match. The OUA Quarter-Finals match-ups – #3 Western hosts #6 Laurier & #4 Windsor hosts #5 Ottawa. That likely means a re-match with the Western Mustangs. Should Laurier, the lowest seed, pull off the upset they would face McMaster, and Guelph would play the winner of Windsor-Ottawa. Previews of the playoff teams and quarter-final match-ups are here.
♦ The OUA Semi-Finals will be on Saturday, November 8. One game at Mac’s Ron Joyce Stadium and the other at Alumni Stadium . Make plans now to attend both the Pre-game Social Event [aka Tailgate party] and the game itself. Tickets for the game are already on sale here. If you’re interested in passes for the VIP tent [$30] send me an email at email@example.com.
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The Week 9 version of the Top 10 poll has the Gryphons dropping from #4 to #5. That makes little sense to me. Consider … last week Guelph was tied with Montreal, each team receiving 193 points from voters. This week the voters give Guelph 183 points and Montreal 223. How do you explain that when Guelph beat a 4-3 playoff-bound team that has received Top 10 votes for much of the year. Montreal beat a one-win team that has no chance of making the playoffs and lost badly to an AUS squad. Several voters kept McMaster at #3 in spite of them losing by 20 points in Ottawa. Good thing the poll doesn’t have any practical implications.
FRC – CIS FOOTBALL TOP 10 (#9)
Pts (1st place) Last week
1. Laval (7-0) 300 (30) 1
2. Calgary (6-1) 270 2
3. Montreal (6-1) 223 T4
4. McMaster (7-1) 217 3
5. Guelph (7-1) 183 T4
6. Mt. Allison (8-0) 143 7
7. Western (6-2) 134 6
8. Saskatchewan (5-2) 92 10
9. Sherbrooke (4-3) 54 NR
10. Ottawa (5-3) 23 NR
Other teams receiving votes: Concordia (9), Manitoba (3), Laurier (3).
Comments from FRC-CIS voter Donnovan Bennett about Guelph – CIS Week 10 Rankings
I’ve yet to see a team match their intensity and effort for 60 minutes. That’s the effect of coaching, and it’s something that is culturally set in place. They’ve lost only three regular-season games in the last three years—the fewest in the OUA over that stretch.
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Here is something Gryphon fans will find a little more pleasant to read – OUA FOOTBALL POWER RANKINGS: Week 10. OUA columnist Mike Hogan has moved the Gryphons to the top of his power rankings and writes …
There’s something very intriguing about this team. They’ve won seven in a row, beaten Western, and taken McMaster to overtime. Their offensive explosion against Western opened more than a few eyes.
Watch this past week’s CIS highlights on Krown Countdown U – Episode 11.