More thoughts on the Yates Cup


Rob Farquharson, Tristan Doughlin & Fraser Speakman Photo:

Rob Farquharson, Tristan Doughlin & Fraser Speakman

OFFENSE – Rob Farquharson
DEFENSE – Tristan Doughlin
SPECIAL TEAMS – Fraser Speakman

From Farquharson finished off his career as a Gryphon by scoring the lone offensive touchdown of the 107th Yates Cup. Farq ripped off a 41-yard touchdown run to give the Gryphons an early 9-2 lead.  The Niagara Falls native would finish the day with 79 yards rushing on 14 carries, good for an average of 5.6 yards per carry.  Farquharson ends his career as one of the best running backs in school history.  After starting the year eighth on the Gryphons’ all-time list for rushing yards in a career, Farquharson now sits in second place on that list with 3,021 rushing yards over his five year career – next only to Nick FitzGibbon’s 3,601 … On defense 3rd year safety Doughlin was a big part of a unit that held McMaster without an offensive touchdown.  Playing with an elastic cover to protect a healing dislocated elbow, as well as a cast to protect a broken wrist, Doughlin was all over the field for the Gryphons recording five solo tackles, one forced fumble and one pass break-up.  Doughlin also provided the biggest hit of the day on a third and short attempt when he crushed Declan Cross resulting in a turnover on downs … A 1st team OUA All Star selection on special teams [rush/cover] Speakman lived up to that billing in the 107th Yates Cup.  In the opening quarter, Speakman flew down the field and managed to recover a fumble on a punt return at the McMaster 2-yard line.  It is another part of what has been a dominating year on special teams.

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In response to my comment about a lack of 5th year veterans on this team, Pat Tracey reminded me that that doesn’t always need to be the case. In fact, the 1984 Vanier Cup Champion Gryphon team he was a part of had zero 5th year seniors. According to Tracey the team was made up of  … 10 4th year, 11 3rd year, 11 2nd year and 18 very talented 1st year players including future stars #22 Dan Wicklum (CFL) #28 Darryl Skuse (CFL drafted) #68 Jim Farrell (All Canadian), 62 Gus Alevizos (All Canadian), # 31 Al Anonech (All Canadian). You win playing your best players, not necessarily your veterans.

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Highlights from the 107th Yates Cup game:

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From First Thought on the Yates Cup loss:

The future is still bright for the Gryphons. This team should be stronger next year, and beyond, than this year. But 2014 offered an easier route to the Vanier Cup [i.e. hosting the AUS] than the next two seasons when the OUA plays the RSEQ champion. It was a lost opportunity.

Having attended the Mitchell Bowl last Saturday and watched McMaster beat Mount Allison [24-12], it just confirmed the above for me. No offense intended [though I know my critics will insinuate it] but in my opinion Mt A would have been lucky to host even a quarter-final playoff game had they played in the OUA. The fact that they kept the game close was nice but deceiving. Remember, McMaster made most of the OUA’s mid-tier teams look quite good as the Marauders struggled to put away Queen’s, Carleton, Ottawa and Laurier. The Mounties would have been in a battle with those teams plus Windsor for a playoff spot in the OUA.

The Vanier Cup will be a game on a whole different level. As Gryphon fans who watched the pre-season game at UdeMontreal will know, the Carabins team is big, tough and talented. I will be heading to Montreal for the game. I’m hoping I may get some time on a computer at the Le Nouvel Hotel to do some more writing.

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