Gryphons upset by the Gaels in Kingston

The Gryphons fell to Queen’s in a stunning upset – 23-15. No one saw it coming. In terms of upsets, it would likely be the biggest in the OUA since Carleton beat Ottawa last year, or possibly, since the Gryphons wins over the Golden Gaels in 2012. It ended the Gryphons OUA-leading 12-game regular season win streak.

As surprising as it was, this loss really doesn’t change anything. The Gryphons can still finish 7-1 and host an Yates Cup semifinal. In that way this game feels a lot like the 50-9 blowout loss to Mac in the 2012 season opener – forget it and move on – and not like the last major upset the Gryphons suffered, a season-changing loss at UofT in 2011.

The back-breaking play was likely the 108-yard TD pass given up just one play after the Gryphons had turned the ball over on downs at the Gaels 2-yd line. But that was only one of three red zone turnovers. James Roberts was intercepted in the end zone on the first drive of the 2nd Q and picked at the Queen’s 5 on the next drive. On top of that, late in the 3rd Q Roberts also had a deflected pass fall into the hands of a Gael LB at the Queen’s 20.

Photo: Lou Toppan

Photo: Lou Toppan

Other than that one 108-yard play the Guelph defense did a pretty solid job given the field position they so often found themselves in. They stuffed the Queen’s running game holding Jonah Pataki to 73 yards on 23 attempts, a 3.2 ypc average. They sacked the Queen’s QB 4 times and pressured him others. I do have to give Nate Hobbs credit for picking up several critical 1st downs on scrambles.

This is likely the first game in years that the Gryphons clearly lost the special teams portion of the game. The Gaels had a couple of big returns while Guelph’s return yardage was fairly average. Gabe Ferraro’s first two punts into the wind were low and short, but to make matters worse, the Gryphons took No Yards penalties on both. After that I thought he did a pretty good dealing with the wind. Late in the game the Gaels also appeared to catch the Gryphons off guard with a successful fake punt.

As for the offense, after the first five series when Guelph went 2&out, 4&out, 2&out, 2&out and 4&out, I thought, turnovers aside, they did a pretty good job of moving the ball. I loved the way Guelph was able to run the ball. The O-Line, Johnny Augustine and Brandon Gordon were excellent. I believe Augustine’s 179 yards were a career high.

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Game stories, recaps & other links:

Guelph Mercury: Gryphons see win streak halted by Queen’s Gaels

Gryphons.ca: Gryphons Stumble in Kingston, Suffer First Loss of 2015

GoGaelsGo.ca: Gaels flip the script and take down No.5 Gryphons 23-15

Kingston Whig-Standard: Gaels upset Gryphons

Boxscore & Game Stats: here

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Game highlights from GoGaelsGo.ca:

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Other quick notes on the game:

  • Queen’s choice to take the wind to start the game may have been a very wise choice. Against the wind the Gryphons only picked up 3 1st downs in the opening Q. That was a big change from the previous two games. The Gryphons first drive against Mac was included five 1st downs and a touchdown. The Gryphons put together 4 TD drives in the 1st Q against Ottawa.
  • WR A’dre Fraser missed the missed the game for what I assume was an injury. That’s unfortunate. He had a nice season going in terms of performance and not having missed time through the first five games. Fraser was the team’s #2 receiver in terms of yardage and catches. Freshman Kade Belyk started in his place and was only thrown to twice that I saw. He had a 17-yd reception negated by a penalty.
  • SB/TE James Ingram made a catch early in the game but was lost to injury before the 1st Q was over. He did not return to the game.
  • As I predicted, and they had done against Mac, the defense did an excellent job of limiting the production of the Golden Gaels star receiver, Doug Corby. The dangerous Corby had just 3 catches for 25 yards. The #2 receiver, Curtis Carmichael, caught one pass for 18 yards. DB Nick Parisotto seemed to be paying special attention to Top 20 CFL prospect Corby.
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