Final look at the loss to Queen’s

Blake McNeely sacks Queen's QB Photo: Lou Toppan

Blake McNeely sacks Queen’s QB
Photo: Lou Toppan


Offense – Johnny Augustine
Defense – Blake McNeely
Special Teams – Rob Carnegie

The source story: Augustine, McNeely & Carnegie Named Gryphon Football “Players of the Week”

Augustine was easily the best offensive player on the field for either team. Augustine ran for a career-high 179 yards on 24 carries, averaging an impressive 7.5 yards per carry. He also picked up 2 more rushing TDs, and leads the country with 9 rushing touchdowns on the year. Despite being on the wrong end of a 23-15 score, Augustine, who has rushed for 695 yards this season – the third highest total in the CIS, caused the Queen’s defence all kinds of trouble on Saturday with his powerful, downhill running style … The Gryphon defence did a tremendous job getting into the Queen’s backfield on Saturday and nobody was more disruptive than defensive end McNeely. The fourth year Waterloo native recorded career-highs with 2 sacks and 6.5 tackles in the game. McNeely was able to do this despite the fact that he was matched up against a pair of talented, physically imposing Queen’s offensive tackles in Erick Lessard (6-6, 300 pounds) and Nick Romanchuk (6-11, 295) … Playing in his hometown of Kingston, Carnegie produced his best game of the season with some tremendous play on the Gryphons Special Forces teams. He contributed to a total of 4 tackles on the punt and kickoff coverage units, while also excelling on the kickoff return team. As Special Forces Coordinator Bill Brown notes, “Rob’s effort and relentless intensity were evident on every single rep against the Gaels.”

Johnny Augustine picking up some of his 179 rushing yards Photo: Lou Toppan

Johnny Augustine picking up some of his 179 rushing yards
Photo: Lou Toppan

SCOUT TEAM Player of the Week: Geoff Bezruchko – WR/TE

Bezruchko has spent the last few years learning the game from many different positions. He has been running Wide Receiver routes for the scout team for the last two years and this week he exploded during Queen’s prep, which was perfect timing for the team as a whole as the Gaels use multiple Tight End sets. Geoff started the week with a one handed touchdown reception with a starting DB all over him and ended it going 9 for 10 in the end zone on fade routes making our starting secondary work and stand in disbelief. As Scout Team Coordinator Alex Derma notes, “Geoff’s work ethic is starting to shine through and it is exciting to watch.”

*     *     *

It was not surprising to see the Gryphons drop a couple spots in the poll – from #5 to #7. An upset loss will do that to you. What is interesting is how close the #4 thru #8 teams are. That is, five teams with 126 to 164 points. It would be easy for any team in that group to pass another depending on results in this week’s games. And schedules from week to week are not equal. For example, Montreal faces the toughest challenge hosting #2 Laval [5-0] while Manitoba plays Regina [0-5].


Pts (1st place) Last week
1. Calgary (5-0) 299 (29) 1
2. Laval (5-0) 259 (1) 2
3. Western (5-0) 247 3
4. Montreal (3-2) 164 4
5. Sherbrooke (3-2) 147 9
6. McMaster (4-1) 143 7
7. Guelph (5-1) 134 5
8. Manitoba (3-2) 126 6
9. UBC (3-2) 89 10
10. Queen’s (4-2) 27 NR

Other teams receiving votes: Carleton (7), Saskatchewan (3), Alberta (1).

*     *     *

Checkout Krown Countdown U – Episode 7 for the best discussion and latest news on CIS football. The Oct. 7th show starts off with OUA highlights and discussion. Guelph-Queen’s highlights start at the 2:20 mark.

*     *     *

I’m stealing a quote from a Queen’s coach …

“There is always a lesson in a loss that you can’t get any other way …”

That was Women’s Rugby coach Beth Barz after her #3 ranked Gaels were whipped 48-7 by the Guelph Gryphon women this past Friday.

The point is simple … while you never want to lose, there is more to be learned from a loss than a win. Not all the lessons come from the film. An attitude adjustment can be even more important. IF the Gryphons were over-confident, or taking lesser opponents lightly, then we’re much better off to lose a game that doesn’t have any impact on the standings, rather than a playoff game.

Over-confidence may not even have been the issue. The Gaels may simply have wanted it more. They weren’t saying it before the game but the motivation of atoning for last year’s embarrassment may have provided more fuel for Queen’s than the simple desire to win did for the Gryphons. And there is a lesson in that too.

Mark Horta #20 & Rob Carnegie #34 Photo: Lou Toppan

Mark Horta #20 & Rob Carnegie #34
Photo: Lou Toppan

This entry was posted in Game Review, Players of the Game and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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