I thoroughly enjoyed that game. The Gryphons were far from perfect but they did what was necesscary to win. And a little more.
Key from my perspective was not letting up after building a 27-2 half-time lead. They played according to a new script, eschewing the “old script” that Mercury writer Rob Massey referred to in his preview. So, unlike the Laurier, York, McMaster, Ottawa and Windsor games, the Gryphons didn’t put it on cruise control and hang on to win. The Gryphons won all those games but gave their opposition unnecessary opportunities to get back into the game or make the score look much less like the domination the Gryphons showed in the earlier parts of the game.
I have to admit there were a few worrisome signs early in the second half. But it was the defense that stepped up until the offense was moving the ball and scoring again. From my perspective the Gryphons showed how much separates them (an OUA top tier team) from a middle tier team. People had begun to question that with poor finishes in the games against Laurier, Windsor and the loss to Queen’s.
The game Recaps, Stories & Links:
Guelph Mercury: Football Gryphs topple Carleton to finish second
As has been their trend this season, the Gryphs jumped ahead early as they led 17-0 at the end of the first quarter. However, in other games the Gryphs have allowed their opposition to make a game of it. Not this time. They led 27-2 at half time, saw the Ravens narrow the gap to 15 points late in the third quarter and then reeled off the final 17 points of the game.
Keeping Carleton scoreless in the first quarter marked the fifth time this season the Gryphs blanked their opponents in the first quarter. They’ve outscored their opposition 223-55 in the first half and 115-104 in the second half.
A few of the highlights from my perspective:
- A solid performance from QB James Roberts – 4 TD passes, 0 interceptions, 327 yards, averaged over 20 yards per completion. His numbers would have been even more outstanding but for too many dropped passes.
- A excellent performance from RB Brandon Gordon – 82 yards on 7 carries. All around solid running game from what Ravens.ca called “Guelph’s three-headed ground attack” – Gordon, Johnny Augustine and Daniel Palmer-Salmon.
- The rushing yardage and generally lots of time for Roberts to operate are testimony to a solid performance from the offensive line.
- Gabriel Ferraro went a perfect 3 for 3 on field goals with a long of 39. Ferraro has compiled an impressive record of 15 field goals on 18 attempts in his first season.
- I was impressed with the overall play of the defense. They did it while resting starters Iain Hutchison, Nick Parisotto and Blake McNeely. Jailon Bell and Royce Metchie had solid games at the defensive half positions while Jordan Thompson and Reza Shayani picked up the slack at D-End.
- Continued growth and production at the receiver position from Ryan Nieuwesteeg helped to fill the void left by resting star receiver A’dre Fraser.