Wow! What a great game!
The first half of the game was worrisome, trailing 14-3 after 30 minutes. Perhaps the surprise of the opening half was how well Western starter Stevenson Bone was playing at QB. I wasn’t aware that Bone was such a good runner. And faster than Will Finch too. Bone scored both Mustangs touchdowns. But ultimately Guelph did all they needed to for an exciting 23-17 comeback win.
Trailing throughout the first three quarters, Guelph tied the score in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter from a 36-yard touchdown reception by Jacob Scarfone (London, Ont.), and took the lead on a pair of Gabriel Ferraro (Mississauga, Ont.) field goals (gryphons.ca)
And what an exciting finish. Lots of momentum swings in the 4th Quarter, including a Western fumble, a Guelph TD called back on a penalty, then a deflected Roberts pass intercepted, all in the Mustangs end of the field. Western battled until there was 0:00 left on the clock.
Ultimately the Gryphons were Yates Cup champions!
- The win was Guelph’s fourth Yates Cup victory. First since 1996. It ended a streak of 3 straight Yates losses – 2007, 2012 & 2014.
- Finally, Guelph has turned their regular season success – 4 straight 7-1 seasons – into a championship.
- Surprisingly now 3 of the 4 Yates Cups victories have come at the expense of the Western Mustangs. All of them were in London. The Gryphons and Mustangs are now 3-3 head to head in Yates Cup matches.
- The win will move the Gryphons on to the National Semi-final Mitchell Bowl. Guelph will host the defending national champions from the UdéMontreal Carabins. Montreal defeated the Laval Rouge et Or 18-16 in Quebec City today in the Dunsmore Cup (Quebec championship).
- Linebacker John Rush was named the winner of the Dalt White Trophy as the Porter Airlines Player of the Game. I can’t say enough about how well John Rush played. I told his dad after the game that he is playing a role for the Gryphons very much like Byron Archambault did with the Montreal Carabins last year. And he is winning similar honours. Coincidentally, both were starting MLBs and team captains for Canadaès National Junior Team.
- CHCH play-by-play man Mark Lee, “Western Mustangs not trusting their run game …”. Who would have thought we’d hear that of the #1 rushing offense in Canada? Guelph actually outrushed the Mustangs 203 to 194. Western’s leading rusher was QB Bone with 85 yards. Tailback Alex Taylor who rushed for more than 1,000 yards during the OUA season had 12 carries for 58 yards. Johnny Augustine had 108 yards and Brandon Gordon 98.
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Game stories & Links:
London Free Press – Western Mustangs lose 23-17 to Guelph Gryphons for Yates Cup
The year of great promise ended as the year of greatest disappointment.
The Guelph Gryphons defeated the Western Mustangs, the dominant beast in Ontario university football this year, 23-17 to win the 108th Yates Cup Saturday at TD Stadium in London.
The Mustangs have lost big games before, have had seasons end in disappointment, but one would be hard-pressed to name a more heartbreaking loss than the one that ended this campaign. This was supposed to be the year of the Mustang.