Golden Gaels Photos
Queen's Golden Gaellery by Jeff Chan
Queen's at York 20081004
How do you not overlook a 0-8 team that has been outscored 293-17 in their 5 games this year, a per game average of 58.6-3.4? That's the Gaels' challenge in the week leading up to their October 4 tilt with the York Lions in Toronto. With the October 11 game against Ottawa U, owners of a surprising 3-2 record having lost to both Western and most recently Windsor, it would be only too natural to look forward to that game.
But this game will be important for several reasons. One is to improve on a number of things that simply must be better for Queen's to take an extended run in the playoffs towards the Vanier Cup. Sustaining offensive drives. Keeping the Defense off the field to a greater extent. Continuing to minimize turnovers as they did against Western. Taking better advantage of what the opponents defense gives you as they attempt to contain both Mike Giffen's runs and Danny Brannagan's passing attack. Continuing the stellar special teams play.
As well, this should be an opportunity to rest some battle-worn or injured players, and provide playing experience for the reserves.
But improving on the little things and keeping everyone healthy aside, this is still a game for the Gaels to make a statement. Where the lines are drawn betweeen making a statement, padding statistics, and running up the score may be a little tricky to identify, so we'll settle for winning big and beautiful (versus ugly).
QUEEN'S 80, YORK 0
Well the critics will say the Golden Gaels ran up the score. The fans who saw the 52-0 score at the half will wonder why Queen's didn't achieve 100 points. At the end of the day (a short 2.5 hour day) the Gaels added to York's woes with a thorough beating. Over 6 games they have been outscored 373-16, or an average per game score of 62.1 to 2.8!
As the Queen's statistician missed the bus, details are somewhat lacking so far. Mike Giffin ran for 220 yards on 21 carries and scored 3 TD's, mostly in the first half. Jimmy Therrien and Marty Gordon got plenty of work, rushing for 75 and 62 yards respectively, on 4 and 7 carries, and both scored a TD. Scott Valberg had 7 catches for 192 yards and 4 TD's, and Scott Stinson had the other receiving TD. Danny Brannagan was good on 13 of 18 passes for 172 yards and 4 TD's, while Jansen Shrubb was 1 for 3 for 62 yards and 1 TD. The 80 points were the most Queen's has scored in a game since they started play in 1882.
In shutting out the Lions, the Gaels defense held York to 5 0f 25 passing for 42 yrds, and 27 yards rushing on 14 carries. Josh Sultana had an interception and Adam De Grasse has a fumble recovery. Everyone was in on the tackling, but Tyler Thibault led the Gaels with 4 solo tackles. Osie Ukwuoma and Thaine Carter both recorded sacks.
On special teams, Dan Village was good on both his field goal attempts, and made 10 converts, for a total of 16 points. He had to make just one punt, which went for 45 yards. Conversely, he kicked off 12 times, averaging 54 yards a kick.
At the risk of the Golden Gaels being accused of padding their stats aganst York (note: liberal subbing took place for most of the 3rd and all of the 4th quarter), a number of the country's leaders improved their standings.
Danny Brannagan is #3 in passing yards with 1724 and is #1 in passing TD's with 17.
Mike Giffin is back to #1 in rushing yards with 973, just 27 short of going over the 1,000 yard mark again. He is #1 in rushing TD's with 12, #2 in average yards per carry with 7.7, and #1 in overall scoring with 84.
Scott Valberg is #2 in receiving yards with 740 and #1 in receiving TD's with 9. He's averaged 24.7 yards per reception and sits at #5 in scoring with 54 points.
In additon Dan Village is #5 in scoring with 58 points on 10 field goals, 25 converts and 3 singles. He's #2 in kickoff yards with 1597. As a reflection of the offense's efficiency, Village is only #22 (a good thing) in number of punts with 34, but when he does punt he has the #4 percentage of punts downed within the 20 yard line with 35.3%.
Jimmy Allin is the #2 punt returner in the country with a 14.9 yard average and a total of 508 yards.
Queen's is the highest scoring team in the country with 298 points, and the #3 defense with 78 points against. They have an average score in their games of 50-13 or a margin of 37 points. They are still one of three unbeaten teams in the country and will likely retain their #2 national ranking. With the win and Ottawa's loss, they are guaranteed a bye in round one of the playoffs,and should they win one of their last two games will have home field advantage for as long as they keep going this year, including a home game in the Mitchell Bowl where the OUA hosts the AUA, and the Vanier Cup in Hamilton's Ivor Wynne Stadium.
Queen's next game is against the Ottawa Gee Gees in the friendly confines of Richardson Stadium. The veterans all remember the 2007 game when they let the game get away from them (or the officials took it away from them - no sour grapes here!), so will clearly be motivated, even though Ottawa comes in with a shocking 3-3 record after another loss, this time to Laurier, 22-21. The game will be televised on the Score, but the the team will appreciate your presence and loud support in their last 2008 regular season home game. Don't just wait for the playoffs to support he Golden Gaels!!
All photos are Copyright (c) Jeff Chan 2000-2008, but may be used for personal non-commercial use, and by Queen's University, the CIS and its member conferences, and by the Vanier Cup, so long as photo credits are shown or the photos are otherwise attributed to Jeff Chan. All other rights are reserved.
All photos on this site are Copyright © Jeff Chan, and may be used for personal non-commercial applications including by Queen's University, and U Sports Canada and its member conferences, other participating teams, so long as photo credits are shown or the photos are otherwise attributed to Jeff Chan.
All other rights, including for all corporate and media use, are strictly reserved.