Golden Gaels Photos
Queen's Golden Gaellery by Jeff Chan
Guelph at Queen's 20090907
QUEEN’S 52 – GUELPH 49
With Guelph scoring a touchdown following a Danny Brannagan interception, a single off a punt and a field goal in the first 16 minutes of the game, it was apparent that the Gaels steamroller required a kick-start if it was going to meet the expectations of the 7,000 Queen’s fans in the stands (7,422 total). They got it in spades in the 2nd quarter after they reeled off a 56-yard TD reception from Brannagan to Devan Sheahan, a 66-yard punt return for a TD by Jimmy Allin, a 14-yard TD pass to Blaise Morrison, ANOTHER punt return for a TD by Jimmy Allin, this one for 78 yards, and a single by backup kicker Mike Petranovic on the ensuing kickoff. Score at the half – 29-11 – and all was happy in Gaels land.
Returning to a bit of a theme from past years, the 3rd quarter was a letdown, with Guelph outscoring Queen’s 14-10, the 10 points coming from Jimmy Allin’s only kick return for a TD on the day, a mere 105 yards, and a Petranovic FG. Score 39-25, still a comfortable 14 point edge.
In the 4th quarter, Queen’s scored a quick 48-yard major on Blaise Morrison’s 2nd TD reception, but then the Gryphons started to pick away at the Golden Gaels’ lead. Two TD passes from Justin Dunk to Jamie Shaw and David Harrision and a Rob Maver field goal brought the score to 46-42 for Queen’s. The nervousness in the stands was palpable, but Petranovic’s second FG with 1:45 left in the game restored a slim one touchdown lead.
But wait...there’s more. A TD pass to Nic Fitzgibbon with 42 seconds to play tied the score at 49-49. With the Gaels starting on their own 29, talk on the sidelines turned to the rules for overtime. But the offence once again came through, with Danny Brannagan completing 5 consecutive passes when the pressure was on, the last to Chris Ioannides at the Guelph 30 yard line.
Cue Mike Petranovic for the biggest pressure-filled field goal of his short (so far) Queen’s career. The snap was good...and so was the kick. Gaels win 52-49 in a game for the enthusiasts with strong hearts and faith in the boys in gold. For a day at least, the team can bask in the glory of a hard-fought win. But then will come the painful film review, and the dissection of the miscues that allowed Guelph to get back in the game and give the Gaels a “good” scare.
HIGHLIGHTS, there were many. First and foremost were Jimmy Allin’s three returns for TD’s totalling 439 yards. AMAZING! There were Mike Petranovic’s three field goals, none more significant than his winning 37-yard kick with no time remaining. There was a classic Danny Brannagan passing day totalling 495 yards (Brannagan’s best as a Gael) on 32 completions out of 50 attempts. There were the three 100-yard receiving achievements for Devan Sheahan, Blaise Morrison and Scott Valberg who tallied 154, 129 and 123 yards respectively. There was the almost unlimited time that the O-Line gave Brannagan. There were Jimmy Therrien’s 77 net yards of tough rushing on 19 carries. Overall, Queen’s had 586 net offensive yards, to Guelph’s 525, justifying the pre-game hype.
NOT SO HIGH LIGHTS were also evident. Guelph completed 433 yards in the air against the Queen’s D, had 32 first downs to Queen’s 28, held the ball for 34:10 minutes vs. 25:50 for the Gaels (although the GAles ran 72 offensive plays to Guelph's 67, out-punted the Gaels 44.5 yards to 32.7, had half as many penalty yards (68 vs. 121), and won the turnover battle, forcing Queen’s into 2 lost fumbles and an interception.
BACK-UP KICKER PETRANOVIC GIVES No. 8 QUEEN'S A 52-49 VICTORY OVER GUELPH - Allin records three special team touchdowns - By Queen’s Athletics
Back-up kicker Mike Petranovic of Toronto hit a 37-yard field goal as time expired to give the No. 8 Queen’s Gaels a 52-49 victory over the Guelph Gryphons in the team’s home opener.
Jimmy Allin of Belleville, Ont., also starred having the game of his career returning 2 punts and 1 kickoff for touchdowns while amassing 439 total return yards. His 259 punt return yards is the second highest single-game total in CIS history.
In a game of wild momentum swings, Queen’s built an 18-point lead at halftime, before the Gryphons came back to tie it with less than a minute to play setting up Petranovic’s dramatic kick.
The game started inauspiciously for the Gaels as Queen’s QB Danny Brannagan of Burlington, Ont., was picked off on the Gaels opening drive, leading to a 7-yard touchdown run by Guelph QB Justin Dunk of Guelph, Ont. After a rouge and a field goal from Gryphons kicker Rob Maver of Brampton, Ont. made the score 11 – 0, Queen’s seemed to find their stride as Brannagan connected with Devan Sheahan of Kingsotn, Ont., on a 56-yard touchdown to cut into the Gryphons lead.
For the remainder of the quarter it was the Jimmy Allin show. Following a Gryphons two-and-out after the Sheahan touchdown, Allin returned Maver’s punt 66 yards for his first score of the game. After Brannagan hooked up with Blaise Morrison of Bedford, N.S. to give the Gaels a 21 – 11 lead, Allin went to work again, this time returning a punt 78 yards to give the Gaels a 29 – 11 lead at half time.
Despite the deficit, the Gryphons refused to back down. Under two minutes into the second half, Dunk connected with Nick Fitzgibbon of Puslinch, Ont., for a 36-yard touchdown to bring Guelph within 11. Dunk would strike again with four minutes remaining in the quarter on his second TD run of the day to give the Gryphons hope. However, on the ensuing kickoff, Allin struck for the third time in the game, returning the kick 105 yards to bring the crowd to its feet.
With the momentum seemingly back on the Gaels side, the Gryphons once again turned to Dunk who hooked up with Jamie Shaw of Mississauga, Ont., and David Harrison of Waterdown, Ont., on 57 and four yard touchdown passes respectively early in the fourth quarter to once again cut the Gaels lead to seven. Finally, with just 42 seconds remaining, Dunk connected on his third touchdown pass of the quarter to tie the score at 49.
With the game on the line, Queen’s turned to team captain Brannagan to lead the Gaels downfield. After key receptions to Scott Valberg and Chris Ioannides got Queen’s to the Guelph 30 yard line, Petranovic stepped up and nailed the game-winning field goal with no time remaining to give Queen’s a thrilling 52-49 win.
Petranovic, who found out just 24 hours before game time that he would be filling in for the injured Dan Village (ankle), handled the pressure exceptionally well, according to head coach Pat Sheahan.
“For him to put on the performance he did today, against one of the top kickers in the CIS (Rod Maver), is outstanding,” said Sheahan. “He had no doubt in his mind on the sideline prior to the kick that he would make it.”
As for the performance of Jimmy Allin, Sheahan contributed it was a combination of Allin’s preparation in training camp as well as Rod Maver’s style of punting.
“When you have a punter who drills the ball each and every time, it allows the returner to be prepared each and every time a kick is coming, as opposed to a kicker who is unpredictable.”
Lost in the storyline was Brannagan’s career best passing game where he amassed 495 yards converting three touchdowns. His 495 yards is the eighth highest in OUA history and 19th in CIS history.
For Guelph, Dunk was 23 for 44 with 433 yards and four touchdowns. The leading receivers for each team were Gardner and Sheahan who both had 154 receiving yards. Two other Gaels had over 100 yards receiving with Valberg and Morrison each eclipsing the mark.
On the record watch front, Brannagan moved to within 1,826 yards of the CIS All-Time Passing Yards list. Meaning, Allin’s 259 punt return yards means he just needs 93 yards to become Queen’s All-Time Punt Return leader.
Notes: The two teams combined for the fifth most points in OUA history and the most since 1988…Mike Schad, former Queen’s lineman who was drafted in the first round of the 1986 NFL draft, was in attendance…Devan Sheahan recorded the Gaels first touchdown of the 2009 season after recording the Gaels last touchdown of the 2008 season, a 51 yard touchdown reception against the Ottawa Gee Gees in the 2008 OUA Semifinal… Jimmy Allin’s two punt returns for touchdowns in the 2nd Quarter were the first two of his CIS career…Allin sets the Queen’s All-Time punt return yards for a game with 259…Blaise Morrison set single-game career highs with 129 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns…Announced attendance at the game was 7,422.
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