Golden Gaels Photos
Queen's Golden Gaellery by Jeff Chan
Laurier at Queen's - 20131005
All photos are by Jeff Chan. Jeff is past Chairman of the Vanier Cup - Canada's University Football Championship and the Premier University Event in Canada, and was a member of the Canadian College Bowl Board and Vanier Cup Organizing Committee from 1978-2000.
All photos are Copyright (c) Jeff Chan 2000-2013, and may be used for personal non-commercial applications including by Queen's University, the CIS and its member conferences, so long as photo credits are shown or the photos are otherwise attributed to Jeff Chan. All other rights, including for all corporate use, are reserved.
QUEEN'S 40, LAURIER 34
GAZENDAM PLAYS HERO IN OVERTIME HOMECOMING COMEBACK WIN
By Queen's Sports Information
Aaron Gazendam's (Kingston, Ont.) overtime heroics gave the No. 5 Gaels (5-1) the 40-34 victory over the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (1-6) on Saturday at Richardson Stadium in front of 9,037 Homecoming fans.
When Laurier blocked Dillon Wamsley's (London, Ont.) field goal attempt in overtime, Gazendam caught the blocked kick out of the air, punted it into the endzone, and jumped on the loose ball to get the touchdown and the win.
"The first thing I thought was to try to kick it out through the back of the end zone but I kind of fluffed on it and it went straight up in the air and was sitting in the back of the end zone," said Gazendam after the game. "All of our guys knew exactly what to do and gave them five-yards so we wouldn't get a penalty and then I just went and jumped on it."
The Gaels went ahead early, with a 54-yard touchdown run from Ryan Granberg (Sherwood Park, Alta.) four minutes into game. Wamsley followed the touchdown run with a booming kick, forcing the Golden Hawks to concede a rouge and give the Gaels an 8-0 lead.
Laurier stormed back in the second quarter, holding Queen's to just one point. Golden Hawks quarterback James Fracas threw a pair of second-quarter touchdowns to Greg Nyhof and Scott Campbell, putting Laurier ahead 17-9 at halftime.
The teams traded touchdowns in the third, with Daniel Heslop (Scarborough, Ont.) catching a pass from Billy McPhee (Burlington, Ont.) and running it 75 yards into the endzone, narrowing the Golden Hawks' lead to 20-16.
McPhee found Scott Macdonell (Montreal) in the fourth quarter, who made two defenders miss, scoring a touchdown with 2:46 remaining. Giovanni Aprile (Scarborough, Ont.) caught a pass in the endzone on the two-point convert, tying the game at 27.
After the Gaels defense stopped Laurier thanks to a sack from Mike Leroux (Kingston, Ont.), Jesse Andrews (Arnprior, Ont.) punched in a 5-yard run with 1:37 to go, giving the Gaels a 34-27 lead.
Fracas connected with Nyhof for another Laurier touchdown with 15 seconds left on the clock, tying the game and forcing overtime. Fracas ended the game with 359 yards through the air, going 23-35.
The Gaels stopped the Golden Hawks on their overtime possession, forcing a missed field goal attempt.
After a pair of runs from Andrews, the Gaels were in scoring range and set up for the field goal that was blocked, but ultimately ended in the Gaels victory.
"Football brilliance is what it was," said Coach Pat Sheahan about about Gazendam's final play of the day. "Gazendam ran in there as the punter and jumped on it and it was unbelievable, unbelievable finish to the game."
Justin Baronaitis (Rexdale, Ont.) led the Gaels defensively with eight tackles, along with Sean Plumley (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.), who made 7.5 tackles, including a sack, and a fumble recovery.
McPhee finished the game with 204 yards through the air, and the Gaels were led by Granberg on the ground, who ran for 100 yards.
ODD PLAY GIVES GAELS OVERTIME WIN OVER LAURIER
By Claude Scilley, SportKingston
Of the 10,000 or so people in the stands, on the field and along the sidelines at Richardson Stadium Saturday, likely only a handful had the faintest idea of what was going on.
Fortunately for the Queen’s Golden Gaels, one of them was the guy who mattered.
Thinking quickly, Aaron Gazendam turned a broken play into the winning score when he fell on a loose ball in the end zone in overtime, giving the Gaels a 40-34 victory over the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks.
“Football brilliance,” Queen’s coach Pat Sheahan said. “That’s what it was.”
It was a through-the-looking-glass ending that somehow was befitting a game that for the most part had a 4-1 team at the mercy of a 1-5 team. A chaotic ending to the fourth quarter landed the Gaels and Hawks in overtime and after Laurier failed to score when it had the ball, Queen’s got as far as the Hawk’s 10-yard line, with first down.
The Gaels ran one play to get the ball from the right hash mark to directly in front of the goal post and Dillon Wamsley came in to kick a field goal that would end the game.
The kick was blocked — the second time in the game Laurier got a hand on a Queen’s kick — but instead of the ball dribbling along the ground, it bounced up in the air, where Aaron Gazendam, the holder, grabbed it.
A punter at Holy Cross in his high school days — and the Gaels’ backup kicker — Gazendam booted the ball into the end zone, but it didn’t cross the dead ball line. As the Queen’s downfield coverage men backed up to avoid a no-yards penalty, the Laurier return men seemed unclear about what to do. While they dithered, Gazendam raced in and fell on the ball — as the punter is allowed to do.
Touchdown Queen’s, for a victory that was starting to appear less and less likely as the fourth quarter ticked into its final three minutes.
“He knew that we had another down (and could have just gone to the ground and tried for the field goal on the next play) but he had the presence of mind … to take it and kick it,” Sheahan said.
“It would have been a spectacular play to win the game by a single but to have the presence of mind to see that it didn’t go out, that it took a bad bounce and came back and everybody’s standing around it … was unbelievable.”
Every Friday, the Gaels practise what they call their kick-out play. It’s designed for end-of-game situations where the opponent is kicking into the end zone and the only option might be to kick it back out. Gazendam has a vivid memory of such a play, from the county high school championship of his Grade 11 season, when Frontenac won 18-17 on a last-second rouge when Holy Cross didn’t have a man in the end zone to kick the ball back out.
“I was actually talking about that last night,” Gazendam said. “Maybe that triggered (the quick reaction).”
In the Gaels’ scheme, Gazendam is the guy on the other end of the play who waits in the end zone to kick the ball back out, but he also happens to be the team’s backup holder on place kicks and he was doing that Saturday in place of the injured Justin Chapdelaine.
“I saw it get blocked, and I saw it shoot right up in the air,” Gazendam explained. “The first thing I thought of was to try and punt it (through) the end zone. I thought they were going to kick it back so at first I kind of stepped back … but it was just sitting there.
“Our guys knew what to do. They gave five yards, but I don’t think the Laurier guys knew what to do, so I just ran in there and jumped on it.”
Laurier coach Michael Faulds shook his head.
“What are the odds there?” Faulds mused. “We block the field goal and it bounces right in their guy’s hands. That’s kind of what we’ve been dealing with all year, in terms of breaks going other teams’ way. You block a kick, you think it’s over, but they found a way to get it back.”
It took the officials several seconds to sort out what had just unfolded but when the touchdown was signalled, it sent the 9,037 spectators who crammed the 8,500-seat stadium for the first official Homecoming game in five years home happy.
That’s because Laurier, a team that had won but one of its first six games this year, led 20-9 late in the third quarter and 27-19 with less than three minutes to play. It was a raucous finish, with Queen’s getting a touchdown and two-point convert to tie the game, then a touchdown to go ahead 69 seconds later, only to have Laurier come back and tie the game again just over a minute after that, with just 16 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
The finish, Gaels receiver Scott Macdonell said, “has taken away 10 years of my life.”
“It was interesting,” he said. “We knew we were in a fight, we knew they were going defend us hard. We just kind of dug deep. We’ve got a good group of seniors who aren’t ready to give up that easily.
“It was nerve-wracking but it was good. We were never panicky. For the most part, once we were down only one score we knew our defence was going to hold them and we were going to get the ball back and we started moving on them. We got our confidence then.”
With Queen’s trailing by eight points with just over three minutes to play, the game began to turn on a bad Laurier punt into the wind. It bounced and went out of bounds off the heel of a retreating Hawks player and the resulting no-yards penalty gave the Gaels the ball on the Laurier 24-yard line.
The second of two completions from Billy McPhee to Macdonell resulted in a touchdown and McPhee’s pass to Giovanni Aprile in the end zone for the two-point convert tied the game.
On Laurier’s first play after that, Gaels rookie linebacker Mike Leroux sacked quarterback James Fracas at the 11, and another poor punt gave Queen’s the ball on the Laurier 27. Three plays later came the go-ahead touchdown, by Jesse Andrews, on a five-yard run.
The Hawks weren’t finished, however.
“As they were about to score (the go-ahead touchdown) I told our offence, ‘We’re going to have an opportunity to have the ball, so we can either lay down and give them the game or we can tie it up and send it into overtime’” Faulds said.
Now it was time for Laurier to get a break off a kick. Wamsley’s kickoff went deep but out of bounds, giving the Hawks the ball on their 40-yard line.
“How about that?” Sheahan said. “It might have been enough to make a good Christian swear.”
Fracas completed five straight passes on a six-play drive that ended with a 10-yard TD pass — his fourth of the game — to Greg Nyhof.
“He’s really poised,” Faulds said of his young quarterback, who threw for 359 yards in just his fourth intercollegiate start. “He’s gritty. Whether it’s running the ball or throwing the ball down the field, he’s such a leader out there.
“I spent half the game yelling at him but he takes it so well. He looks me in the eye and says ‘Yes, coach’ and he learns from those mistakes. He doesn’t make the same mistake twice. I’m proud of how he battled. He’s the main reason we were still in it late.”
From a game that could well have been out of reach by the time the heroics started — Laurier settled for a field goal facing third-and-goal from the Queen’s one-yard in the first quarter, and the Hawks fumbled on the Queen’s two late in the second — Sheahan was clearly relieved to have escaped with his team’s fifth win in six games.
“Things did not quite go as they were scripted today,” he said. “That was not a classic game but it was a classic finish.”
Notebook — For Laurier, the loss was the second overtime defeat in a row. The Hawks bowed 26-25 at home to Windsor last week. It was Queen’s first overtime game since losing 27-25 to Ottawa Sept. 25, 2010. Queen’s is 3-2 in overtime all-time. … Two plays that will not appear in the statistics were nonetheless spectacular for the Gaels. Late in the third quarter Scott Macdonell made a splendid downfield block that knocked the last two Laurier players with a chance to stop Daniel Heslop’s 75-yard touchdown dash down like 10 pins. On the ensuing kickoff Laurier’s record-breaking return man, William Pitt-Doe, had broken through with a return that looked certain to end up as a touchdown. Ryan Granberg, just back from a first-half rib injury in time to rejoin the kick-coverage team, chased him down from behind to prevent the score, though the Hawks did score two plays later to restore an 11-point lead. … Queen’s receivers played like they had chain mail in the palms of their gloves in the first half, dropping half a dozen balls they should have caught easily and leaving McPhee with a 2-for-14 log after 30 minutes. “Strange as it may sound, I thought our quarterback was really on point in the first half,” Sheahan said. “I thought he threw some great balls. He deserved better.” Gazendam agreed. “It was definitely one of our worst games today as receivers,” he said. “We really didn’t play well until the last four minutes of the game.” … Laurier’s Michael Faulds may be relatively young for a head coach but when it comes to the game he has a sense of tradition. “We told our young guys, ‘Stay out here and watch them whip their jackets on the grass,’” he said of the Queen’s engineers’ Homecoming ritual of storming the field and slapping their leather jackets on the turf. “This is a memory,” Faulds told them, “that you’ve got to have.” … Queen’s got touchdowns of 54 yards from Granberg and 75 yards from Heslop, but there were times when the offence was, frankly, terrible. The Gaels failed to complete a pass in the second quarter and, aside from Heslop’s touchdown, mustered just two first downs in the third. “We can explode but we still have a little trouble with the clutch sometimes,” Sheahan said. “It gets stuck. We had a couple of bad two-and-out situations there when the defence needed a breather and an influx of confidence (and didn’t get it).”
GOLDEN HAWKS GIVE NO. 5 QUEEN'S ALL THEY CAN HANDLE IN 40-34 OVERTIME LOSS
By Jamie Howieson, Laurier Sports Information
For the second consecutive week, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men's football team experienced a heartbreaking overtime loss as they fell 40-34 to the No. 5 Queen's Gaels on Saturday afternoon.
After failing to score on their first overtime possession, the Hawks looked to have stopped the Gaels when Laurier's special teams unit blocked a game-winning field goal attempt. However, in a wild sequence, the ball was booted into the endzone and recovered by the Gaels Aaron Gazendam of Kingston, Ont., for the touchdown and the victory.
"We said at the start of the season, regardless of what our record is going to be, we're going to be the toughest team [to play]," commented receiver Greg Nyhof after the game. "We've worked hard to earn that reputation and I think we have earned that reputation. We came into this game knowing that this team didn't really respect us and I think it's safe to say they do now."
"Our emotion is amazing. It's been like that all year from the first practice to our last game," added Head Coach Michael Faulds. "Our guys are fighting and they're never going to give up. We were just saying this is the best 1-6 football team in the country and no one wants to play us right now. We're a dangerous football team whether its Western, its Windsor or its Queen's, we're going to come out swinging."
Both Laurier (1-6) and Queen's (5-1) put on a show for the 9,037 fans in attendance at the Gaels first Homecoming game since 2008. The hometown team got the start it wanted thanks to a 54-yard touchdown run by Ryan Granberg of Sherwood Park, Alta., and led 8-3 after the opening quarter.
The Hawks responded in the second as quarterback James Fracas of Waterloo, Ont., connected on 22- and 56-yard touchdown passes to Greg Nyhof of Georgetown, Ont., and Scott Campbell of Cambridge, Ont. Those scores gave Laurier a 20-9 lead at the half.
After a quite start to the third quarter, the two teams traded majors late in the quarter. Touchdowns by Queen's Daniel Hislop of Scarborough, Ont., and Lauriers Rashad La Touche of Whitby, Ont., meant the Hawks led 27-16 after three quarters of play.
In the fourth, the Gaels began chipping away at the Hawks lead. A field goal would make the score 27-19 and then Queen's tied the game with under three minutes to play thanks to a Scott Macdonell (Montreal) touchdown and a successful two-point conversion.
On their next possession, Jesse Andrews of Arnprior, Ont., scored the Gaels second rushing major of the day to take the lead. However, the purple and gold did not fold and Fracas guided the Hawks into Queen's territory. The Hawks pivot would finish off an eight play, 81-yard drive with 15 seconds left as he connected with Nyhof for his second major of the game to tie the contest at 34.
However, as was the case last week against Windsor, a win wasn't in the cards for Laurier in this game as the wild overtime sequence clinched Queen's their fifth win of the season.
The running game proved to be the difference for the Gaels on the afternoon as the Hawks effectively shutdown McPhee, limiting him to just 10 completions and 204 yards. Queens backs combined for 248 yards, led by a 100-yard effort from Granberg.
For Laurier, Fracas continued to improve his stats and for the second straight week, threw for more than 300 yards. He finished the game 23-of-35 for 359 yards and four touchdowns. Running back Dillon Campbell of Whitby, Ont., led the Haw ks' rushing game with his fifth consecutive 100-yard effort, finishing the game with 107 yards on 20 carries.
With the loss, the Hawks are officially eliminated from post-season contention for the first time since 2002. Laurier will wrap up their 2013 season at home on Saturday, October 12 when they host the McMaster Marauders (3-3). The Hawks senior players will be honoured before the game and fans can purchase five-dollar tickets with the donation of a non-perishable food item.
CLASSIC FINISH FOR GAELS
By Patrick Kennedy, Kingston Whig Standard
In a tidy 10 words, Queen’s Golden Gaels football coach Pat Sheahan summed up his club’s overtime Homecoming victory over the visiting Laurier Golden Hawks on Saturday before more than 9,000 witnesses at Richardson Stadium.
“Not a classic game, but it was a classic finish,” he noted.
In one of the more implausible conclusions in the game’s history at Queen’s, Kingston native Aaron Gazendam pounced on his own punt in the Laurier end zone for the game-winning touchdown.
Implausible? Consider first that on the play Gazendam was actually the holder for Dillon Walmsley’s potential game-winning field goal, a chip shot from 19 yards out.
The kick was blocked, however, and “the ball popped up and I grabbed it,” said Gazendam.
In an eye-blink, he thought about the weekly Friday kick-out drill, a play the Gaels practice to PREVENT a last-play rouge. “Usually I’m the one kicking it out.”
This time the Gaels back-up punter, with Hawks closing in around him, let fly with his first official hoof since high school, a timely-placed pearl that rolled to a stop deep in the end zone.
As Gael tacklers waited outside the five-yard limit, the Laurier return man hesitated, then hesitated again, then a third time — too many, it turned out. For steaming down the gridiron at full throttle was Gazendam, the lanky Holy Cross product, who plopped on the pigskin as stunned enemies stood in disbelief, some staring skyward for comfort.
The unimaginable major produced a 40-34 victory that improved Queen’s to 5-1 in Ontario University Athletics play.
Afterward, Gazendam spoke of a deja-vu feeling, a similar final play from the county final against Frontenac Secondary a few years ago. On that occasion, the shoe was on the other foot.
“I was the kick-out guy that time,” he said. “We lost by one point on a rouge.”
For hard-luck Laurier, the loss was the sixth in seven outings, three by seven points or less. Saturday’s setback marked the second straight week they’d left an overtime contest frowning.
Greg Nyof, with two, Scott Campbell, Rashad La Touche recorded majors in a losing effort, Nyof’s second TD tied the contest with 82 seconds remaining.
Queen’s trailed 17-9 at halftime but helped itself enormously by recovering Campbell’s cough-up at the Gaels’ one-yard line in the dwindling seconds of the opening half.
Ryan Granberg, Daniel Heslop, Scott Macdonell and Jesse Andrews tallied touchdowns for the victors, who erased an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
Granberg’s 100 yards (on 10 carries) topped a Queen’s ground attack that amassed 248 yards, including 70 (on six rushes) by sub Jesse Andrews who came on in the final quarter.
Quarterback Billy McPhee was only 10-for-29 (204 yards, two TDs) but had a strong case to sue his receiving corps for non-support. In the first half he watched a half-dozen accurate spirals bounce off hands and chests of stone, some on key second-down situations.
“I thought our quarterback was on point in the first half and deserved a better fate,” said Sheahan.
Sheahan defended the defence, which has been decimated by injury and was minus four starters Saturday, the most significant being all-star linebacker Sam Sabourin.
“We knew we’d have to gut this one out,” the coach added.
Gut it out they did, thanks to some high-octane runs from Granberg, a 54-yard scoring gallop just 24 seconds in, and Heslop, who took McPhee’s swing pass and made like Usain Bolt, flying past Hawks, 75 yards to pay-dirt.
Thanks also to a defence and stand-ins forced on to the stage through sheer necessity.
No second-stringer stood out more than linebacker Mike Leroux.
“You have to be ready,” Cornwall native Leroux said on the field afterward, family members nearby. “I trained hard in the off-season and at practice, because you never know when your time will come.”
Late in the third quarter, Leroux, on a blitz, dropped Laurier pivot James Fracus for a huge loss. Then on Laurier’s first possession in overtime (from the Queen’s 35) Leroux and Gananoque native Cory Dyer ran down Fracus after a misplayed snap. The sack took the Hawks out of field goal range, as evidenced by kicker Ronnie Pfeffer’s 42-yard field goal attempt moments later. Sailing into the wind, the on-target kick fell a few yards short.
“Two big plays,” Queen’s defensive co-ordinator Pat Tracey said of Leroux. “The kid hasn’t played a game since Grade 12, yet he’s prepared. He’s at every meeting, sitting in the front row taking notes.”
Laurier STATISTICS Queen's
25 FIRST DOWNS 20
16 Passing 8
8 Rushing 11
1 Penalty 1
50.00% (1 of 2) THIRD DOWN EFFICIENCY 50.00% (2 of 4)
501 TOTAL NET YARDS 454
69 Total Offensive Plays 68
7 Average gain per play 6.6
373 NET YARDS PASSING 204
25 - 38 Completions-Attempts 10 - 29
9.82 Net yards per pass play 7.03
6 - 52 Sacked:Number-Yards 2 - 16
0 Had intercepted 0
111 NET YARDS RUSHING 248
31 Rushing Attempts 39
3.58 Average gain per rush 6.36
11 - 334 PUNTS: Number-Yards 11 - 352
30.4 Average 32
153 TOTAL RETURN YARDS 186
10 - 64 Punt Returns:No-Yards 8 - 85
2 - 89 Kickof Returns:No-Yards 5 - 101
0 Int. Returns:No-Yards 0
8 - 60 PENALTIES: Number-Yards 6 - 117
2 - 2 FUMBLES: Number-Lost 2 - 0
31:44 TIME OF POSSESSION 28:16
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