By uOttawa Sports Information
The uOttawa Gee-Gees were deep behind enemy lines as they visited the Western Mustangs on Saturday afternoon at TD Waterhouse Field in London, Ont with 9,718 fans in attendance. The garnet and grey could not sustain their defensive momentum early on and went on to lose the game by a final score of 34-6 for their first loss of the season.
The 2-1 uOttawa Gee-Gees offense struggled with only 293 yards on the day. Fourth-year quarterback Aaron Colbon (Orleans, Ont.) was 17-40, with one touchdown, one interception, and three sacks. Third-year running back Brendan Gillanders (Ottawa, Ont.) also struggled and was held to less than 100 yards for the first time this season, finishing with only 25 yards for the game.
It was a battle of two very different, but seemingly evenly matched, teams as the OUA’s top offensive team, Western, would do battle with the OUA’s top defensive team, the uOttawa Gee-Gees. The first half was largely a defensive battle throughout with the score set at 6-3 Western at the half.
The Gee-Gees defense made some big plays and held the Mustangs to their lowest tally so far this season after two quarters. Third-year linebacker Robert Griffiths (Burlington, Ont.) had a crushing sack on Western’s starting pivot, Donnie Marshall, in the first quarter for a total of 12 yards lost on the play. The garnet and grey’s defense had a total of 11.5 tackles in the first half while Western had 22 yards lost in the first half.
Fourth-year kicker Matt Falvo (Welland, Ont.) finally got the Gee-Gees on the board late in the second quarter with a 37-yard field goal to notch the score at 6-3. Western scored two field goals in the second quarter, after failing on two earlier attempts in the first quarter.
The second half however would be a very different story. Both teams exchanged some big plays early on, including third-year defensive back Matthew Bond-Lapointe’s (Montreal, Que.) second interception of the game which led to a Gee-Gees field goal to tie the game at 6-6.
Unfortunately from there, Western’s offense woke up and went on to score 18 unanswered points to take a 24-6 lead after three quarters of play. The Gee-Gees gave up some big plays on a few costly penalties and a fumble to allow for the Mustangs’ offensive surge.
In the fourth quarter, the Mustangs’ offense continued to wear down the Gee-Gees’ defense and scored another 17 points, including two touchdowns and a field goal to finish the game. Still, the Gee-Gees were able to save face by scoring a late touchdown and their first of the game when fourth-year quarterback Aaron Colbone connected with third-year receiver Simon Le Marquand to set the final score at 41-13.
Although the score might have indicated differently, head coach Jean-Philippe Asselin was optimistic that his team can compete with the Mustangs. “I think for any defense it’s tough to hang with them when they get the ball back four times in a row. They’re a good offense, but I think we showed that we can definitely play with those guys,” said Asselin.
While the Gee-Gees did not execute well on offense, Asselin acknowledges that Aaron Colbon had a rough day for his first start at TD Waterhouse and knows he will learn from the experience. “It’s a good learning curve for [Aaron Colbon], it was a big crowd here and I think it was a good learning experience for him as a first-year starter, and I know he’s better than what he showed today. I think this will be positive for him, and he’s going to play better the next time that’s for sure,” he added.
Looking ahead to next weekend’s homecoming game against the lowly Toronto Varsity Blues, Asselin is not taking anything for granted and looks forward to getting back on track. “It’s not about who we play, it’s about getting better. We have Toronto next week, and we’re looking forward to a week of practice to make sure we fix our mistakes and make sure we’re getting better all the time.”
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