By uOttawa Sports Information
On a cold, windy October afternoon, the Gee-Gees men’s football team played its final home game of the regular season against the Windsor Lancers. After falling behind 14-0 early in the game, the resilient Gee-Gees ultimately prevailed by a score of 32-30, on a last-second game-winning field goal by fourth-year kicker Matt Falvo (Welland, Ont.).
“We’re going to be in close games at the end of the game, and for young players to experience what we experienced at the end of the fourth quarter is key. You try to recreate those things in practice, but you can’t—you have to live it, and that’s what we did today,” said Gee-Gees head coach Jean-Philippe Asselin.
The Gee-Gees started the game on the wrong foot as a miscue on the opening kickoff meant the offense had to start their drive at their own one-yard line. Two plays later, a poor snap into the endzone led to a Windsor touchdown as the Lancers pounced on the loose ball. By the end of the first quarter, Windsor managed to increase their lead to 14-0.
Ottawa U’s offense woke up on the final play of the first quarter as fourth-year quarterback Aaron Colbon (Orleans, Ont.) completed a 26-yard shovel pass to third-year running back Brendan Gillanders (Orleans, Ont.). The Gee-Gees would eventually score on the drive, thanks to a 38-yard field goal by Falvo. Falvo had another field goal on the following drive, to cut the lead to 14-6. Colbon completed 21 of 34 passes for 326 yards and two touchdowns.
“I’m really settling in a little bit, as a starter. Before this [season], I hadn’t started a football game in a few years, being behind Brad [Sinopoli],” said Colbon. “The game is slowing down for me, for sure.”
Two touchdowns by Gillanders (1 receiving, 1 rushing) late in the half gave uOttawa a 20-17 lead at the intermission. Windsor scored seven points in the third quarter, while uOttawa countered with nine, thanks to another receiving score by Gillanders. Gillanders ran for 117 yards and caught six catches for 123 yards. Ottawa led 29-24 at the end of the quarter.
With the Gee-Gees trailing 30-29, Colbon led uOttawa on a 62-yard drive in the final minute, which culminated in a game-winning 11-yard Falvo field goal as the clock expired. Falvo tied the all-time Gee-Gees record for field goals made in a career with 54. He is tied with former uOttawa kicker Ara Tchobanian.
“It’s pretty cool,” said Falvo of his Gee-Gees record. “Ara Tchobanian is one of my best friends and he was like a mentor to me when he was here. He had a really great career, so it’s cool to be standing there with him now.”
The Gee-Gees will now travel to McMaster (6-1) next weekend. The game is set for Saturday, October 22 at 1:00 p.m. Ottawa will clinch second place in the OUA with a win against the Marauders.
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