GEE-GEES TOP LIONS IN ANNUAL YORK HOMECOMING GAME

GEE-GEES TOP LIONS IN ANNUAL YORK HOMECOMING GAME
University of Ottawa quarterback Derek Wendel's four touchdown throws proved to be too much for the York University Lions football team on Saturday (Sept. 28), as the Gee-Gees spoiled York's Homecoming with a 46-16 victory at York Stadium.
 
Wendel (Belleville, Ont.) finished the game 18-of-27 for 297 yards, including the four majors. He also picked up 14 yards on the ground on one carry. He and second-year wideout Andrew Mullings (Ottawa) combined for 138 yards through the air and two scores, propelling the Gee-Gees to victory.
 
York running back Errol Brooks (Toronto) had a field day on the ground for the Lions, refusing to be tackled on his way to 199 yards and one touchdown.
 
The Lions offence wasted no time, and on its second possession, and after a strong 23-yard return by Damone Williams (Mississauga, Ont.), they found the end zone. Brooks took the ball on three straight plays, including a stunning 25-yard sprint where he made every Ottawa defender miss. His run electrified the crowd, which erupted when he capped off the effort on a two-yard touchdown run to give the Lions a 7-0 lead.
 
Connor Pritty (Markham, Ont.) would keep the defence rolling, nabbing an interception with two minutes left in the quarter. But as the second quarter began, it was the Gee-Gees special teams that took over, as returner Vincent Campbell (Gatineau, Que.) returned a York punt 45 yards for a touchdown, making it 7-7.
 
Five minutes later, Ottawa kicker Lewis Ward (Kingston, Ont.) took advantage of some York penalties and converted a 38-yard field goal to take the lead, 10-7.
 
York quarterback Myles Gibbon (Montreal) then began marching the team down the field. A beautiful strike to Jason Charland (Quebec City) became bittersweet when a big hit by Ottawa popped the ball loose and into the hands of Ty Rusznak (Coquitlam, B.C.) for the interception that led to another Ward field goal.
 
The Lions responded with a field goal of their own, courtesy of Nick Naylor (Abbotsford, B.C.) from 25 yards out, to cut the lead to 13-10 late in the first half. Brooks finished the opening 30 minutes with 110 yards on the ground.
 
The Gee-Gees put together one final drive before half-time when Wendel led them down the field and into the end zone, connecting again with Mullings. Ottawa would carry a 20-10 lead into the half.
 
Early in the second it looked as though the Lions would get back into it as Brooks stretched the defence and rounded the corner for a huge gain. But as he tiptoed the sideline into the end zone he was called out of bounds at the 10-yard line and the Lions were forced to settle for another Naylor field goal.
 
The Gee-Gees turned to their running game more at the start of the second half and Brendan Gillanders (Orleans, Ont.) doubled his first half rushing yardage on a big plunge up the middle for 33 yards. Wendel would once again find Mullings for the score, extending their lead to 27-13.
 
The Lions refused to concede, however, and Gibbon reenergized his team by calling his own number and using his feet to move the ball down the field. The strong York attack was stalled once again, however, and Naylor kicked his third field goal to cut the lead to 27-16.
 
That was as close as the Lions would get on the day, as the Gee-Gees Wendel threw another two touchdowns, to Nicolas Dagher (Beirut) late in the third and Campbell in the fourth, Ward kicked his third field goal of the game and the Gee-Gees picked up another two points on a York-conceded safety to put the Lions away.
 
Hussein Hazime (Toronto) and James Tuck (Aurora, Ont.) were standouts on defence for the Lions. Hazime finished with a game-high 8.5 tackles and Tuck accumulated 5.5 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
 
The loss drops the Lions to 2-3 on the season, putting them into a three-way tie for sixth place in the OUA standings with four points. The win improves Ottawa's record to 3-3, moving the Gee-Gees into sole possession of fifth place.
 
The Lions will look to bounce back from the loss on the road next weekend, when they travel to Guelph to face the Gryphons on Friday night (Oct. 4) at 7pm. The Lions return to York Stadium for their final home game, the 44th annual Red & Blue Bowl against cross-town rival University of Toronto Varsity Blues, in a special Thursday night game under the lights at 7pm on Thursday, Oct. 10.

Ottawa, meanwhile, returns home next weekend to host its rivalry game, the Panda Bowl against the Carleton Ravens on Saturday (Oct. 5) at 1pm.

Source: York Sports Info

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