No. 5 Queen's wins Homecoming thriller, beats Laurier 40-34 in OT

No. 5 Queen's wins Homecoming thriller, beats Laurier 40-34 in OT
KINGSTON, Ont. (October 5, 2013) - 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.

Gaels last overtime game was September 25th, 2010 in a 27-25 loss to Ottawa. Their last overtime win was September 3rd, 2007, a 26-20 win against Western.

The Gaels travel to Waterloo to battle the Warriors on Friday at 7 p.m.

Source: Queen's Sports Info 

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