Kingston, Ont. (October 15, 2016) – The Gaels (3-4) took sole possession of the final OUA playoff spot with a 55-5 Homecoming win over the Windsor Lancers (2-5).
Capacity at the revitalized Richardson Stadium was tested at Saturday's homecoming game against Windsor, with standing room tickets going on sale earlier in the week to accommodate the sell-out crowd of 8,011.
Before the game, the March of the Decades made their way from Grant Hall to the new stadium, with alumni from across Canada and around the world walking under flags with the decade they graduated. Queen's grads spanning from the reunion zero class of 2016 to alumni from the 1940s participated in the new event.
The late Doug Hargreaves was honoured prior to kickoff with a speech from Principal Daniel Woolf and a video montage. Queen's presented the Hargreaves family with a portrait of the former Gaels coach.
The game ball was delivered by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell.
The Gaels had the tricolour faithful on their feet early and often, scoring their first touchdown of the game six minutes into the action. Jonah Pataki (Wallaceburg, Ont.) was the one who got things rolling for Queen's, rushing eight times for 67 yards on a single Gaels drive, including a 12 yard touchdown run for the first major of the afternoon. Pataki added his second touchdown of the game at the end of the first quarter after Wesley Mann (Almonte, Ont.) set up a Gaels first-and-goal with an interception and a 34 yard return. A rouge and two conceded safeties gave the tricolour a 19-0 lead after 15 minutes.
Queen's started the second quarter with a passing touchdown, as Nate Hobbs (Mississauga, Ont.) found Peter Hannon (Toronto) over the middle from 15 yards out. Midway through the second frame, the Lancers earned their first points of the game following a Gaels fumble on a punt return. Windsor started their drive in Queen's territory, and Clark Green kicked a 37 yard field goal to make it 26-3. The tricolour responded with Pataki's third touchdown on the very next possession, and went into the half up 33-3. At the break, Pataki had already run for 136 yards.
With their playoff hopes on the line, the Gaels came out just as strong in the second half, scoring three more touchdowns in the third quarter. Hobbs found Matteo Del Brocco (Kingsville, Ont.) wide open in the endzone for a pair of touchdowns to start and end the quarter, while Mann returned his second interception of the day 60 yards to score his first career touchdown. After the Gaels missed a two-point convert to close out the quarter, Queen's was on top 55-3 heading into the final frame.
With the game all but over with 15 minutes to play, the tricolour took full advantage of the 55-man depth chart. The Gaels finished with a 55-5 win after conceding two points late in the game.
Queen's defence had an incredible game on the whole, limiting the Windsor offence to only nine first downs and 131 yards. The Gaels held one of the OUA's top running backs, Terrence Crawford, to only 58 yards on the day.
BY THE NUMBERS
5 - Wesley Mann is tied for the conference lead with five interceptions this season
6 - Queen's sits alone in the sixth and final OUA playoff spot after homecoming win
8,011 - The sell-out crowd totalled 8,011 fans
"I thought the kids gained some great confidence today, there were a lot of great individual accomplishments and team accomplishments. The defence is getting better every week they really are, they have a great running back over there and a big offensive line and we did a great job of shutting him down. There is no question that whatever momentum you get by playing at home we had." - Head Coach Pat Sheahan
To secure their spot in the postseason, the Gaels need a win next weekend when they host No.9 Ottawa on Saturday at 1pm. Get your tickets to Queen's final home game of 2016 at gogaelsgo.com/tickets.
Source: Queen's Gaels