Gaels defeated after battle to final whistle against Carleton Raven

Despite pushing the Carleton Ravens all the way to the final seconds of the game, Queen’s Gaels didn’t secure a victory at their home opener game this past weekend.

The Queen’s Gaels (0-1) battled, but lost to the Carleton Ravens (1-0) on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019 in front of 1,922 fans at Richardson Stadium.

The crowd was filled with Junior Gaels athletes from all sports and saw Junior Gaels team members throw T-shirts out to the crowd as the team ran out onto the field.

The Ravens scored on the first play of the game as Vincent Plouffe launched the opening kickoff over Ben Arhen and through the back of the end zone to score a rouge for Carleton. 

The Gaels attempted to answer back on their second drive of the game as first-year quarterback James Keenan marched the team down to Carleton’s 32-yard line. The Gaels were unsuccessful to put points on the board as Nick Liberatore narrowly missed a 39-yard field goal attempt to close the drive. 

Keenan opened the first quarter strong completing 6-7 passes for 53 yards including a five-yard touchdown pass to Sakhia Kwemo to give the Gaels a 7-1 lead. The play marked the first touchdown pass of Keenan’s Gaels career and Kwemo’s first touchdown reception in his young career. 

The Gaels offence struggled in the second quarter following an injury to running back Jake Puskas. Puskas carried the ball for 34 yards on six carries before leaving the game. 

Carleton’s offence came to life in the second as Ravens quarterback Tanner DeJong led his team on a seven-play 53-yard drive. Mathieu Pickens punched the ball in from three yards out to give the Ravens an 8-7 lead.

The Gaels closed the half up 9-8 after DeJong was sacked in the end zone by Anthony Federico for a safety.

Gaels quarterback Ryan Licandro entered the game midway through the third quarter completing one attempt before Keenan came back in. 

DeJong fired an eight-yard touchdown pass to Quinton Soares with 11:01 remaining in the third quarter to put the Ravens ahead 15-9. 

The Gaels looked to respond early in the fourth as Keenan fired a deep shot towards the back of the end zone but was unable to connect to an open Kwemo. Nick Liberatore connected on a 25-yard field goal to pull the Gaels to within three points. 

Plouffe connected on a 40-yard field goal to push the Ravens lead to 18-12.

Gabriel Boucher came up big in a crucial moment blocking a field goal attempt to return possession to the Gaels offence. Keenan led the Gaels down to Carelton’s 22-yard line. 

Ravens penalties led to the Gaels having a chance to win. On the final play of the game, Keenan launched a pass towards the end zone looking for Richard Burton, but his attempt was broken up to end the game.  

1st – Game as a head coach for Steve Snyder in U SPORTS, 1st career passing TD for Keenan and receiving for Kwemo
0 – Interceptions for either team
2 – Sacks for Will Bannatyne to lead the Gaels
8.1 – Rushing average for Keenan who totalled 57 yards on seven attempts
110 – Yards on the ground for the Ravens running back Nathan Carter

Queen’s head coach Steve Snyder made his U SPORTS head coaching debut but will have to wait to celebrate the first victory. He will look to do so next week when the Gaels take on the Mustangs on Labour Day Monday in London.

“It was a quality opponent and we did give a great effort. It was a great environment at Richardson Stadium for great Canadian University football but we’re just going to get back at it and continue to be a better football team.” – Head coach Steve Snyder.

The Gaels will look to rebound next Monday on the road against the Western Mustangs. Game time is set for 7:30 pm on September 2, be sure to catch all the action live on The Gaels return home again on September 14 when they host the Windsor Lancers at 1 pm.

Article via Queen’s Athletics.

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