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Gaels look to gain first win of season in Ottawa

Queen’s Gaels Football Team Head Coach Steve Snyder (left) and Queen’s University Sports Information Officer Shawn MacDonald addressing members of the media at a press conference in the new Alumni Lounge at Queen’s ARC on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019. Photo by Tim Cunningham.

After two frustrating losses to start the season, the Queen’s Gaels football team look to go into Ottawa on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 and upend the Gee-Gees in their home opener. Game time is 1 p.m. at Gee-Gees Field on the University of Ottawa campus.

However if you’re thinking that the Gales feel any added pressure going into Saturday’s game without a win so far, you would be mistaken. Head Coach Steve Snyder expressed that, if people look at the whole picture regarding the teams start, they’ll see a pretty good football team.

“We’ve had flashes of high level of execution in all three phases and unfortunately there have been inconsistencies where, at times, we were taking penalties and not protecting the quarterback, not executing in the run game, and defensively giving up some chunk yardage,” Snyder said, noting that once the team finds the level of consistency they will be a pretty good football team. “It’s a work in progress, but we feel that we are getting better every day.”

Despite the losing 40-23 in London, the Gaels feel that they have some momentum going into this weekend based on their second half performance Monday night, outscoring the home side 13-6. The Gee-Gees go into Saturday’s game at 0-1 after dropping a 35-22 decision in Hamilton against the McMaster Marauders.

Going into the Ottawa game, the Gaels will face a few challenges given that it’s a short week so the players do not get a day off. Also complicating matters is the fact that the Gee-Gees have only played one game after a week 1 bye, so there has been a limited time in the film room.

“They’re a good football team, they’re athletic and very well coached. Coach (Jamie) Barrisi has been around for a long time and does a great job in game planning for each team they face,” Snyder said. “On offence, they give defences many looks and like to create confusion by leaking backs out of the backfield to give their quarterback multiple options.”

Those options on offense include talented receiver Carter Matheson, who had an outstanding game on the road last week against McMaster. Carter had eight receptions of 144 yards and a touchdown. On defense, the Gee-Gees are led by third-year defensive end Reshaan Davis. Davis’ outstanding play has caught the attention of CFL scouts.

To counter the challenges this type of offence presents, the Gaels defensive secondary will have to communicate at an elite level.

“This is one of the areas that we have to be much better at if we’re going to have success,” Snyder expressed.

After this Saturday, the Gaels return to Richardson Stadium for a game against the Windsor Lancers on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. It will be Kids Day with activities starting at 11 a.m. at Miklas-McCarney Field adjacent to the stadium. Game time against Windsor is 1 p.m.

Tim “The Coach” Cunningham has played every sport ever. His inside knowledge can be heard and seen on radio, television and in print across Canada. Follow him on twitter at @TheCoachTC.

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