Gaels look to get back into playoff hunt

Queen’s Gaels Football Head Coach Steve Snyder addressing the media at a press conference on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, ahead of the Gaels match-up against Windsor on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. Photo by Tim Cunningham.

If the Queen’s Gales have any realistic hope of making a run at the OUA football playoffs, they will need to pick up their first win of the season this Saturday against the Windsor Lancers. Game time is 1pm.

The Lancers come to town with a high-flying offence that is led by third-year quarterback Sam Girard, who threw for 351 and five touchdown passes last Saturday in a 45-42 loss at home to Waterloo. The last part of his stat line that has caught the attention of the Gaels defence is that Girard also threw three interceptions.

The Lancers offence has another elite threat in former Gael Chris Osei-Kusi. Osei-Kusi, a fifth-year receiver who is in his first year of law school is one of the top receivers in the country. He attended the Cleveland Browns rookie camp last spring and was a late cut of the Montreal Alouettes in June.

The Gaels continue to make improvements, however it has been ill-timed mistakes in execution that have been their downfall. Last Saturday in Ottawa, the Gaels cut the Gee-Gees lead to 3 points, only to give up two touchdowns, one on a 61 yard fumble recovery with under three minutes remaining in the game.

The Gaels were thrilled to have second year running back Rasheed Tucker in the lineup for his first game of the season. Tucker was the leading rusher in the game with 108 yards on 21 carries. The Gaels also hope to have running back Jake Puskas, who was hurt in game 1 against the Carleton Ravens.

This should be an exciting match-up of Windsor’s potent offense against an experienced Gaels defense. The other match up has a young and improving Gaels offense against a young Windsor defense, who gave up a lot of yards on the ground last Saturday to Waterloo. Warriors running back Dion Pellerin had a career day against the Lancers, rushing for 200 yards on 18 carries. Waterloo quarterback Tre Ford also had a big day on the ground rushing for 132 yards on 7 carries.

This weekend, the Gaels will welcome back their football alumni and pay special tribute the 2009 Vanier Cup team. That team had perhaps the greatest playoff run in Canadian university football history by knocking off the three top programs in the county. They defeated the Western Mustangs to win the Yates Cup in one of the greatest games ever played in Kingston. The following week, they upended heavily favored Laval to earn a berth in the Vanier Cup against Calgary. In Quebec City, they had a comeback for the ages to win the school’s fourth Vanier Cup.

This Saturday is also Kids Day with activities starting at 11 a.m. on Miklas-McCarney Field adjacent to the Stadium.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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