Photos from the season opener vs. the McMaster Marauders at Richardson Stadium, Kingston on Labour Day, September 1, 2008. Last year, the Gaels came from behind to take the Marauders 24-20, upping their season record to 3-0, and marking the second straight win over McMaster. They say the third times a charm and on Labour Day 2008, the Gaels won easily 35-11.
Under a warm summer sun, in sharp contrast to the weather from the 2007 season, the Gaels matched their performance in the season opener by starting 1-0, although a welcome change was the elimination of the need to come from behind. Against the McMaster Marauders, a team that, until the 2006 playoffs, had the Gaels' number, Queen’s was clearly the superior team, jumping out to a 28-0 lead.
The offensive players expected to lead the 2008 Gaels performed up to expectations. Mike Giffin ran for 143 yards on 18 carries. Danny Brannagan completed 17 of 32 passes for 288 yards and 2 TD’s. Scott Valberg had 5 receptions for 129 yards and a TD, and Scott Stinson chipped in with 5 catches for 84 yards and a touchdown.
Special teams were very effective, with Jimmy Allin a constant threat to break out for long returns. He had 9 punt returns for 129 yards, including a 75-yarder. Another return of 62 yards down to the McMaster 2 was called back on a penalty. Dan Village accounted for 11 points on 2 and 1/3 field goals and 4 converts.
As usual, the defense was outstanding, shutting down the McMaster offense until a late drive with 4 minutes to go resulted in Mac’s only major. The Marauders’ other points were on two safeties conceded by the Gaels. Leading the way for the D was Thaine Carter, earlier named co-captain of the Gaels (with Danny Brannagan) with 7 tackles, and David Rooney, Osie Ukwuoma (also a sack) and Alex Diprato with 4 tackles each. Jimmy Allin also played a pivotal role and had a pick to go with 3 tackles and his return yards.
Next up, the Gaels are on the road for a September 6th visit to Guelph at 1:00pm against the 0-1 Gryphons at University Stadium. The Gaels have won 5 of their last 6 meetings with the Gryphons and look to make it 6 of 7.
All photos are Copyright (c) Jeff Chan 2008, but may be used for personal non-commercial use, or by Queen's University or the Vanier Cup with appropriate photo credit, unless otherwise authorized.