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OUA Quarter-final Bye 20091031

Happy Halloween!

No photos from the 2009 OUA Quarter-final playoff game on October 31, 2009. Queen's has a bye based on its first place finish in the regular season.

All photos are Copyright (c) Jeff Chan 2000-2009, but may be used for personal non-commercial use, and by Queen's University, the CIS and its member conferences, and by the Vanier Cup, so long as photo credits are shown or the photos are otherwise attributed to Jeff Chan. All other rights are reserved.

Six teams made it into the 2009 OUA football playoffs:

Final Playoff Seeds
1) Queen's (7-1)
2) Laurier (6-2)
3) Western (6-2)
4) Ottawa (6-2)
5) McMaster (6-2)
6) Guelph (3-5)

Queen's and Laurier earned a bye into the semi-finals. In the quarter-finals, Western hosted and defeated Guelph 37-18 while Ottawa hosted McMaster but were upset 27-15.

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RIVA RUNS MUSTANGS INTO OUA FOOTBALL SEMIFINAL
The Western Mustangs defeated the Guelph Gryphons 37-18 on a windy day at TD Waterhouse Stadium on Saturday on a game seen live on The Score.

Western will face the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks on Saturday, Nov. 7 at 4:30 p.m. in the OUA semifinal. To order tickets, visit www.laurierathletics.com/footballtickets.

With the win, Western quarterback and all-time CIS passing leader Michael Faulds (Eden Mills, Ont.) prolongs his university football career by at least one more game.

Faulds finished the day with characteristically efficient numbers, completing 17-of-18 passes for 199 yards and no interceptions, as well as throwing for two touchdowns, both to receiver Jesse Bellamy (Guelph, Ont.).

"It was tough throwing with the wind today... we made adjustments on the go," Faulds said. "Jesse Bellamy caught two key touchdown passes for us and our defence played a great game. Now we have Laurier... they are a very different team than when we played them last. They'll be good. We'll begin preparing for them tomorrow."

Mustangs running back Nathan Riva had a season high 171 yards and one touchdown on 25 attempts. The LaSalle, Ont., native found lots of rushing room in a Guelph defence loaded up to protect against the Western passing attack, and his longest rush of the day was 28 yards. He was quick to credit his offensive line for the ability to give him holes on the day.

"I always think our offensive line plays well," Riva said. "We have the best offensive line and best fullback in the country, Dan Duff. Plain and simple, if it weren't for those guys I wouldn't be having the success I am."

Riva was also complimentary to the defence for four interceptions – and nearly two more if not for drops – holding the Guelph offence to just 18 points. Big sacks by Alexander Robinson (Vancouver) and timely plays by linebackers and the secondary helped to keep the Western offence on the field and the high-powered Gryphons offence on the sidelines.

"They (the defence) responded well. They got to Dunk and frustrated him and threw everything off for him," Riva said. "That's what we wanted to do." Western was forced to run the ball with the wind creating havoc for any sort of passing strategy. Head coach Greg Marshall said the weather factored in on play calling.

"We were down early and played against a very strong wind. Our offence struggled a bit early," Marshall said. "But our defence did a good job. This was their best game this season. They (Guelph) converted on a couple of third downs early but I think our guys did a great job defending Guelph quarterback (Justin) Dunk on the whole."

The Mustangs were also helped to the win by an accurate performance from kicker Darryl Wheeler (Hamilton), who hit all four of his field goal attempts despite wind speeds that approached 50 km/hour throughout the game.

He was Western's leading scorer on the day, accounting for 15 points. He also had eight punts for 269 yards including one pinning Guelph at its own two-yard line. Wheeler was also instrumental in covering for a Western offence that struggled to score early, getting the Mustangs points on three separate first-half possessions that stalled in the Guelph red zone. He hit a career long 41-yard field goal just as time expired in the first half.

This was the final game for Dunk (Guelph, Ont.), who finished 15-of-36 with one touchdown, four interceptions and 223 yards. He also ran in for a 20-yard touchdown. The ball-hawking Western defence made life difficult for Dunk, picking him off four times in the game, and nearly had two more if not for drops.

The scoring started early in the game when Guelph kicker Rob Maver's opening kickoff bounced 66 yards, right past Mustangs return man Da'shawn Thomas (Conyers, Ga.) and out of the side of the end zone. Guelph was leading 1-0 before the clock had even started.

After a Western two-and-out, Guelph went downfield on a nine-play drive, culminating with a 20-yard Dunk touchdown scramble to lead 8-0 with 9:38 to play in the first quarter. Western had given up 47 points and scored 78 in the first quarter of their regular season games, which is by far their worst scoring differential in any of the four quarters.

Dunk came out looking to extend the Gryphon lead, but was intercepted on his next pass by Mustangs defensive back Aaron Handsor (Chatham, Ont.), who stepped in front of his man for the easy pick.

The Mustangs offence clearly took a cue from the Handsor on their next drive. Faulds completed two consecutive passes to Zach Bull (Port Colborne, Ont.) and another on a third-down gamble to set up a 26-yard Wheeler field goal to cut the lead to 8-3 with 4:38 to play in the first quarter. Both offences traded punts before Dunk found a groove again. A huge 35-yard pass to running back Nate Fitzgibbon (Puslinch, Ont.) brought the Gryphons to the Western 13-yard line.

On the following play, Dunk scrambled outside the pocket and was running to the end zone but this time was stopped with a shoestring tackle by Mustang defensive end Gresham Bailey. The Gryphons settled for a Rob Maver 15-yard field goal and an 11-3 lead to with 14:47 left in the second.

The Western offence was quick to respond, led by Riva. With four consecutive carries, he piled up 24 yards and a touchdown, using his game-breaking speed on the final four-yard carry to run untouched to the corner of the end zone with 12:28 to play in the second. He had a huge block from freshman lineman Andrew Bergman (Waterford, Ont.) and Western cut the deficit to 11-10.

Guelph was once again stymied on their next drive. A Dunk pass to receiver Jedd Gardner (Niagara Falls, Ont.) was batted away by Mustangs defensive back Josh Foster (London, Ont.) and linebacker Adrian Kaiser (London, Ont.) caught the tipped ball for the interception. Starting at their own 51, Western drove all the way to the Guelph eight-yard line, settling for another Wheeler field goal, this one from 24 yards. Western led 13-11 late in the half, and never trailed again.

The first half ended with a bizarre sequence of plays. Guelph surrendered possession of the ball with an intentional safety, and Faulds responded by extending his team's lead with a 16-yard pass to a wide open Bellamy with just 28.3 seconds left making the score 22-11 for Western. Guelph came on to the field clearly hoping to run out of the clock, and took a knee. Wanting the ball back, Marshall called a timeout, and Guelph was forced to rush once with Fitzgibbon before punting the ball away.

Western took possession and trotted Wheeler out on to the field. He nailed a booming kick and hit a career long 41-yard field goal attempt, bringing the score to 25-11 for Western just as the halftime clock expired. Guelph gave up another safety on the first drive of the second half and Western responded with another Wheeler field goal to bring Western's lead to 30-11.

Dunk and the Gryphon offence came on to the field and had an electric play, completing a 45-yard pass to receiver Gardner who got a step on Mustang defensive back Jamie Symianick (Montreal) and then saw the ball drop right into his hands from over his inside shoulder. On the next play, Western linebacker Conor Elliott (London, Ont.) ended any hope of a comeback with an interception and a 49-yard return.

Another Faulds to Bellamy touchdown pass followed, this time for 13 yards, and gave Western their final point total, 37-11 with 2:10 left in the third. Dunk threw his only touchdown pass of the contest to receiver Jamie Shaw (Mississauga, Ont.) with 13:41 showing on the clock in the fourth.

Western will travel to Knight-Newbrough Field to face the Laurier Golden Hawks on Nov. 7 to play in the OUA football semifinal round. There, Marshall hopes to continue his string of playoff success. In all six of his non-consecutive years as an OUA football head coach, he has never lost the Yates Cup or an OUA playoff game.


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MARAUDERS DEFEAT GEE-GEES IN OUA FOOTBALL QUARTER-FINAL
On a blustery day at Frank Clair Stadium in the nation's capital the No. 10 nationally-ranked McMaster Marauders defeated the No. 8 Ottawa Gee Gees 27-15 in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) football quarter-final on Saturday.

With McMaster trailing 15-14 with 10 minutes in the fourth quarter, McMaster running back Joey Nemet (Burlington, Ont.) busted a 29-yard run that set up his own four-yard rushing touchdown on the ensuing play to give McMaster a 20-15 lead and the eventual victory. Nemet finished the game with 123 yards rushing on 19 carries and two touchdowns.

Ottawa quarterback Brad Sinopoli (Peterborough, Ont.) amassed 342 yards in passing on 30-of-54 opportunities, including one touchdown and an interception. Sinopoli also rushed eight times for 66 yards for the Gee-Gees.

McMaster was two-for-two on third down opportunities in the game. In the first quarter, McMaster executed a fake punt on third-and-four from the Ottawa 40-yard line that led to a McMaster touchdown five plays later. In the second quarter, McMaster would convert a third-and-two opportunity, and two plays later would score their second touchdown of the afternoon.

McMaster quarterback, Kyle Quinlan (South Woodsley, Ont.) completed 11-of-22 passes for 180 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. McMaster running back Jordan Kozina (Brantford, Ont.) led McMaster in receiving hauling in three passes for 114 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown reception with five minutes remaining in the game to seal the McMaster victory.

Ottawa receiver Cyril Adjeitey (Ghana) had nine receptions for 114 yards. Former Hamilton Hurricane Steven Hughes (Ottawa) added eight receptions for 93 yards. The McMaster defence bent, but did not break forcing Ottawa to kick three field goals, two from the 15-yard line in the first half, limited the Gee-Gees to zero points in the third quarter, and a lone touchdown in the final quarter of play.

McMaster defensive back Andrew Surya (Burlington, Ont.) had seven tackles for McMaster. Ryan Chmielewski (St. Catharines, Ont.) added four tackles and a interception that led to McMaster’s first touchdown. The Marauders had only four penalties for 21 yards on the day.

McMaster will now advance to the OUA semifinal for the first time since 2005. They will travel to Kingston next Saturday at 1 p.m. to face the No. 4 Queen's Gaels
Entry in First Annual VANOC Halloween Party