10 Things: OUA Week Three
1) Tre Ford Tows Warriors to Win
In one of the closest games of the week, the Waterloo Warriors found themselves on the winning side of a 45-43 shootout with the Windsor Lancers. The Warriors week three win was largely due to the efforts of quarterback Tre Ford.
Through the air, Ford completed 25 of 31 attempts for 274 yards and 2 touchdowns. Ford found his favourite target, Tyler Ternowski 8 times for 74 yards. This included a 6-yard touchdown with twelve seconds left in the first half to cut the Lancers lead to 28-25.
Ford was equally as impressive when rushing the ball this week against the Lancers with 7 carries for 132 yards and 1 touchdown. On his rushing touchdown Ford found a crease split the defence and took off for a 61-yard score.
In week four the Warriors will be matched up against the Guelph Gryphons. The Gryphons allow the third most passing yards per game in the OUA, making this a favourable matchup for the high-powered Warriors offence.
2) Varsity Blues Stun Golden Hawks
After losing their first game of the season to the Waterloo Warriors, the Toronto Varsity Blues have bounced back with vengeance defeating the Windsor Lancers in week two and now stunning the Laurier Golden Hawks 38-34 at University Stadium.
The Blues offence for the third week in a row looked unstoppable. Clay Sequeira completed 18 of 32 passes for 322 yards and 4 touchdowns. Nolan Lovegrove, who leads the nation in receiving yards had himself another big game. Lovegrove finished with 3 catches for 102 yards and 2 touchdowns. Will Corby also had a big game receiving for the Variety Blues offence finishing with 5 receptions for 102-yards and 2 touchdowns.
Down 34-31 with just over a minute remaining in the game the Variety Blues began what would be their final drive of the game. On 2nd and 6 from their own 53 yard line with 0:40 seconds remaining, Clay Sequeira dropped back to pass and fired a 57 yard game winning touchdown to Nolan Lovegrove.
The Variety Blues will be on a bye this coming week before taking on the Queen’s Gaels at home in week 5 of OUA action.
3) Gee-Gees Offensive Stampede
Coming off of a tough 35-22 week two loss to the McMaster Marauders, the Gee-Gees were looking to have a bounce back game against the winless Queen’s Gaels. The Gee-Gees didn’t just bounce back, they exploded back onto the scene.
Against the Marauders the Gee-Gees lost starting quarterback, Sawyer Buettner who suffered a concussion on an awkward hit. This meant that the Gee-Gees were forced to turn to second year QB, Ben Maracle. Prior to last weekend’s game Maracle had attempted just one pass in his OUA career.
In his first OUA start against the Gaels, Maracle threw 21 completions on 31 attempts for 290 yards and 3 touchdowns. Maracle also had 8 rushing attempts for 18 yards, including a 12 yard touchdown run.
Against the Gaels, no wide receiver for the Gee-Gees is more dangerous than Carter Matheson. In his career against the Gaels, Matheson averages 7 receptions for 95 yards and 1 touchdown. Saturday was no different as Matheson had another big outing against the Gaels, finishing with 6 receptions for 116 yards and 1 touchdown. Speed receiver Kaleem Beaver also did significant damage to the Gaels defence, hauling in 5 receptions for 113 yards and 1 touchdown.
In a 44-27 win over the Queen’s Gaels the Gee-Gees passing offence looked as if it would be an arial attack that will cause a lot of headaches for defensive coordinators. In week 4 the Gee-Gees will matchup against the Laurier Golden Hawks who surrender the 5th fewest passing yards in the OUA.
4) Levondre Gordon Leading the Nation
Laurier Golden Hawks Running Back Levondre Gordon has been dominant through three weeks of OUA football. Most recently Gordon torched the Toronto Varsity Blues defence, rushing for 176 yard and a touchdown on 27 carries. Against the Blues, Gordon averaged 6.5 yards per carry seeming to find an open lane every time he was handed the ball.
Gordon’s tough aggressive running style has earned him the top spot in the OUA and U Sports for both rushing yards and carriers. In his first three games of the 2019 OUA season, Levondre Gordon has had 66 carries for 388 yards and 1 touchdown. On a per game average, Gordon is handed the ball 22 times rushing for 129.3 yards averaging 5.9 per carry.
The Laurier Golden Hawks will travel to Ottawa to take on the Gee-Gees who average the fourth fewest rushing yards allowed per game. Gordon versus a the strong front 7 of the Gee-Gees is a matchup I am looking froward to heading into this weekends OUA action.
5) Clay Sequeira Continues to Dominate
The Varsity Blues remain one of the hottest offences in the OUA. Clay Sequeira has helped to make the Varsity Blues offence a must watch on a weekly basis. Saturday night’s matchup against the Laurier Golden Hawks was no different.
In the Varsity Blues’ 38-34 win, Sequeira was once again once of the best players on the field completing 18 of 32 passing attempts for 322 Yards and 4 touchdowns.
Through the first three weeks of U Sports football action the Blues signal caller has thrown 1257 yards, 14 touchdowns, and just 1 interceptions on 64 completions.
Sequeira averages 19.6 yards per completion and 42.6 yards per touchdown pass thrown. Sequeira’s arm talent and ability to read the field make the Blues a dangerous downfield offence who have the speed at receiver to frustrate defensive coordinators. If Sequeira remains on his current trajectory he will have an extremely strong case for earning the Hec Creighton Award at the end of the season.
6) Queen’s Quarterbacks Splitting Reps
The winless Gaels travelled eastbound down the 401 to take on the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees. As the Gaels offence took the field it was James Keenan who started under centre for the Gaels for the third time in as many games.
On the first few drives the young Gaels signal caller looked like a veteran. On his lone rushing touchdown Keenan had nobody open and decided to take it upon himself to get into the end zone using his legs.
Despite the early rushing touchdown from the Gaels young quarterback, Keenan struggled throwing the ball against Ottawa. Following a bad interception on 2nd and 16 early in the third quarter, Keenan’s day was over finishing with 7 completions on 17 attempts for 66 yards and 1 touchdown.
Following the third quarter Keenan interception, Head Coach Steve Synder handed the reins to Ryan Licandro for the remainder of the game. Licandro fired 11 completions on 20 attempts for 151 yards and 1 touchdown.
Licandro’s lone touchdown pass came midway through the third quarter hitting Receiver, Marko Xidos in the end zone to bring the game back to within 3 points for the Gaels. In the second half of action Licandro looked calm standing in the pocket for the Gaels. Licandro didn’t force any throws into bad situations and protected the ball when putting it in the air.
Coming up in Week Four of OUA action the 0-3 Gaels will take on the Windsor Lancers. With the Gaels still winless and needing a spark, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ryan Licandro start under centre on Saturday for the Gaels.
7) Western Ground Game Runs to Win Over Marauders
The Western Mustangs and the McMaster Marauders went head-to-head on Saturday, a game that felt like a sneak peek of the 2019-2020 Yates Cup Championship. The Mustangs got the road win against the Marauders 34-17.
After a big night throwing the football against the Queen’s Gaels in week two, the Mustangs reverted back to relying on the ground game against the Marauders. Western rushed the ball a total of 42 times in their win over McMaster. Through the air Merchant completed 21 of 28 passes for 212 yards and an interception.
Merchant and the Mustangs were much more effective on the ground. Merchant finished with 13 carriers for 104 yards and 2 touchdowns. Running Back, Trey Humes was equally as effective with his touches against the Marauders. On the 29 carries dealt to Humes he rushed for 129 yards and 1 touchdown.
The Mustangs will take on the Carleton Ravens at home in Week Four of OUA action. In their first two games, the Ravens defence surrenders and average of 138.5 rushing yards per game. Against a defence that has a difficult time stopping the rush I would expect to see another heavy rushing game from the Mustangs on Saturday.
8) Theo Landers Leads Guelph to Win over York
Saturday afternoon the Guelph Gryphons were taking on the York Lions at home. The Gryphons looking for their first home win of the season finished the game with a 53-19 win to improve to 2-1.
Quarterback, Theo Landers was a large contributor in the Gryphons lopsided win. Landers completed 12 pass on 22 attempts for 230 yards and 4 touchdowns. Landers also flashed his athleticism taking 10 carries for 76 yards.
When putting the ball in the air Landers averaged 19.1 yards per completion. On his four touchdown passes Landers averaged 23 yards per pass. When putting the ball in the air Landers threw for long distances and did a god job of leading his receivers downfield and throwing them into successful positions. Landers efficiency with his throws in week 3 was a major factor in the Guelph win over the York.
In Week 4 the Gryphons will travel to Waterloo to take on the equally high powered warrior offence.
9) Sam Girard Shines in Shootout Loss
The Windsor Lancers got into a shootout against the Waterloo Warriors on Saturday afternoon. The game ended on a 23 yard Waterloo walk-off field goal. Despite the loss and dropping to 1-2 on the season their is a light still shinning on the Lancers.
In the loss Windsor Quarterback, Sam Girard had an outstanding game. Girard completed 23 passes on 33 attempts for 357 yards and 5 touchdowns. Girard was also dangerous on the ground rushing 7 timed for 64 yards, taking one rush for a 13 yard touchdown.
Girard has thrown the third most passing yard and the second most passing touchdowns in the OUA. While the Lancers have struggled to win to start the season, Girard’s play remains a beacon of optimism.
10) The Most Dangerous Man on Special Teams
Special Teams are an important and often overlooked aspect of a successful football team. Any one who has played the game knows how often coaches preach about the importance of special teams. The Gryphons are a tea, who certainly have the special teams phase of the game figured out.
He’s not Clark Kent, but he’s been pretty close to Superman. In his first three games of OUA football action, Gryphons Rookie Receiver, Clark Barnes has been putting on a display of heroics. The 6-2, 200lb receiver has been an absolute monster when kick returning for the Gryphons. Barnes is a threat to break one for a score every time he touches the ball and already has a touchdown in each of his first three games.
On the season barnes has received 9 kickoffs returning them for a total of 313 yards. Barnes is long striding wide receiver who, when giving space has the track speed to torch the opposing coverages. On top of big time speed, barnes also has tremendous field vision.
Barnes has two return touchdowns for 100 yards or more and his third was an 82 yard return. Clark Barnes is already one fo the most dangerous return-men in U Sports and if he keeps making plays on special teams it won’t be long before he’s an offensive role player as well.
Connor O'Neil is a former UOttawa Gee-Gee defensive back with a passion for Canadian Football and a desire to stay connected to the game.