Defensive struggle won 8-7 by Gaels over Marauders

McMasterThe #7 ranked Queen’s Gaels edged the McMaster Marauders, 8-7, at Richardson Stadium in Kingston on Saturday afternoon.

Queen’s fifth-year quarterback Danny Brannagan (Burlington), who came into the game in eighth place on the Canadian Interuniversity Sports career passing yardage list with 8,629, was injured at the mid-way point in the second quarter.

Brannagan exited the game completing eight of 13 passes for 64 yards including a touchdown and an interception before handing off the quarterback responsibilities to a pair of freshmen – Justin Chapdelaine (Abbotsford, BC) and Thomas Howes (Parham, ON).

Queen’s running back Jimmy Therrien (Montreal, QC) rushed for a career high 181 yards on 29 carries for the Gaels who improved their Ontario University Athletics record to 2-0.

At the half, Queen’s took a 7-6 lead into the locker room with receiver Chris Ioannides (Toronto) scoring a touchdown for the Gaels. Mac (1-1) used kicker Andy Waugh (Perth, ON) to connect on a pair of field goals from 24 and 38 yards.

In the second half, McMaster could muster a lone single from Waugh, as they were held to 158 offensive yards on the game versus 356 for the Gaels.

The Gaels’ defense was led by Matt Vickers (Stittsville, ON), who returned from a year studying abroad in Australia, tallying five tackles and two assisted tackles.

The Marauders threatened with under four-minutes to play in the game. With McMaster in the Gaels’ red zone, Sean Fahey (Mississauga) snared a Ryan Fantham (London) pass, but a McMaster penalty negated the gain.

Fantham finished the game with 83 passing yards from 10 of 28 attempts with 1 interception.

McMaster multi-purpose fullback Matthew Peressini (Hannon) had four receptions for 40 yards, and two carries for seven yards.

McMaster running back Jordan Kozina (Brantford) ran12 times for 40 yards.

Defensively, McMaster linebacker Ryan Chmielewski (St. Catharines) had eight tackles and two assisted tackles. Mac defensive back Daniel Baronas (St. Catharines) had seven tackles, two assisted tackles and an interception. Freshman Stephen Dennis (Burlington) had his second interception in two games.

On special teams, McMaster limited Queen’s return specialist Jimmy Allin (Belleville), who scored three touchdowns last week, to 38 yards on nine returns.

The Gaels travel to the nation’s capital to battle the Ottawa Gee Gees next Saturday (Sept. 19) at 1 p.m. The Gee Gees upset the Gaels in the OUA playoffs last season.

McMaster will travel to Toronto to face the York Lions (0-2) at 1 p.m.