In a game where the Ottawa Gee-Gees sought to avenge themselves, Windsor Lancers quarterback Austin Kennedy and CFL returnee receiver Jordan Brescacin had a different idea.
Kennedy and his primary target Brescacin set the tone for the offensive minded Lancers en route to an impressive 63-18 win against the Gee-Gees at Alumni Field.
In their previous meeting in an OUA quarter-final last season, Windsor beat Ottawa 50-33.
In only three quarters of action, Kennedy earned himself a seat on the bench to rest and recover for the next contest, after surpassing two records he had set during the 2011 season.
The Vincent Massey Secondary School graduate threw for 482 yards, surpassing last year’s 443-yard total by 39 yards. He also threw 31-41 in the first three quarters of play to hammer the previous record of 26 completed passes in a single game. He did this all while still hampered by an injury in the Lancers exhibition away game at the University of Montreal last week.
He, Brescacin and Evan Pszczonak led the aerial assault on the Gee-Gees that was matched by the Lancers on the defensive side of the ball. They held the Gee-Gees to just two touchdowns that had more to do with Lancers offensive miscues than Ottawa proficiency. Of the spectacular, offensive barrage that Ottawa tried desperately to counter, Kennedy said, “The sky’s the limit; no one can stop us. Only we can stop ourselves.”
Lancers head coach Joe D’Amore echoed that sentiment. “Austin has a great comfort zone with Jordan … the only reason Ottawa scored is because of our mental mistakes. But when Austin’s on his game, and it looks like he’s just continuing from where he was in the playoffs, we’re going to be tough to beat. Although Austin did get sacked on poor coverage plays he didn’t throw any interceptions.”
“[Brescacin] came back to us as a 50-ball catcher and there’s no way he doesn’t catch 60 to 70 balls this year.” In his first game back with the Lancers since spending his rookie CFL season on the practice roster of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Brescacin also rested after three quarters, after matching two benchmarks he too set. In this outing on the gridiron, the 2011 OUA all-star met the current records of 13 catches and three touchdowns in a single game.
Together, the Kennedy-Brescacin combo accounted for three touchdowns, two of which were within the first nine minutes of action. The first one of 55 yards immediately set the strong “passing game” tone of this contest.
Not to be outdone, fourth-year kicker Dan Cerino kicked for 13 points, including eight converts, a couple of rouges and a field goal for the Lancers.
The Lancers 23-0 lead after the first quarter also came by way of a one-yard running touchdown from running back Mitch Dender and Cerino’s first rouge.
To open the second quarter of play, Lancers wide receiver Dylan Whitfield scored on a 34-yard pass from Kennedy. Ottawa gained its first points mid-way through the quarter, nailing two consecutive touchdowns on six and 10 yard runs. The Lancers’ Cerino closed out the quarter with a 30-yard field goal.
In the second half, Kennedy resumed his mission by following up a team safety with two more passing touchdowns to Amherstburg-standouts Evan Pszczonak and Mark Riggi for 31 and 53 yards respectively.
“Ottawa has to react and shade over to Brescacin’s side,” Kennedy said. “So that just opens it up like crazy … we got Whitfield out on the wing and Riggi on the outside, just killing guys with their strength, while Jordan and Evan are just running by guys with their speed.”
With Cerino also in the third quarter scoring mix tallying his second rouge, Brescacin caught his third touchdown, a 23-yard throw from Kennedy.
Windsor capped its scoring just over three minutes into the fourth on a Gilbert Stewart two-yard run. Having completed the mission, Kennedy was replaced by the respectable play of Andrew Downer with 14 minutes remaining the final quarter. Ottawa’s final score occurred on a rouge and a 42-yard field goal at the end of regulation time on the clock.
For the Lancers who doggedly have their eyes set on the Yates Cup, the supplementary scoring through the uprights and one touchdown on the ground on this occasion, were very important in the long run to ensure the Lancers had a three dimensional attack. The Lancers are now 1 and 1 on the season after a 29-10 lost to the Montreal Carigans and the convincing win Monday.
The Lancers will next take on the Guelph Gryphons, who lost their season opener to No. 1 ranked McMaster 50-9, this Saturday night at Alumni Field.