Fresh off last week’s beating at the hands of the McMaster Marauders, the Guelph Gryphons clawed back with a 28-9 win over the Windsor Lancer Saturday at Alumni Field.
Quarter-back Austin Kennedy threw for 244 yards but was held to no touchdown passes by the Gryphons, who also kept the Lancers running game to 111 yards. Of those, Kennedy ran for 77 yards and Mitch Dender ran for 46. Jordan Brescasin led the Lancers with 75 yards in six catches. Dylan Whitfield and Evan Pszczonak each caught for 53 yards. Kicker Dan Cerino accounted for all of Windsor’s points.
Despite some good stats, Lancers head coach Joe D’Amore considers the loss his most disappointing.
“Sometimes I think you need to take a couple steps backward to take a few steps forward,” D’Amore said. “I’m glad that it’s early in the year. We still got six games to go. We’re still a good football team, but sometimes I think we get ahead of ourselves. We come out and win 63-18 and all of a sudden, we think we are the greatest football team since sliced bread.”
The Lancers, D’Amore admits, have some things to learn.
“We cannot overcome mistakes the way some of the better teams do in this league.”
“It’s pretty disappointing,” Kennedy agreed. “It’s a game where you can’t blame it on anyone but yourself. We had it there but we just didn’t capitalize.”
“You just got to be crisp. You can’t make the little mistakes we made. We gotta clean that up. So, next time when something goes wrong it doesn’t go wrong 10 times in a row.”
The Lancers initially appeared to have kept their swagger following last week’s win over Ottawa, with Cerino recording a 25-yard field goal on the Lancers’ first possession.
Guelph retaliated later in the quarter, forcing Kennedy’s first fumble and kicking a 26-yard field goal to tie the game 3-3.
The Lancers opened the second quarter with a Kennedy fumble within the first minute. As a result, Guelph earned the first points of the quarter on a team safety. Guelph went on to score a field goal at the Lancers’ 37 and then recorded its first touchdown in the final minute with Guelph Quarterback Jazz Lindsey throwing for 22 yards to Dillon Dimitroff.
A late Windsor 57-yard drive brought the Lancers to the Guelph 25, where Cerino kicked for another three points.
“Defensively, I thought we played well in the first half,” D’Amore said. “Coming out at the half only down 15-6 was gracious. They played the entire first half within our 50-yard line.”
Guelph and Windsor traded off field goals in the third quarter, with Guelph kicking for 38 and 23 yards and Cerino kicking for 35 yards.
Several missed opportunities and a 108-yard Guelph drive that ended in a one-yard TD by Gryphon Ron Farquharson summed up the final quarter.
“We had opportunities at the end of the game— despite how bad we played— to get a score, but we just couldn’t capitalize,” D’Amore said.
“Then we got tired … and they went on drive for 108 yards and a touchdown. Here and there, the defense helped us out, but we didn’t score any touch downs the whole game, after scoring 63 points last week!”
Kennedy agreed. “This was a worse case scenario game, offensively, at least.”
Following last week’s performance over Ottawa, the debate will follow as to whether the Lancers gave the game away or if Guelph won it outright.
“I don’t want to take anything away from them,” Kennedy said. “They play a great game offensively and defensively. You could tell they were making plays, but at the same time we didn’t take advantage of opportunities we had.”
“They used a lot of different things, Their speed rush was pretty affective. And, they just played pretty good defense.”
“You can question the legitimacy of any game really,” D’Amore said. “But, I don’t think that had an affect on it.”
But, D’Amore also admitted that wrong turns by the Lancers set them up for failure.
“We took some bad bad penalties at some bad times,” he said. “We got a holding penalty on a screen down on their 15-yard line, a couple pass interference and things like that.”
“We can’t make mental mistakes, we can’t just go on to the next play. We gotta stop and correct the mental mistake and then move forward, instead of rushing all the time. If we correct our mistakes we are capable of scoring points.”
The Lancers want their swagger back, and hope to get it on the road Saturday when they play at the Toronto Varsity Blues (1-1) at 1 p.m. Windsor returns to Alumni field Sept. 29 in a game against