Fresh from a restful bye week, the Gee-Gees football team returned to action with a resounding 42-16 victory over the York Lions on Saturday.
With three games against Top 10 opponents in the first three weeks of the season, the Gee-Gees have been tested in a variety of ways by the teams. This week, the Gee-Gees were able to flex their muscles on both sides of the ball to extend their winning streak to three games.
The Gee-Gees offence, led by first-year quarterback Sawyer Buettner, found the end zone three times on the day. Twice on long passes of 52-yards to Kalem Beaver and 61-yards to Dylan St. Pierre. Second-year running back Dawson Odei once again was effective on the ground, rushing for 71 yards and one touchdown. Odei is currently leading the OUA in yards per game with 112 yards per contest.
Not to be outdone, the Gee-Gees defence showed off some of their own scoring prowess. First, cornerback Jamie Harry picked off a pass from Brett Hunchak and took it back 48 yards for a touchdown. Later in the third quarter, defensive end Cody Baranyk was on the receiving end of a tipped pass by Rashad Spooner. The 6-4, 240 lb. Baranyk showcased great speed on his way to a 32-yard touchdown trot.
"From our perspective it was good, but I'm always looking for perfection," said Gee-Gees head coach Jamie Barresi. "I'm gratified that we were able to pull away, but we could have been a lot better and that's what I'm always looking for."
Buettner had 250 total yards and two touchdowns, his best performance in his two and a half games played this season. The Moose Jaw, Sask. native has showed an ability to make plays happen downfield, on quick passes and screens, as well as on the run.
"Our offensive system is a very complex one, but it's a good one," said Buettner, still acclimatizing to the Gee-Gee offence. "York's got some very good players, but we were able to put some put some points up today, which feels good. Now we put this one behind us and focus on the big one coming up next week."
Safety Luke Griese had an outstanding game on the defensive end, racking up 8.5 tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss, and two interceptions for 33 yards. In addition to Greise's performance, defensive back/linebacker Alex Douglas also amassed 8.5 tackles and one pass breakup. Harry and Griese sit atop the OUA in takeaways with three each.
"It's all about preparation," said Harry, about the defensive success the team has seen. "All week the coaches have us scouting the other team's plays, we just need to do our homework and once we're on the field we execute."
Up next, the Gee-Gees will face the Carleton Ravens in the marquee matchup of the U SPORTS regular season, the Panda Game. The 50th edition is shaping up to be an outstanding game, with both teams sitting with similar records (4-1 for the Ravens, and 3-1 for the Gee-Gees respectively).
The game will be broadcasted live on CHCH, which is available to cable and satellite subscribers nation-wide. A feed of the game will also be available live on OUA.tv.
"Our guys are going to be very excited to play, we want to get after these guys," said Barresi. "They are a very good team, but we're anxious to get going."
Student and general public tickets are sold out. uOttawa alumni, family, and friend ticket packages including access to the 2018 Pre-Game Party at the Aberdeen Pavilion are available in limited supply
uOttawa, Carleton, and TD Place would like to remind all those attending that there will be zero tolerance for visible intoxication at TD Place. Alcohol cannot be brought into the stadium, but fans with valid photo I.D. can buy alcoholic beverages while inside the stadium.