The U SPORTS fifth-ranked Gee-Gees took to the road for a pre-Thanksgiving weekend clash with the Toronto Varsity Blues in Toronto on Thursday night coming off of just four days of rest from the Panda Game, the Gee-Gees (5-1) reeled off their most potent offensive performance of the season defeating the Varsity Blues (0-6) by a 53-21 final margin.
Offensively, the game was all about the connection between quarterback Sawyer Buettner and receiver Carter Matheson. The duo, who connected for two touchdowns the week prior, had another outstanding performance against Toronto.
Buettner found Matheson on nine occasions for 258 yards and three touchdowns on the night. When all was said and done, both players turned in their most statistically impressive performances of the season in the win. Buettner finished with a final tally of 405 yards and four touchdowns.
Though impressive, it was not solely the team's passing attack that led to the Ottawa win. Running back Dawson Odei continued his outstanding season, racking up 131 yards with one touchdown on the ground and one through the air. Odei is currently averaging 113 yards per contest, good for second-best in the OUA.
Defensively, the Gee-Gees limited Toronto to 289 yards of total offence and forced three turnovers. The costliest mistake for the Blues' was a fumble that first-year linebacker James Peter scooped and returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Peter led the Gee-Gees in tackles with 4.5 on the night.
"I was very pleased, I think we played really physical," said Gee-Gees head coach Jamie Barresi. "The guys were focused, and they rose up to the challenge pretty well. Our kids and our coaches are working very hard. I think that's what's giving us the edge. We're getting closer to where we need to be."
In his last two games, Matheson has racked up five touchdowns and has fully arrived as a marquee downfield threat in the OUA. The fourth-year Kingston, Ont. native is first in the conference with 21.6 yards per catch.
"The offence is really coming together," said Matheson. "We're developing chemistry, Sawyer knows where to put the ball, and we're running it really well. I think the game against Western will be a good matchup."
The Gee-Gees' matchup with the Western Mustangs next weekend has now turned into a game that will garner national attention. Pitting two of the hottest teams in both the OUA and U SPORTS against each other, the victor will be in the driver's seat to lock up the top seed in the playoffs.
"This is the ultimate litmus test and I'm looking forward to the challenge," said Barresi.
Both Western and Ottawa will get longer weeks to prepare as both played Thursday. The teams will do battle at Gee-Gees Field on Oct. 13 at 1 p.m. The game will be streamed live on OUA.tv and tickets are available at tickets.geegees.ca.
On Saturday October 13, come and get your Pedro pic at Gee-Gees Field! Snap a selfie with the Panda Game trophy and stick around to watch the game.
Tickets available at tickets.geegees.ca.