On Saturday, the U SPORTS eighth-ranked Gee-Gees football team played their most competitive game against the top-ranked Western Mustangs in seven years, closing the regular season with a respectable 32-23 loss.
The Gee-Gees close the regular season in fourth place with a 5-3 record, and have clinched a home OUA quarterfinal playoff game.
A slow start was the difference maker for the Gee-Gees in the game, as Western went up 20-0 in the second quarter. The Gee-Gees finally got on the board with a 12-yard interception return by Cody Cranston, starting his 40th regular season game, each of his five-year career in Garnet and Grey.
The defence for the Gee-Gees bent, but did not break for the majority of the game, forcing Western to settle for field goals on seven different occasions. A 10-point swing for the Gee-Gees through the late third and early fourth quarter had the team within a touchdown of tying the gam, however three consecutive field goals sealed their fate.
Mahler finished with 245 yards and two touchdowns through the air, while Jordan Burgher ran for 76 yards and caught one touchdown pass. Carter Matheson had his best game of the season with 154 yards receiving and a touchdown on eight receptions.
Defensively, Rashad Spooner led the way with eight tackles, while Tramayne Stephen had 4 total tackles, one sack, and one and a half tackles for loss. Cranston's interception and Abed Hamidi's fumble recovery were the team's two takeaways on the afternoon.
The loss had no extreme impact on the Gee-Gees playoff positioning, as they secured the fourth seed in the Yates Cup playoffs, teeing up a matchup with the Waterloo Warriors on Saturday.
Ottawa and Waterloo have been non-combatants for the past two seasons, so the teams have not met since the Gee-Gees defeated the Warriors at home on Oct. 14, 2017.
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Gee-Gees Field. Tickets are available online at tickets.geegees.ca and the game will be streaming live on OUA.tv.