Playoff football is here, and what more to celebrate than a couple of OUA playoff games. Here is everything needed to know for the upcoming playoff match between the Guelph Gryphons and the McMaster Marauders in the OUA quarterfinal preview 2.
OUA Quarterfinal Preview 2 — the Guelph Gryphons play the McMaster Marauders
The defending Yates Cup champions needed some help to get into the playoffs this year, beating the York Lions while the Ottawa Gee-Gees defeated the Queen’s Gaels in overtime in order to claim the sixth seed in the OUA. Defeating the Marauders is no simple task. Last game, the Marauders beat the Gryphons 27-15 and spoiled Guelph’s homecoming, with constant offensive pressure from kicker Adam Preocanin and special teams. Special teams accounted for almost half of the Marauders offence in their last matchup.
The standings are also misleading. They say that Guelph finished the season 3-5, but Guelph is not a 3-5 team. Most of their games have been close, and they’ve battled back into games before with a momentous second half to almost steal games. The Marauders could still have their hands full with the Gryphons if they don’t seal the deal early and keep applying pressure.
Here are the keys to the game.
Keys to the Game
Playoff Experience — the Gryphons team made it all the way out of the OUA last year, while the Marauders were upset by the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks in the OUA quarterfinals. Guelph knows what it takes to get to the bigger stage, and they can use it to their advantage if they want to win the Yates Cup for the second straight year.
Alternatively, the Marauders have won the Yates Cup three times in the last five years, and with the Vanier Cup being hosted in Hamilton this year, they could use that motivation to earn a semifinal berth.
Dynamic Duo — The Marauders could use the dynamic duo of Asher Hastings and Danny Vandervoort to get the passing game going early and grab a quick lead. Vandervoort finished the season off with 631 receiving yards and five touchdowns, and although Hastings had a quieter year this season, not breaking any records but still leading the Marauders down the stretch, look for these two to be a huge threat as they try to reach the semifinals. Hastings also finished the season with 1915 passing yards and 11 touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Guelph Gryphons have Johnny Augustin in their arsenal to use to get the running game going, so if quarterback James Roberts can establish the running game early, that could be the difference.
Battle-Tested — The Marauders came close to beating the Western Mustangs last weekend, falling 18-17 on a rouge point from kicker Mark Liegghio. McMaster could take that momentum of pushing Western to the brink to their game against Guelph, and the Marauders could be on their way to the semifinals. That being said, anything can happen – that’s what makes playoff football so exciting. Past history doesn’t mean as much when playoffs start. It’s an entirely new season.
Kickoff is set for 4:30p.m. at Ron Joyce Stadium.
Main photo courtesy of Icon Sports Wire.