USports Week 9 Blitz is a round-up of all USports football games in the country last week. From exciting games to star players, it was an interesting week.
USports Week 9 Blitz
Biggest Surprise — The Ottawa Gee-Gees defeated the Queen’s Gaels to secure fourth place in the OUA
The Ottawa Gee-Gees and Queen’s Gaels met in Richardson Stadium for the final game of the regular season, with much on the line for both teams. For Ottawa, they battled for placing and the possibility of homefield advantage, while the Gaels battled for their own playoff lives. In what became a battle of desperation, the Gee-Gees relinquished the Gaels playoff dreams, defeating them 42-41 in overtime. The win secured fourth place in the OUA standings, and a rematch of the Panda Game, as their first opponent are hometown rivals Carleton Ravens.
Ottawa pivot Derek Wendel completed 29 of 49 passes for 337 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions while the quarterback position for Queen’s was split between Nate Hobbs and Kyle Gouveia. Gouveia did most of the heavylifting, completing 17 of 26 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns. Hobbs completed 5 of 6 passes for 78 yards before getting injured.
Meanwhile, Wendel also set a new CIS record for completions in a season, beating his own mark of 216 and raising the bar to 232. One of his favourite targets Mitchell Baines, finished the season with 984 receiving yards, just short of 1,000.
Biggest Upset — The St. F.X. X-Men defeated the Acadia Axemen
In what was almost the nail in the coffin for the Acadia Axemen, the St. Francer Xavior X-Men defeated the Axemen 33-29. Despite a charging effort, the Axemen fell short of the opportunity to upset the X-Men, who currently are first place in the AUS conference.
The Axemen built a strong lead over the X-Men for three quarters before the X-Men charged back, eventually taking the lead in the dying seconds of the third quarter. A strong defensive battle ensued, and points were hard to come by. In the end, Acadia fell short in completing the comeback and securing a birth in the AUS playoffs.
With one more week remaining, the Saint Mary’s Huskies and Axemen are battling it out for the final playoff spot. Meanwhile, the X-Men play the Mount Allison Mounties.
Most Memorable Game — Manitoba Bisons beat the Alberta Golden Bears in seven overtimes.
It was an historical day for the Canada-West conference in Edmonton as the Manitoba Bisons and Alberta Golden Bears dueled in the longest game ever played in Canada-West. The Bisons defeated the Golden Bears 67-59 after seven overtime periods.
The Golden Bears dominated in the first quarter scoring the game first touchdown as quarterback, Ben Kopczynski connected with Tylor Henry for an 11-yard score. Henry had a Canada-West record-setting day as he had 19 receptions, which became a new Can-West record. He also had 298 receiving yards which is the second most yards ever in CanWest game.
By halftime, the Golden Bears were up 18-15, from two late scores by Kopczynski — a safety and a one-yard touchdown. The Bisons scored two touchdowns to keep it close, including a 44-yard strike from pivot Theo Deezar to Marquise Thompson and a rouge point from kicker Brad Mikoluff. Cam Fox also scored a touchdown, a two-yard run. By the fourth quarter, the Bisons tied the game up at 25 a piece with a 29-yard rushing touchdown by Alex Christie. The two teams traded field goals, but the game needed extra time.
After six unsuccessful overtime periods, Riley Harrison scored the game-winning touchdown, his second of the night with a six-yard grab. In dramatic fashion, Kopczynski was picked off by Tanner Hamade to end the game.
Kopczynski completed 30 of his 53 passes for 460 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He also had 13 carries for 67 yards and two touchdowns. Deezar completed 34 passes for 56 passes for 393 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions. Both teams combined for 1,334 offensive yards.
– Casey Dulson
Player of the week — Saint-Francis Xavier X-Men running back Jordan Socholotiuk.
Jordan Socholotiuk had a game for the ages in the X-Men’s 33-29 win last Saturday. He rushed for 223 yards on 27 carries along with two touchdowns, including a 71-yard touchdown run on the second play of the game.
Socholotiuk got his second touchdown of the game in the third quarter with a 6-yard touchdown run. The touchdown played a huge role in the game as it give the momentum to the X-Men. At the time of the touchdown, the X-Men were down 21-27 — the X-Men scored 12 unanswered points afterwards.
– Casey Dulson
Main photo courtesy of Paul Lynch.