Around U Sports: Ottawa Gee-Gees complete comeback to advance to OUA semi-finals

Photo courtesy: Tim Austen/Ottawa Gee-Gees

The first round of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) playoff took place this past weekend, leaving four teams still in contention for the Yates Cup. Meanwhile, Canada West (CW), the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ), and Atlantic University Sport (AUS) capped their regular seasons to set up next week’s conference semi-finals.

Around U Sports is a weekly feature on 3DownNation that will take readers across the country each week to summarize collegiate football action, highlighting standout performances and tracking possible playoff matchups. It will run through the Vanier Cup on Saturday, Nov. 26.

Windsor Lancers, 40 — Ottawa Gee-Gees, 43

The Lancers came close to winning their first playoff game since 2011 as they held a 34-23 lead in the fourth quarter following a pick-six by second-year linebacker Liam Hoskins. Ottawa eventually got the lead back following Jean-Paul Cimankinda’s second touchdown run of the day and a 60-yard fumble return by fourth-year linebacker Emmanuel Aboagye-Gyan. The Gee-Gees will visit the Queen’s Golden Gaels next week where they’ll look to avenge last year’s defeat in the OUA semi-final round.

Carleton Raves, 13 — Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks, 41

The Golden Hawks got their first postseason win since 2017 as they dominated the Ravens, building a 28-0 halftime lead and finishing the game with over 500 yards of offence. Taylor Elgersma threw for 303 yards and two touchdowns, while running backs Quentin Scott and Tanner Nelmes combined for 170 yards and three touchdowns along the ground. Wilfrid Laurier will travel to London, Ont. next week for a chance to upset the undefeated Western Mustangs.

Toronto Varsity Blues, 13 — Queen’s Golden Gaels, 41

This was still a one-score game near the end of the fourth quarter before Queen’s blew it wide open with two touchdowns from fourth-year running back Jared Chisari, who finished the game with 180 rushing yards. The Golden Gaels took only six penalties to Toronto’s 17, while the club’s defence intercepted Kinsale Philip twice. This marks the second straight year Queen’s has advanced to the OUA semi-final round.

Mount Allison Mounties, 13 — St. FX X-Men, 37

The X-Men completed their perfect regular season with another one-sided victory as their defence forced four turnovers and held the Mounties to only 226 yards of total offence. Second-year quarterback Silas Fagnan threw for 340 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions in the win, while running back Malcolm Bussey finished the year fourth in all of U Sports with 144 carries for 881 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Saint Mary’s Huskies, 17 — Bishop’s Gaiters, 25

The Gaiters were awarded four points for this win as the previous game between these two teams scheduled for late September was cancelled due to the storms that struck the east coast. Second-year running back David Chaloux recorded 19 carries for 131 yards and two touchdowns, while Bishop’s defence made life miserable for Duncan Patterson as they sacked him seven times.

Laval Rouge et Or, 37 — Concordia Stingers, 24

The Rouge et Or finished their season on a five-game winning streak as second-year quarterback Arnaud Desjardins threw for a season-high 450 yards along with three touchdowns and one interception. His favourite receiver, second-year Kevin Mital, caught another two touchdown passes to finish the year with 12, three more than any other receiver in U Sports.

McGill Redbirds, 9 — Montreal Carabins, 24

Montreal snapped a two-game losing streak heading into the playoffs and got their offence firing again, generating 465 yards of offence in the win. Jonathan Sénécal threw more than one touchdown pass for the first time in seven games, while the Carabins intercepted Eloa Latendresse-Regimbald three times. The club will host the Sherbrooke Vert et Or next week in the RSEQ semi-finals.

Calgary Dinos, 1 — Saskatchewan Huskies, 24

The Huskies bounced back from last week’s loss to finish the year 7-1, matching their best regular season record since 2009. Hec Crighton Trophy hopeful Mason Nyhus had another excellent game, throwing for 350 yards and three touchdowns to finish the year atop the U Sports stat sheet with 2,759 yards, 18 touchdowns, and three interceptions. Calgary’s season came to a merciful end, finishing the year a miserable 1-7.

Manitoba Bisons, 44 — Regina Rams, 30

Manitoba got out to an early 20-3 lead before allowing 23 unanswered points in the second quarter to trail 26-23 at halftime. They eventually completed the comeback against a Regina team that rotated a number of players out in the second half in order to rest them for the playoffs. The Bisons officially punched their ticket to the postseason with the win and will visit the Saskatchewan Huskies next week.

UBC Thunderbirds, 12 — Alberta Golden Bears, 15

The Golden Bears won this game despite being outgained considerably on offence, completing only seven passes and converting only ten first downs. Second-year quarterback Jonathan Ericson completed three passes over 35 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown to second-year running back Ope Oshinubi. Alberta missed the postseason despite the win, while UBC will visit Regina next week.

Postseason schedule

Canada West (CW)

Manitoba Bisons (4) at Saskatchewan Huskies (1)
UBC Thunderbirds (3) at Regina Rams (2)

Ontario University Athletics (OUA)

Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (4) at Western Mustangs (1)
Ottawa Gee-Gees (3) at Queen’s Golden Gaels (2)

Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ)

Concordia Stingers (4) at Laval Rouge et Or (1)
Sherbrooke Vert et Or (3) at Montreal Carabins (2)

Atlantic University Sport (AUS)

Mount Allison Mounties (3) at Bishop’s Gaiters (2)
St. FX X-Men (1) — bye

U Sports football regular season standings

Canada West (CW)

Saskatchewan Huskies, 7-1
Regina Rams, 5-3
UBC Thunderbirds, 4-4
Manitoba Bisons, 4-4
Alberta Golden Bears, 3-5
Calgary Dinos, 1-7

Ontario University Athletics (OUA)

Western Mustangs, 8-0
Queen’s Golden Gaels, 7-1
Ottawa Gee-Gees, 6-2
Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks, 5-3
Carleton Ravens, 5-3
Windsor Lancers, 4-4
Toronto Varsity Blues, 4-4
McMaster Marauders, 2-6
Guelph Gryphons, 1-7
Waterloo Warriors, 1-7
York Lions, 1-7

Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ)

Laval Rouge et Or, 7-1
Montreal Carabins, 6-2
Sherbrooke Vert et Or, 4-4
Concordia Stingers, 2-6
McGill Redbirds, 1-7

Atlantic University Sport (AUS)

St. FX X-Men, 8-0
Bishop’s Gaiters, 4-3
Mount Allison Mounties, 4-4
Saint Mary’s Huskies, 3-4
Acadia Axemen, 0-8

John Hodge is a CFL insider and draft analyst who has been covering the league since 2014.