There is no better way to spend a Labour Day Monday than watching a 100+ point CIS football game that is decided by a last second 37-yard-field-goal. Of course Queens coach Pat Sheahan may disagree considering the defense on supposedly the eighth best team in Canada (newly ranked seventh) gave up 49 points to a rather unheralded Guelph side.
Guelph who finished 4-4 last season also gave the Gaels a tough run out in their previous meeting in which Queens came out on top 41-30. Despite first-year kicker, Mike Petranovic (filling in for the injured Dan Village) kicking the winning field goal after a game which started disastrously for the rookie the story was undoubtedly Jimmy Allin's three special teams touchdowns.
Fifth year Jimmy Allin was given a pass by the CFL and returned to Queens for a final season. The Bellville native ran back two punt returns for touchdowns both over 65 yards and scored a third off a 105 yard kickoff return. The blocking on the two punt returns was very good, but the final run back off the kickoff was his own as he was alone on the edge of the sideline with three Guelph defenders closing in on him, all of whom he beat. Allin finished with 439 total return yards in what has to be the most impressive performance of his career to date.
On the offense side Danny Brannagan quietly amassed a career high in passing yards with 495 in the game. This came despite several dropped passes during key drives. Brannagan deserves credit for the Queens final drive in which he took the Gaels within field goal range 36 seconds after a Guelph touchdown. Brannagan looked as if he has not lost a step all off season with the majority of his passes leading on receivers perfectly, albeit with the help of some rather suspect Guelph coverage.
The biggest concern for Queens has to be the defense which gave up an astounding 49 points at home. The last time queens gave up that many points was a 50-29 loss to Western in the 2005 season. Over recent years Queens has never been known to have one of the best defenses in the province, but they have always seemed to do their job and rarely jeopardize a win like they did against Guelph. Guelph quarterback, Justin Dunk was finding all sorts of holes in the Queens coverage and was exposing usually reliable safeties. Worst of all was when there was nothing available down field and Dunn was given the time to run for up to fifteen yards on multiple occasions.
After a twenty-nine point second quarter for the Gaels the game looked over with the score 29-11 at the half. The game opened right up in the second half and made for a very nervy fourth quarter for the crowd of 7,422 (well more like 3,000 after the student's side had their traditional halftime exodus). On a side note it was very nice to see the students side full, for a half at least even if they aren't really interested in the football.