The Slipper Fits! Queen's Golden Gaels 33 v. Laval Rouge et Or 30

EAT IT LAVAL! GO GOLDEN GAELS GO!

TRIPLE P HERE WITH EXCITING NEWS! MY ALMA MATER IS HEADED TO THE VANIER CUP!

Even as the doom and gloom of the 2009-2010 Toronto Maple Leafs' season has been threatening to overwhelm all and sundry and Liverpool's title challenge is postponed for more year a third team of mine has strung together a couple of unbelievable wins to get into the National Championship Game. On the back of one of the most exciting games of football - at any level - the Queen's Golden Gaels slew Goliath in the guise of the Laval Rouge et Or (Red and Gold for you anglophones). The best part: Laval gets to play host to the Vanier Cup next weekend! Neate Sager noted how much credit was being given to the Gaels' chances by the Canadian media as the team entered the game as a 12.5 point underdog. However, a dogged defence that sacked the previously untouched Benoit Groulx seven times, another great performance by quarterback Danny Brannagan and a 120 yard missed field goal return by Jimmy Allin were enough to get Cinderella one more dance.

To say the crowd was electric would be an understatement. With each touchdown the crowd roared out the Oil Thigh and the packed house seemed to have an effect on the Laval juggernaut that has won 5 of the last 10 Vanier Cups. At one point it almost looked like the Golden Gaels were going to run Laval out of the stadium as they built a 33-13 lead and the chants of "over-rated" boomed from the student half of Richardson Stadium. However, Laval hasn't become the premier CIS program by accident. They targeted the Gaels' biggest weaknesses Alex D'Aprato and Matt Vickers (I think, 20 and 28 look similar and the announcers were worse than I am at figuring out who it was) who were repeatedly torched for the second week running on long passes. The University of Calgary Dinos feature another high-powered quarterback so the defence will have to find a way to address that hole.The Rouge et Or were only down 3 with just over a minute left and faced a 3rd and 10. Enter Frank Penkewich who stripped Benoit Groulx to seal the win.

To really emphasize just how big of an underdog Queen's was let's visit one pre-game prediction which summed up most people's thoughts. From my friend Bizz:

Homecomingless Queen's will also be Mitchelless

Might as well start it right now, a week is only 6 days....

Queen's (I saw both games vs the ponies) :
- Branagan has the luxury of standing still in his pocket and make short undercover passes. That's due to the poor OUA defences and he will run for his life vs Laval.
- not much running game either, anyway only the Carabins were able to run vs Laval and they still lose.
- they have a good punter, not sure about FG tough as the porous OUA defences allowed them more 7 pointers than FG attemps.
- Their D is less effective than that of the GoldenHawks and was exposed against a good offence.

Laval :
- greatest receiving corps in CIS, tons of weapons in there.
- Lévesque (La gazelle, Speedy Gonzales or The Roadrunner, as you wish to call him) will have them slip in all directions on their muddy field.
- biggest strenght on our D is the secondary, 3 picks minimum against a pass happy QB running for his life (you read it here first).
- Milo's the best. If injured, we'll find a way.

The Big Birds (as in yellow) of OUA will be pulverized. Looking forward to witness it on premises.

I give no more than 9 pts to the OUA Champ : Queen's 9 - Laval 47

The win, aside from reinforcing the strength of the Queen's football team, also highlights just how a playoff could work for the NCAA. If you head to Twitter and do a search for "@insidethebcs" you'll see two things. The first is how funny it is to see a blatant PR move go absolutely tits up. The second is the popular demand for a playoff. Next week's Vanier Cup will feature not the two teams that started the year at the top of the polls and did a good enough job hammering the patsies on their schedule but two teams that battled through an important regular season, epic games in their conference championships, and then dispatched their semi-final opponents. The rankings will show that the game is between #4 Queen's and # 2 Calgary (BOOOO! HISSSSS!) but anyone that has watched the playoffs will know that the two best teams are facing off.

This will be Queen's first appearance in the Vanier Cup since 1992 when they beat St. Mary's 31-0. I remember watching part of that game as a nine-year old and thinking that they had hideous uniforms. Seventeen years later I couldn't be prouder to have seen Queen's College colours, soiled as they are by the battle and the rain (ok, it didn't rain today but go with it), earn yet another victory to wipe away the stain.

Chorus:

Oil thigh na Banrighinn a'Banrighinn gu brath!
Oil thigh na Banrighinn a'Banrighinn gu brath!
Oil thigh na Banrighinn a'Banrighinn gu brath!
Cha-gheill! Cha-gheill! Cha-gheill!

Queen's College colours we are wearing once again,
Soiled as they are by the battle and the rain,
Yet another victory to wipe away the stain!
So, Gaels, go in and win!

Chorus:

Oil thigh na Banrighinn a'Banrighinn gu brath!
Oil thigh na Banrighinn a'Banrighinn gu brath!
Oil thigh na Banrighinn a'Banrighinn gu brath!
Cha-gheill! Cha-gheill! Cha-gheill!

Varsity's not invincible, they tremble at the news
Of Queen's College Colours and are shaking in their shoes.
Yet another victory, the chance we dare not lose.
So, Gaels, go in and win!

Chorus: Oil thigh, na Banrighinn...

McGill has met defeat before, they've heard the same old tale
Of Queen's College colours, boys, the ones that seldom fail,
Remember Captain Curtis and the conquerors of Yale,
So, Gaels, go in and win!

Chorus: Oil thigh, na Banrighinn...

There may be other colours to the breezes oft unfurled,
And many another college yell by student voices hurled;
Queen's College colours are the dearest in the world,
So, Gaels, go in and win!

Chorus: Oil thigh, na Banrighinn...

What's the sport of Kings?
Queen's! Queen's! Queen's!
Oil thigh na Banrighinn Cha-gheill! Cha-gheill! Cha-gheill!
Oil thigh na Banrighinn Cha-gheill! Cha-gheill! Cha-gheill!
Yay Queen´s!

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