On Saturday, the Gee-Gees football opened their season with a 19-16 win over the Windsor Lancers in Windsor. After making the longest football road trip in the OUA, the Gee-Gees will return to Ottawa with a 1-0 record.
Ottawa opened the scoring with quarterback Ben Maracle scampering into the end zone on a two-yard touchdown run to take a 7-0 lead mid-way through the first quarter.
The Gee-Gees extended their lead with seven minutes remaining in the second quarter on a 42-yard field goal from Campbell Fair.
The script flipped shortly afterwards for the Gee-Gees when Maracle exited the game with an injury and Matt Mahler took over.
An attempted dump-off pass by Mahler fell right into the hands of Windsor defender Liam Hoskins, who returned it 71 yards for a touchdown. Fair responded with his second field goal of the night, this time from 46 yards to give the Gee-Gees a 13-7 lead.
After the half, the Lancers added a touchdown of their own, along with a conceded safety by Ottawa, Windsor claimed a 16-13 lead. Fair would again be called on to tie the game and converted a third attempt from 30 yards out.
In the end, Fair drilled a 38-yarder through the middle of the uprights with seven seconds left on the clock to break the stalemate and hand Ottawa the win.
"Anytime you win the game on a kick, you go wild," said Fair. "After a long drive, you're tired, it's hard to keep your mind on the game, but we managed to do it and it worked out well for us."
Key contributions on the Ottawa offence came from J-P Cimankinda, who rushed for 125 yards on 18 carries, as well as Daniel Oladejo, who had eight receptions for 79 yards. Mahler finished 13-23 for 118 yards, while Maracle was 5-7 for 69 yards.
Defensively, James Peter led the way with eight tackles and a forced fumble, while Marc Rondeau and Riley Hildebrandt had interceptions. Rondeau originally returned his interception for a touchdown until it was erased due to a penalty.
"It was one of those character-building wins," said Gee-Gees head coach Marcel Bellefeuille. "We learned the value of staying positive, we had a lot of adversity, but we responded. On the flipside there are a lot of things to still work on, so we'll break down the film and make some corrections."
Up next, Ottawa will return home to face a familiar rival in the Queen's Gaels for the Gee-Gees home opener at TD Place. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3, tickets are available at tickets.geegees.ca.
The 2022 Gee-Gees football season is presented in partnership with Lekadir LLP.