LONDON - The Guelph Gryphons crashed out of the OUA football playoffs when they were thumped 66-12 in the semifinals by the Western Mustangs at Western’s TD Stadium Saturday.
“We definitely didn’t come out today and play the way that we wanted to,” Gryphon defensive back Nick Parisotto said. “I think that’s just going to add to the fire come the off season and come the spring and the summer. We’re going to be putting in that extra level of effort in just getting ready come next year at playoffs, we’re not put in this position.”
Guelph native Parisotto scored the lone Gryphon touchdown when he returned a fumble by Western quarterback 102 yards to the Western end zone late in the first quarter to reduce the lead by Western to two points at the time. That was the lone bright spot in the game for the Gryphons.
“This is a tough one – a tough way to end the season,” Gryphon offensive lineman Andrew Pickett said. “It’s a tough one, especially when you’ve been battling and working with these guys for so long. We really have that family going and you want to win for the guy next to you and when it turns out like this, it’s a tough one. It always is.”
An indication of how things were going to go came pretty early after Western kicker Marc Liegghio missed a 44-yard field goal on the first possession by the hosts. However, Guelph returner Jacob Scarfone fumbled the ball as he tried to pick it up and the Mustangs pounced, gaining control at the one-yard line. On the next play, Western’s Cedric Joseph ploughed into the end zone for the first of his four touchdowns and the Mustangs were ahead for good.
Ferraro converted Parisotto’s touchdown and booted a 26-yard field goal late in the second quarter and Western conceded a safety in the third quarter to account for the other points in the game for the Gryphons.
The Mustangs led 37-10 at halftime and stretched that lead to 57-12 by the end of the third quarter.
Joseph had two touchdown runs of one yard, one of two yards and one of 45 yards. Harry McMaster caught a 27-yard TD toss from Chris Merchant who also scored a touchdown on a one-yard run. Kevin John had a touchdown on a five-yard run and Liegghio kicked seven converts and field goals of 32, 27 and 42 yards.
The Gryphons were limited to eight first downs and 77 yards of total offence and were assessed 120 yards in penalties on 11 calls.
By comparison, Western had 33 first downs, 488 yards of total offence and 60 yards in penalties on seven calls.
Quarterback James Roberts completed seven of 30 pass attempts and his back-up Theo Landers was the team’s leading rusher with 34 yards on eight carries.
Among the Gryphons not expected back next year due to using up their five years of eligibility or they’ll finish their schooling by then are running backs Johnny Augustine and Brandon Gordon, defensive backs Justis Croasdale, Orion Edwards and Michael Carney, linebackers Derek Drouillard and Riley Baines and receiver Thomas Bresciani.