Confident Gee-Gees aim high in '05

CHRIS OCCHIUZZI -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

Opening day is finally here for the Ottawa Gee-Gees.

And they're ready for it.

"We're expecting a lot," quarterback Josh Sacobie said this week. "We're more mature ... we got faster and stronger, we had a good off-season in training. I'm expecting a lot of big things from our offence."

The Gee-Gees hope to step into the upper echelon of Canadian university football, but they know they can't look too far ahead.

"We do intend to take things one game at a time," said defensive back Devin Murphy. "From a broader perspective, our goal is to win the conference and then the Vanier Cup, that has to be your goal every year. But you can't look to the final step before taking the steps that lead up to it."

That initial step is a game tonight against the Guelph Gryphons, who come to Ottawa looking to avenge last year's 33-10 beating in the OUA quarter-finals.

"I'm sure they haven't forgotten about it," said Gee-Gees coach Denis Piche.

Game time is 7 p.m. at Frank Clair Stadium.

In Week 2, the Gee-Gees travel to McMaster before hosting a Week 3 showdown with Sir Wilfrid Laurier.

"The first three weeks are very important," said Piche. "It will determine where we are as a team for the rest of the season."

The Gee-Gees are dedicating tonight's game to the memory of Dwyla Toomath, who passed away earlier this week. She was the wife of alumnus Ernie Toomath.

Western Ontario 70, Toronto 1 -- At Toronto, Michael Faulds completed 12-of-14 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start for the Mustangs yesterday. Randy McAuley finished the game with 155 yards on eight carries, while D.J. Bennett had 152 yards on 19 rushes. The Varsity Blues committed five turnovers -- three interceptions and two fumbles.

No. 2 Saskatchewan 44, Regina 7 -- At Saskatoon, all-Canadian Steve Bilan threw for 307 yards and three TDs to lead the Huskies.

No. 4 Alberta 40, Simon Fraser 18 -- At Vancouver, Darryl Salmon passed for 297 yards and three scores as the Golden Bears defeated the Clan.

Manitoba 51, Calgary 10 -- At Winnipeg, Ryan Zahara threw for two touchdowns and ran for another to lead the Bisons over the Dinos.

chris.occhiuzzi@ott.sunpub.com


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