McMaster Marauders let a 12-0 lead slip from their grasps on Saturday and were left with their second straight football loss.
Marauders, ranked seventh nationally going into their game with the University of Western Ontario, watched as the Mustangs scored 29 unanswered second half points for the 29-12 Ontario University Athletics game in London. Marauders lost last weekend to Laurier.
Saturday’s setback was the first time that former McMaster head coach Greg Marshall faced some of his former charges since taking over the role of offensive co-ordinator for Western.
Marshall becomes the head coach for the 2007 season with Larry Haylor retiring as the CIS winning coach after 31 seasons leading the Mustangs. Marshall was hired by Western after the CFL Hamilton Tiger-Cats fired their head coach who was in his third year after coming over from McMaster.
On Saturday, Marauders started quarterback Ryan Fantham, who’s hometown is London. He was pressed into service because of injuries to No. 1 passer Adam Archibald (Kingston) and slotback/quarterback Jon Behie (Burlington).
Fantham put Mac on the scoreboard with a pass to Jordan Charter (Brantford). Paulo Faiazza (Stoney Creek) made good on the convert and later booted a 47-yard field goal to give Mac a 10-0 lead.
Faiazza’s three-pointer tied the mark for the longest CIS boot. Queen’s Ryan Elger had the other.
Taking the lead into the second half, Mac picked up its final two points when an errant snap on a punt, bounced into the endzone and Western gave up the safety.
From that point on, the game was pretty much Western’s. On the next play, kicker Derek Schiavone (Port Colborne) squibbed the boot but Mac misplayed the kick. The Mustangs’ Cory Watson (London) recovered the fumble deep in McMaster territory and on the next play, Western quarterback Mike Faulds (Rockwood, ON) connected with David Clayton (Amherstberg, ON) for the touchdown closing the McMaster lead to 12-7.
Mac failed to move the ball on it possession and the Mustangs went back to work. Faulds threw a 38-yard pass to Josh Starr (Tecumseh, ON). The pass was tipped by Mac cornerback Shaka Licorish (Hamilton) right into the hands of Mustang receiver Jesse Bellamy (Guelph) for the touchdown.
Mac runningback Andre Sadaghian (Beamsville) carried the ball 20 times for 78 yards to give him 774 yards on the season.
Marauder passer Fantham completed 11 throws for 97 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
Receiver Matt Giordano (Hamilton) had his best game as a Marauder, hauling in a trio of passes for 34 yards, and returning eight punts for 91 yards, an 11.38 average. Jordan Charter caught two passes for 20 yards and a touchdown.
Faulds completed 16 passes in 31 attempts for 202 yards, two touchdowns and one interceptions for Western. Western receiver Dave Clayton had two receptions for 53 yards and one touchdown. Bellamy had two catches for 41 yards and a touchdown and Star snared two passes for 40 yards.
The Mustangs Randy McAuley (London), who was celebrated at McMaster with Western producing 2,500 Jack-in-the-boxes bearing his likeness, had 12 carries for 51 yards. D.J. Bennett had nine for 24 yards.
The McMaster defense was led by Shaka Licorish with five tackles, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. Defensive end Chris Van Zeyl (Fonthill) had five tackles, one sack and a forced fumble. McMaster recorded four sacks on the day with Nathan Findlay, (Beamsville) Kristian Consack (Toronto) and James Edwards (Hamilton) also recording sacks. Mac’s D-line has 23 sacks on the season, an average of 3.29 per game.
Western was led by Tyler Cook (Toronto) and Glen Larocque (Grimsby) with six tackles. Nick Kordic (Toronto) had three tackels, two forced fumbles, one interception and a sack for Western.
Next Saturday (Oct. 21 at 2 p.m.) McMaster (5-2) hosts the University of Guelph as part of the McMaster Homecoming celebrations. Kickoff at Ivor Wynne stadium is 2 p.m.