The amateur Ontario University Athletic’s McMaster Marauders played like the professional Canadian Football League Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday. That was unfortunate, and it’s why the No. 9 nationally ranked Marauders football season came to an abrupt end, losing 25-19 to the underdog Queen’s Golden Gaels in a quarter-final showdown.
Perhaps it had something to do with playing at Ivor (or Never) Wynne Stadium, home of the Ticats who this year were 4-14.
On Saturday, the Marauders, who finished the OUA’s regular season with a 6-2 record dismantled themselves in the second half after leading 17-3 to start the third quarter.
Marauders had more turnovers than Weston’s Bakery: Count ’em eight – three fumbles, three interceptions and two on downs. Add a couple of costly and ill-timed penalties, and you have the recipe for disaster.
Queens wasn’t much better at holding onto the ball the ball and had seven turnovers – five fumbles, one interception, and one on downs. But the Golden Gaels at least kept it longer than Mac before coughing it up. Queen’s had possession of the ball for 35 minutes and 28 seconds. Mac was trying to figure out what to do with the pigskin for 21 minutes and 40 seconds.
Surprisingly, Marauders piled up 354 net yards to Queen’s 243.
McMaster even had a 17-11 cushion in the final quarter as they started to unravel. A fake field goal attempt by the Kingston visitors two minutes into the fourth quarter led to Mike Giffin’s one-year run that gave Queen’s an 18-17 lead. Giffin scored two majors on the days.
Ryan Elgar would convert the two majors and boot three field goals for Queen’s. A safety would complete their scoring.
McMaster quarterback Adam Archibald (Kingston) was good on 20 of his 35 pas attempts for 238 yards and two touchdowns. Jon Behie (Burlington), finishing his university career, had one TD catch for Mac with Jordan Charter (Brantford) hauling in another. Pauolo Faiazza (Stoney Creek) kicked a field goal and converted the two touchdowns.
Mac would pick up the other two points on a safety after Queen’s intercepted in the end zone in the dying moments of the game.
Andre Sadeghian (Beamsville) had 18 carries for Mac and ran for 97 yards.
Queen’s passer Danny Brannagan (Burlington) completed 14 passes in 26 attempts for 171 yards. Receiver, Robb Bagg (Kingston) had 5 catches for 76 yards.
Brad Smith had four receptions for 36 yards and two touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the ball for Mac, back Byron Dinter (Brampton) had five tackles, one assisted tackle and one forced fumble. Lineman Andrew Jones had five tackles, one sack and one fumble recovery.
Linebacker Jason Arakgi (Oakville) had five tackles on the day. Fifth year safety Jesse Card (Ottawa) added another steal to add to his outstanding career totals.
Queen’s will play the 7-1 Ottawa Gee-Gees in one of next week’s OUA semifinals. London plays Laurier in the other.