The No. 7 McMaster Marauders defeated the Queen’s Gaels, 40-19, in an Ontario University Athletics (OUA) conference quarterfinal at Ron Joyce Stadium on Saturday to advance to the OUA semi-finals for the second consecutive season.
After a slow start to a ball game that saw both teams combine for six turnovers in the first half, the Marauders scored 30 unanswered points to eliminate the defending Vanier Cup champions from the post season. The Marauders avenged their 2006 OUA quarterfinal loss when the sixth seeded Gaels upset McMaster, 25-19, at Hamilton’s Ivor Wynne Stadium.
Three of the six turnovers came in the first quarter as both teams seemed to battle some early nerves. The Marauders and Gaels did manage to generate some scoring chances, but neither team seemed able to finish. With three minutes left in the quarter, Queen’s finally opened up the scoring with a 31-yard field goal from Dan Village (Abbotsford, BC.).
The Marauders spent the second quarter shaking off the rust they showed earlier. They found the scoreboard with 1:42 left in the half when Kyle Quinlan (South Woodslee) ran for a one-yard touchdown. A minute later they scored again when Quinlan threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Joey Nemet (Burlington) giving the Marauders a 14-3 half time lead.
The Marauders finally came alive in the third quarter. Quinlan found Matt Peressini (Hannon) on a 57-yard pass for a touchdown. Minutes later the Marauders struck again, this time Kevin D’Hollander (London) found the end zone. D’Hollander’s touchdown, coupled with a safety, gave the Marauders a commanding 30-3 lead heading into the final quarter.
Queen’s Jimmy Therrien (Montreal) scored a touchdown early in the fourth to give the Gaels some life, but McMaster responded. Quinlan and D’Hollander connected once again, this time for a 39-yard touchdown strike. Andrew Waugh added to the McMaster lead with a 16-yard field goal.
Queen’s rookie quarterback Justin Chapdelaine (Abbotsford, BC) added a late one-yard touchdown run, but it is was too little to late for the Gaels.
D’Hollander had another strong outing for the Marauders, after missing a stretch of games this season, finishing with 133 yards receiving on five catches with the two touchdowns. Quinlan threw four touchdowns and scored another on the ground in the win. He was 18 for 26 passing for 361 yards in the win. Nemet was the top rusher with 94 yards on 19 carriers. Ryan Chmielewski (St. Catharines) led the defense with seven tackles and two forced fumbles. Allan Dicks (Abbotsford, BC) and Joey Cupido (Hamilton) each picked a ball to add to their season totals.
The Gaels finished with seven turnovers including two fumbles, two interceptions and two turnovers on downs. McMaster had two fumbles and one turnover on downs.
Queen’s pinned the Marauders in their end zone twice but McMaster head coach Stefan Ptaszek elected to have his QB punt on second down. Quinlan racked up 120 yards punting including a 79-yard punt with the Gaels not defending for the kick.
The Marauders now move on to the OUA semi-finals against the No. 2 Western Mustangs on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 4:30 p.m. at TD Waterhouse Stadium in London.
Tickets are available online for purchase at http://westernmustangstickets.universitytickets.com/user_pages/event.asp?id=500&cid=71.