Marauders drop home opener to Western

In a rematch of their 2010 Ontario University Athletics semi-final, the #2 Western Mustangs came away with a 48-21 victory over the #3 McMaster Marauders in front of a capacity crowd of 5,563 on their first trip to McMaster’s Ron Joyce Stadium Saturday.

Tyler Varga (Kitchener, Ont.) powered the Western offence rushing for four touchdowns while carrying the ball 25 times for 149 yards in the win.

In the battle of the quarterbacks and Hec Crighton favourites McMaster’s Kyle Quinlan (South Woodslee, Ont.) won the statistical battle throwing for 307 yards on 21 of 35 passing with two touchdowns and one interception. He was also McMaster’s top rusher running the ball six times for 45 yards and a touchdown. It was Western’s Donnie Marshall that would come out with the win putting up solid numbers of his own. Marshall completed 14 passes on 23 attempts for 235 yards and an interception. He rushed the ball 14 times for 79 yards as well.

McMaster struck first in the ball game completing a 10 play 100 yard drive that ended with Kyle Quinlan connecting with Matt Peressini in traffic across the middle for the touchdown. Peressini finished the game with seven catches for 77 yards and a touchdown to lead the McMaster receivers.

Western immediately responded on their next drive needing just four plays and a 1:27 to travel 85 yards, capping the drive off with a nine yard Nathan Riva (LaSalle, Ont.) touchdown run.

Then the Western offence started to roll. Back-to-back touchdown runs from Varga would give the Mustangs 21-7 lead with time running out in the half.

With under three minutes in the second quarter, Quinlan connected on with Brad Fochesato (Windsor, Ont.) for a 48 yard reception to setup an opportunity in the score zone. A Western pass interference call prolonged the drive, but Western made three consecutive stops on the goal line to keep McMaster out of the end zone and down 14 at the half.

The Marauders would not roll over. Out of the locker room on their first drive of the half a 34 touchdown catch by Mike DiCorce (Hamilton, Ont.) got the Marauders back within a touchdown, 21-14, at the 10:00 minute mark in the third quarter.

The Mustangs answered with another Varga touchdown run to build their lead back to 14 points.

The dagger proved to be an interception by Western’s backup defensive lineman Darryl Waud (Hamilton, Ont.) who rumbled for 33 yard touchdown return. The Marauders would score again on a one yard touchdown run by Quinlan but McMaster wouldn’t get any closer.

Varga rushed for his fourth touchdown and Riva added a late touchdown to put things completely out of reach for McMaster.

Ryan Chmielewski was the McMaster McDonald’s player of the game finishing with 13 tackles and a sack. DiCorce led the Marauders in all-purpose yards catching five passes for 88 yards, rushing for 24, and he returned a punt for 28, to give him a total of 140 in the game.

The Marauders will look to rebound next Saturday, September 17th when they travel to Windsor for their first night game on the 2011 schedule. Kickoff is at 7:00 pm at Windsor Stadium.