With only two days to prepare for his first career start at quarterback Marshall Ferguson (Kingston, Ont.) completed 25 of 33 passes for 284 yards and 3 touchdowns to lead the #7 McMaster Marauders to a 21-19 victory over the #10 Windsor Lancers in front of 3,122 fans at Alumni Stadium on Saturday night.
Commenting on Ferguson’s performance on minimal preperation McMaster head coach Stefan Ptaszek said, “on two days of first team practice, you cannot play any better than Marshall did tonight. His effort tonight ranks among top QB performances I have seen.”
Joey Nemet’s 127 yards on 21 carriers moved him to second all-time in McMaster career rushing yards at 2669 yards passing Jordan Kozina’s total of 2439 and Kyle Pyear’s 2637. He also set a new record for career rushing attempts surpassing Jesse Lumsden’s 459 with a new total of 489.
Both defences came out ready to play as neither side surrendered a first quarter point.
Windsor quarterback Austin Kennedy got the ball into McMaster territory a couple of times but he was picked off twice in the opening quarter by McMaster’s Michael Daly (Kitchener, Ont.) Daly would pick off a third Kennedy pass to move into the National lead in interceptions. He also had five tackles in the ball game.
On the ensuing drive following Daly’s second interception, Ferguson moved the Marauders down the field capping the drive with a 25-yard strike to Matt Peressini (Hamilton, Ont) for the first score of the game.
The Marauders would also score on their very next drive when Ferguson connected with Robert Babic (Oakville, Ont.) for a three yard touchdown reception.
The Lancers would finally give the home crowd something to cheer about as Kennedy connected on a 14-yard touchdown pass to receiver Jordan Brescacin for the major. However, the ensuing extra point was blocked making the score 14-6 at the half.
In the third quarter, the Marauder defence forced a fumble and recovered the loose ball to set up the next scoring drive. Nemet converted a third and one with an eight rushing gain, and a 20 yard completion to Perissini setup a 24 yard touchdown pass to Michael DiCorce (Hamilton, Ont) to build the McMaster lead to 21-6.
Perssini moved to fifth all-time in receiving yardage surpassing Kevin D’Hollander’s total of 1571. He also passed Mike Morreale in career receptions to fourth spot with 119. DiCorce was the top receiver for the Marauders in the game finishing with eight catches for 109 yards and the touchdown. He also rushed the ball five times for 73 yards.
With Windsor trailing heading into the fourth, Kennedy found his groove to open the quarter as he connected with receiver Cory Fernandes on a 13-yard pass play to cut the deficit to 21-13.
It would remain that way until 1:30 remained as Kennedy again engineered a late fourth quarter rally. After a 15-yard pass play to Shomari Grant moved the Lancers deep into McMaster territory, Kennedy found Jordan Brescacin with a minute to go from 11 yards out for the touchdown to make it 21-19.
With the Lancers needing a two-point conversion to tie, the Marauders were called for pass interference on the first attempt setting the ball up on the one-yard line with the game on the line. Windsor then ran a hand off to Shomari Grant who was stuffed at the goal line which allowed McMaster to secure the thrilling 21-19 win.
Kennedy completed 25 of 42 passes for 335 yards with 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions for the Lancers. Jordan Brescacin caught 8 passes for 111 yards and 2 touchdowns while Cory Fernandes caught 6 passes for 59 yards and 1 touchdown. Shomari Grant finished with 12 carries for 41 yards on the ground.
The win moved McMaster to 2-1 good for a four way tie for second place in the OUA with Windsor, Ottawa, and Toronto. The Marauders will travel to Guelph next Saturday, September 24th to take on the Gryphons at 1:00 pm. The game will be Nationally televised on the Score. Windsor will travel to Waterloo to take on the Warriors at 1:00 pm.