A McMaster Homecoming crowd of 5210 where treated to an offensive showcase Saturday afternoon as the McMaster Marauders scored 34 unanswered points in the first half and never looked back on their way to a 46-20 defeat of the Waterloo Warriors at Ron Joyce Stadium.
McMaster combined for 601 yards of total offence compared to Waterloo’s 254.
McMaster quarterback Marshall Ferguson (Kingston, Ont.) threw for three touchdowns and ran for another in the opening half. He completed 14 of 21 passes for 284 yards in one half of work. He was replaced by walk on Shaughn Reilly (Grimsby, Ont.) who finished 4 of 8 for 30 yards with an interception.
Michael DiCroce (Hamilton, Ont.) had six catches for a 144 yards and a touchdown to earn the Mark Timpany Trophy recipient as Homecoming MVP; he was also the McMaster-McDonald’s Big Mac Player of the Game. Matt Peressini (Hamilton, Ont.) caught the other two touchdowns in the air to move into a second place tie in McMaster career receiving touchdowns with Clorindo Grilli at 17.
Rookie running back Chris Pezetta (Burlington, Ont.) had his second consecutive 100-yard rushing game rushing the ball 10 times for 135 yards including a 19-yard touchdown run. James Hill (Hamilton, Ont.) was close behind with 120 yards on 13 carries.
On defence for McMaster, Joseph Richardson (Waterdown, Ont.) was the top tackler with five, and a sack, in his first game of the season. Michael Daly (Kitchener, Ont.) grabbed his fourth interception of the season to tie for the National lead. Stephen Ventresca (Hamilton, Ont.) picked his third ball in conference play.
The Marauders started the scoring early when Ferguson found Peressini on a 38-yard touchdown pass. As soon as the Marauders got the ball back Ferguson would connect with Peressini again this time on a four yard score. Ferguson added his eight yard rushing touchdown with 9:50 remaining in the half, and connected with DiCroce on a 59 yard touchdown pass shortly after. Tyler Crapigna (Ottawa, Ont.) would kick two of his three field goals in the game before the half giving the Marauders a commanding 34-0 lead.
The Warriors ended the shutout midway through the fourth quarter. Brian Chris (Waterloo, Ont.) connected with Max Hill (Fort Erie, Ont.) for a 21 yard touchdown reception with 6:18 remaining in the game. Chris connected with Craig Zsoldos (London, Ont.) for a three yard touchdown to cut the McMaster lead to 43-14. Chris finished 13 of 21 for 183 yards and three touchdowns coming off the bench in the loss.
Another Crapigna field goal for McMaster and a Dustin Zender (Kitchener, Ont.) touchdown reception for Waterloo would conclude the scoring. Zender was the top receiver for Waterloo with 13 catches for 162 yards.
With the win McMaster improved to 4-1 on the season and Waterloo fell to 0-5. McMaster will have a short week to prepare as they host their Thanksgiving game on Thursday, October 6 at 7:00 pm against the University of Toronto.