The #5 McMaster Marauders scored a season high 51 points on their way to securing second place in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) conference, and a home semi-final playoff game at Ron Joyce Stadium. Kyle Quinlan (South Woodslee, Ont.) threw for 367 yards and Michael DiCroce (Hamilton, Ont.) had his fifth 100-yard plus receiving game for McMaster in the win.
Quinlan completed 21 of his 29 attempts with four touchdowns and no interceptions. DiCroce was Quinlan’s favourite target catching 6 balls for 124 yards and a touchdown. DiCroce moved to sixth all time in McMaster career receptions and sixth in career yardage in only this third season with the Marauders. DiCroce also rushed the ball four times for 40 yards.
Joey Nemet (Burlington, Ont.) moved to second all-time in career rushing yardage behind Jesse Lumsden carrying the ball eight times for 38 yards. Chris Pezzetta (Burlington, Ont.) was the top rusher for the Marauders with 68 yards on 10 carriers with a touchdown.
Gary Spero (St. Catharines, Ont.) had a breakout game for McMaster leading the team with a combined 246 all purpose yards including a 80 yard punt return for a touchdown.
Ottawa’w Aaron Colbon (Orleans, Ont.) threw for 271 yards on 14 of 30 passing with three touchdowns, but was also picked off three times. Simon Le Marquand (Gatineau, Qué.) was the top receiver for the Gee-Gees catching six balls for 131 yards and two touchdowns. Brendan Gillanders (Orleans, Ont.) was the top rusher carrying the ball 17 times for 123 yards.
McMaster opened the scoring early in the ball game. A 49 yard pass completion from Quinlan to Brad Fochesato (Windsor, Ont.) on the opening play from scrimmage set up a 25 yard Kyle Crapigna (Ottawa, Ont.) field goal to give the Marauders the early 3-0 lead.
Crapigna finished the day three for three on field goal attempts and five for five on converts.
McMaster built their lead to 10-0 on the ensuing series as Spero returned the Gee-Gee punt 80 yards for the score.
The first quarter saw a bunch more scoring and it appeared in the early going that the game would be a shoot out. Ottawa would conclude a six play 57 yard drive with a Matthew Falvo (Welland, Ont.) 20 yard field goal, but the Marauders would immediately respond with a seven play 75 yard drive capped off with a one yard Pezzeta touchdown run that reestablished a 10 point lead.
McMaster increased their lead on the next series when Quinlan found DiCroce for a 27 yard score to make it 24-3 in favour of the home side at the end of the opening quarter.
The second quarter started much like the first with a quick score by the Marauders. Robert Babic (Oakville, Ont.) caught a six yard pass from Quinlan to increase the McMaster lead to 31-3.
Ottawa would score their first touchdown on the ensuing series when Colbon completed a four play 59 yard drive with a 13 yard completion to Le Marquand.
That would conclude Ottawa’s scoring until late in the fourth quarter. McMaster would add Quinlan touchdown passes to Fochesato and Babic followed by two more Crapigna field goals to put the game away.
Stephen Ventresca grabbed his fourth interception of the season and Joey Cupido his third of 2011 on defence. Scott Caterine also picked off a ball in the win. Nick Shorthill (Nobleton, Ont.) was the top tackler with seven and Shane Beaton (Brampton, Ont.) earned McMaster-McDonald’s Player of the Game honours with five tackles and two big sacks.
Trevor Seal (Ottawa, Ont.) was the top defender for Ottawa finishing with six tackles and a sack.
McMaster finished the regular season at 7-1 in a first place tie with the Western Mustangs for top spot in the conference. The Mustangs will enter the post season as the top seed with the tie breaker advantage of the head-to-head defeat of the Marauders. Ottawa finishes in fourth place and they will host the fifth placed Windsor Lancers in an OUA Quarter-final next weekend.