The McMaster Marauders kept their undefeated record intact on Saturday (Sept. 29), edging the Western Mustangs.
McMaster, defending Vanier Cup national champions and ranked No. 1 in the country, lead Ontario University Athletics football with a 5-0 record. During those five games they have outscored their opponents 229-93.
On Saturday, as they did the week previous, the Marauders built a big first-half lead and handed things over to the Maroon defense to protect it and ruin Western’s Home Coming game.
The game started on a positive note for the more than 10,000 onlookers as the Mustangs took an early 9-0 on a safety and a first-quarter touchdown. But before the first quarter was over, a pass from quarterback Kyle Quinlan to Brad Fochesato brought McMaster into the red-zone. Quinlan scored on a one-yard plunge to get within two points.
The second quarter was all Marauders as they scored 21 unanswered points that included TD passes from Quinlan to Tyler Loveday and Dahlin Brooks to build a 28-9 lead. A late Mustang field-goal made the score 28-12 at the half.
Defence dominated the second half. There was no scoring until the last played of the third quarter when Western scored a touchdown to narrow the count to 30-18, after missing on an attempted two-point conversion.
In the fourth quarter, some well placed punting from Tyler Crapigna left the Mustangs with long fields to navigate. Crapigna added a field-goal in the quarter to complete Mac’s scoring. The Marauders conceded a safety and Western got a late TD for the Mustangs final thrust.
The Marauder defense played an outstanding game, keeping Garrett Sanvido, the leading rusher in Canadian Interuniversity Sport, under control and applying intense pressure on Mustang QB Donnie Marshall, who left the game with a lower body injury late in the fourth quarter. Unofficially, Nick Shortill and Ben D’Aguilar each registered three sacks in the game.
Quinlan was the top rusher in the contest gaining 145 yards on 10 carries and scoring one touchdown. He also completed 18 of 32 passes for 247 yards and two scoring strikes, Quinlan now has 53 career touchdown passes, and is only six behind Ben Chapdelaine, who holds the McMaster career record with 59.
Western goes to 3-2 on the season.
Next action for the Marauders is a road game at York on Thursday (Oct. 4).