No place like home for the perfect Marauders

The No. 1 nationally ranked McMaster Marauders secured home field advantage throughout the 2012 Ontario University Athletics playoffs by dumping the Windsor Lancers, 39-18, at Ron Joyce Stadium in Hamilton on Saturday (Oct. 13).

McMaster sits atop the OUA standings with a perfect 7-0 record and extends its winning streak to 17 games, dating back to Sept. 17, 2011. The Marauders need just two more wins to equal Laval’s record of 19 straight victories which they accomplished between the 2004 and 2005 seasons.

In the win, McMaster’s Ben D’Aguilar (Hamilton) became the Canadian Interuniversity Sport’s single season record holder in sacks by posting his 12.5 sack on Windsor’s Austin Kennedy. He passed Bishop’s great Leroy Blugh (1988) and Queen’s Jim Aru (1996) who previously held the mark of 11.5.

Hec Creighton candidate Kyle Quinlan (South Woodslee) was 24 of 40 passing for 401 yards and three touchdowns with his first two interceptions this season in the win while Kennedy was 27 of 40 for 380 yards with two touchdowns. Kennedy also had four interceptions in the loss.

Quinlan’s top target was Max Cameron (St. Catharines), who was named the “McDonald’s Big MAC” player of the game, finishing as the day’s top receiver with seven catches on 209 yards. Spencer Moore (Hamilton), Dahlin Brooks and Tyler Loveday (Kitchener) all registered a touchdown in the win.

Evan Pszczonak (Amherstburg) was Windsor’s top receiver with 135 yards including an 80-yard reception which was Windsor’s only score in the second half.

Defensively, McMaster’s Shane Beaton (Brampton) led the way for the Marauders registering eight tackles and a sack. Linebacker Michael Kashak (Courtice) recorded a touchdown in the fourth quarter on a fumble recovery in the end zone. Overall, the Marauders had five sacks and forced five turnovers.

After going down 1-0 on a rouge in the first quarter, McMaster got on the board at 7:03 when Quinlan found Moore on a two-yard throw to make the score 7-1. Windsor pushed ahead 11-7 after Kennedy connected with Dylan Whitfield (Windsor) on a 17-yard pass and then tacked on a 16-yard field goal by Dan Cerino (Stoney Creek).

The Marauders would go on to score 20 unanswered points in building a 27-11 lead in the second and third quarters behind two Quinlan touchdowns to Brooks and Loveday as well as two field goals from Tyler Crapigna (Nepean).

The Lancers final score came after Kennedy found a streaking Pszczonak for an 80-yard strike making the score 27-18. The Marauders closed the scoring in the fourth quarter with another Crapigna field goal, the Kashak fumble recovery touchdown and a safety with 2:54 remaining.

The Marauders posted 140-yards lost on 16 penalties while Windsor also had 16 penalties for 125-yards.

In other OUA action on Saturday, Guelph took possession of second place with a 33-28 comeback win over Queen’s, while Ottawa dumped Waterloo, 61-0. Western beat Laurier, 56-3, and York beat Toronto, 36-24.

McMaster hosts the 3-4 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks on Saturday (Oct. 20).

NOTES: D’Aguilar set the new CIS single season sack record 90 seconds into the fourth quarter when he tackled Kennedy at the Windsor 20 for a nine-yard loss. Quinlan is now tied with Ben Chapdelain with 59 passing touchdowns for McMaster’s all-time career leader. Robert Babic (Oakville) moved past Kevin D’Hollander for 10th place on McMaster’s all-time reception list. Quinlan’s first quarter interception was his first after going 186 attempts without throwing a pick to open the season. McMaster honoured the 2002 and 2003 Yates Cup championship teams at during halftime. Attendance during McMaster’s Homecoming was announced as 5,714.