Second straight loss knocks Marauders down the ladder

The mighty have fallen.

Defending Ontario University Athletics champion McMaster Marauders dropped three positions from No. 6 to No. 9 in the Football Reporters of Canada/CIS rankings.

The Marauders opened the season with a win but have lost their last two outings for their 1-2 record. In falling to the Western Mustangs on Saturday, the Marauders lost their first home game in 13 outings, going back to September 2011.

Photo: Rick Zazulak/McMaster Athletics

Meanwhile, the Laval Rouge et Or top the national rankings for the third time in as many polls this season but for the first time this fall, the reigning Vanier Cup champions were not a unanimous choice for the No. 1 position.

Laval (2-0) received 29 of 30 first-place votes and 299 points from the FRC panel this week, with the remaining first-place nod going to the impressive Western Mustangs (3-0), who move up one spot to No. 3 in the new poll.

Rounding out the Top 10 are the No. 2 Queen’s Gaels (3-0 / no change), No. 4 Montreal Carabins (2-0 / down one), No. 5 Calgary Dinos (2-0 / no change), No. 6 Saskatchewan Huskies (2-0 / up two), No. 7 Guelph Gryphons (2-0 / no change), No. 8 Manitoba Bisons (1-1 / up one), No. 9 McMaster, and previously unranked Saint Mary’s Huskies (1-0).

Top-ranked Laval improved to 2-0 on the season last Saturday thanks to a 20-0 road win over Sherbrooke (0-2). The Rouge et Or now get ready for an interlock confrontation against the two-time defending AUS champ Acadia Axemen (0-1), a rival they dominated 42-7 in last year’s Uteck Bowl national semifinal.

Laval sports an all-time overall record of 16-3 versus opponents from the Atlantic conference, including 7-0 against Acadia.

Meanwhile in the OUA, Queen’s and Western both moved to perfect 3-0 marks. The Gaels won a 49-34 shootout at home against Windsor (1-2), while the Mustangs crushed two-time conference champion McMaster 58-15.

Western has outscored its opponents 179 to 33 in its first three outings, with sophomore quarterback Will Finch completing a CIS-best 76 percent of his passes for 1,164 yards, 10 touchdowns and only one interception.

Other Week 3 results from Top-10 teams included Montreal 44, Bishop’s 18 (at Montreal); Calgary 34, Regina 27 (at Regina); Saskatchewan 36, Manitoba 34 (at Manitoba); Saint Mary’s 14, Acadia 11 (at Saint Mary’s).

Seventh-ranked Guelph enjoyed a bye week in the OUA.

Thirteen games are on the schedule this coming weekend, all on Saturday, including four RSEQ-AUS interlock duels. Highlighting Week 4 are Top-10 matchups between No. 10 Saint Mary’s and Montreal, as well as No. 6 Saskatchewan and No. 5 Calgary.

The Saint Mary’s at Montreal contest is televised on Radio-Canada at 1 p.m. ET, while the Sportsnet 360 game of the week is Guelph at Toronto (1-2), also at 1 p.m.

Other teams receiving votes: Ottawa (11), Sherbrooke (11), Bishop’s (7), Regina (3), McGill (3), StFX (3), Acadia (1), Windsor (1).