Football Marauders maintain status quo

vandervroot_featuredMcMaster Marauders managed to hold onto their No 9 national ranking after the Football Reporters of Canada submitted their weekly voting results to Canadian Interuniversity Sport. Mac’s win over the York Lions on Saturday stopped their losing streak at two games to even their Ontario University Athletics record at 2-2.

The Laval Rouge et Or top the national rankings for the fourth time in as many polls this season but the reigning Vanier Cup champions (they defeated McMaster in last year’s title tilt) continue to lose first-place votes to the high-flying Western Mustangs.

Laval (3-0) received 21 of 30 first-place nods – eight less than last Tuesday – and 290 points from the FRC panel this week, with all remaining votes for the pole position going to the impressive Mustangs (4-0 / 267 points), who move up one spot for the second straight week and reach a season-best No. 2 in the new national poll.

Rounding out the fourth Top 10 of the campaign are the No. 3 Queen’s Gaels (3-0 / down one), No. 4 Montreal Carabins (3-0 / no change), No. 5 Calgary Dinos (3-0 / no change), No. 6 Guelph Gryphons (3-0 / up one), No. 7 Saskatchewan Huskies (2-1 / down one), No. 8 Manitoba Bisons (2-1 / no change), No. 9 McMaster Marauders, as well as the No. 10 Bishop’s Gaiters (2-1), who return to the Top 10 following a one-week hiatus.

The top-ranked Rouge et Or did their part last weekend as RSEQ teams combined for a 3-1 record against AUS rivals in interlocking action, defeating two-time Atlantic champion Acadia 26-14 in Wolfville, N.S. First place in Quebec will be on the line on Sunday when the Vanier Cup champs host No. 4 Montreal in Quebec City, looking to extend their CIS-record streak to a remarkable 60 consecutive wins overall on home turf, dating back to a 14-13 loss to the Carabins on Sept. 19, 2004.

The much-anticipated duel between the RSEQ powerhouses will be televised live nationally on Radio-Canada. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. ET.

While Queen’s was enjoying a bye this past weekend, Western crushed visiting Ottawa 83-27 to up its overall tally to a mind-boggling 262 points scored at the midway mark of the OUA schedule, 83 more than any other team in the country (Windsor – 179). After voting the Gaels at No. 2 in the first three polls of the fall, the FRC panel had little choice but to rank the Mustangs as the top team in Ontario this week.

Western and super-sophomore quarterback Will Finch (Burlington) visit Laurier (1-3) on Saturday, while Queen’s travels to Ottawa (2-2). In his first full season as the Mustangs’ starting pivot, Finch currently leads CIS in touchdown passes (13) and completion percentage (74.4), while his average of 365.2 yards per game is good for third in the nation.

In the marquee matchup of the past weekend, a Canada West battle between Saskatchewan and Calgary, the Dinos prevailed 36-24 at home to remain the only undefeated team in the conference. Backup quarterback Andrew Buckley, making his second straight start in place of injured standout Eric Dzwilewski, was once again solid, completing 26 of 33 passes for 294 yards and a pair of majors, with one rushing TD.

Other results from Top-10 teams on Week 4 included Montreal 29, Saint Mary’s 10 (at Montreal); Guelph 38, Toronto 12 (at Toronto); Manitoba 36, UBC 32 (at UBC); McMaster 41, York 27 (at McMaster); Bishop’s 22, Sherbrooke 21 (at Sherbrooke).

In addition to Montreal-Laval, other Top-10 confrontations this coming weekend include No. 8 Manitoba at No. 5 Calgary on Friday night (6 p.m. MT), and No. 9 McMaster at No. 6 Guelph on Saturday afternoon (1 p.m. ET). Manitoba-Calgary is live on SHAW TV, while McMaster-Guelph is the OUA Game of the Week on Sportsnet 360.