It’s status quo for Marauders in CIS football

(Photo: Robin Leworthy Wilson, Aerial Promotions)

(Photo: Robin Leworthy Wilson, Aerial Promotions)

Saturday’s 66-3 rout of the Waterloo Warriors didn’t improve McMaster’s fortunes in Canadian Interuniversity Sport national rankings, nor did the lop-sided victory hurt the Marauders.

The Hamilton university held onto its No. 9 rating from a week earlier in the latest CIS-Football Reporters of Canada rankings released on Tuesday (Oct. 8).

And while the Marauders were leveling their record at 3-3, the top four teams in CIS football remained undefeated after weekend play, including the high-scoring Western Mustangs, who lead the national poll for a second straight week.

The Mustangs (7-0) received 20 first-place votes and 290 points to slightly increase their advantage over reigning Vanier Cup champion Laval (6-0), which had led the first five media polls of the campaign before Western took over last week. The Rouge et Or earned the remaining 10 first-place nods and 280 points from the FRC panel.

Rounding out the new rankings are the No. 3 Calgary Dinos (6-0 / no change), No. 4 Guelph Gryphons (6-0 / no change), No. 5 Queen’s Gaels (5-1 / no change), No. 6 Montreal Carabins (4-2 / up one), No. 7 Saskatchewan Huskies (4-2 / down one), No. 8 Bishop’s Gaiters (4-2 / no change), No. 9 McMaster (3-3 / no change), as well as the No. 10 Windsor Lancers (4-3), making their first Top-10 appearance of the season.

Western, Laval and Guelph were all easy winners over the weekend, while Calgary defeated archrival Saskatchewan for the second time this fall to secure first place in the Canada West conference.

The Mustangs crushed Windsor 51-23 on the strength of 362 yards through the air from CIS passing leader Will Finch (Burlington). With one game left in league play, Western is 15 points away from breaking the single-season OUA scoring record set by McMaster in 2003 (424), while fifth-year kicker Lirim Hajrullahu (St. Catharines) needs nine points in his final regular season outing to shatter the individual CIS career mark of 410 established by former Ottawa great Neil Lumsden in the 1970s.

The Rouge et Or scored touchdowns on offence, defence and special teams in a 65-9 domination of Concordia. The Gryphons took a 20-0 lead into the fourth quarter and cruised to a 33-7 victory over York. The Dinos outscored the Huskies 18-0 in the final 27 minutes to prevail 24-12 at Saskatoon.

Meanwhile, a pair of Top-10 teams survived a scare. Queen’s needed overtime to down Laurier 40-34, while Bishop’s registered its third one-point win of the season, this time 30-29 over McGill.

Montreal avenged a loss to Sherbrooke the previous week with a 30-24 win against the Vert & Or. McMaster. Windsor replaces Manitoba at No. 10 despite the one-sided loss to top-ranked Western.

Only six games are on the Thanksgiving schedule across the country: Guelph at 0-6 Carleton, Queen’s at 1-5 Waterloo and McMaster at 1-6 Laurier.

The leading trio of Western, Laval and Calgary gets back on the field the following weekend against York (2-4), Sherbrooke (2-4) and Regina (2-4), respectively.