It was a game that lived up to the hype as the Western Mustangs used a fourth-quarter rouge, their only points of the second-half, to edge the McMaster Marauders, 19-18, and clinch first-place in OUA football standings.
With the loss Saturday (Oct. 22), McMaster finishes 6-2 on the year and in third place. The Marauders will be at home for a quarter-final on Saturday, Oct. 29 at Ron Joyce Stadium versus the Guelph Gryphons.
High winds blowing in London made things difficult for both teams as the passing game depended on who had the breeze at their back. Western held a 5-1 lead after the first quarter on a safety and a field goal, while McMaster had only a rouge on a missed field goal attempt.
Western went up 8-1 early in the second quarter, but the Marauders tied the game on a one-yard plunge by Asher Hastings. The Mustangs responded with 10 points to end the quarter and took an 18-8 lead into the half.
Playing with the wind in the third quarter, Hastings hit Mitch O’Connor for a 35-yard touchdown and Adam Preocanin hit a 50-yard field goal to tie the score at 18-18, heading to the final quarter.
The fourth quarter saw both defenses step up and neither team was able to score, until the Mustangs took advantage of a blocked punt to get good field possession in McMaster territory. When the drive stalled, Western tried a field goal and though it was wide, the Marauders were unable to get out of the end zone and gave up the final single-point that was the margin of victory for Western