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Volume 91, Issue 23

Tuesday, October 7, 1997

frosh and go


Mustangs drop Homecomer

©Tom Baumgartner/Gazette
AYE, THERE BE NO HAGAS IN THERE. Western defensive corner Alan Wilson pats down Waterloo wide receiver Andy MacGregor before making the tackle during Saturday's Homecoming game.

By Alex Chiang

Gazette Staff

Western's Homecoming received a spiritual blow on Saturday when the hometown pigskin posse were stonewalled by a belligerent Waterloo Warrior team in front of a full house at J.W. Little Stadium.

For the second week in a row, Western's offence struggled to put points on the board, as dropped passes, turnovers and poor special teams marred the Mustangs.

The Warrior defence shut down Western's running game, limiting Mike Laszlo to a mere 39 yards on 13 carries. With the running game stymied, quarterback Oliver Curri went to the air more often, completing 18 of 34 passes for 311 yards. It took Western 59 minutes and 24 seconds of regulation play before Curri scrambled in for a three-yard touchdown – their first and only major of the game.

"I don't think anyone's more critical than the players and the coaching staff, but we don't know what's wrong," Haylor said. "We'll run a good play, but then run two horrible plays and we had three fumbles and three interceptions that really hurt us.

"We haven't got a break yet from the officials or the other team, but I don't want to dwell in it because that's what losing teams do."

It was no secret the Warriors were going to run the ball, but stopping Jarrett Smith proved to be a monumental task, as the all-star running back rushed for an impressive 236 yards on 30 carries and had one touchdown.

The combination of playing in front of a large crowd, a determination to end their two-game losing skid and playing a great rival, served to elevate Waterloo's game.

"Every team gets psyched-up to play Western," Smith said. "Last week we thought just by showing up we would be good enough to beat Toronto and we lost, so we knew we had to play as well as we could."

Waterloo's veteran offensive line led by All-Canadians Martin Barta and Stephen Szimanski effectively neutralized both the Mustang defensive line and the linebacking core from the outset.

"The offensive line was unbelievable today," Waterloo quarterback Ryan Wilkinson, who made four of his 11 passes for 49 yards and one touchdown said. "We had time for running and passing – it was their best game all year.

"This is a huge win for us. Everything we did worked well and even though Western didn't play their best game, our running game is good enough to adjust to any defence."

The end result of Waterloo's solid blocking execution was that players like Mustang defensive back Ryan Lyons were called upon to make far more tackles than normal.

"Our defence was out on the field an awful long time," Lyons said. "Waterloo just pounds at you and their running backs just keep finding the holes. I've never made so many tackles in my life."

The loss was Western's first of the season, dropping the team's record to 4-1 and into a second-place tie with York. Waterloo meanwhile is one spot behind them with a record of 3-2.

The Mustangs will travel to Toronto to play the York Yeomen this Saturday. Kick-off is at 2 p.m..

To Contact The Sports Department: gazsport@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 1997