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Volume 91, Issue 19
Tuesday, September 30, 1997
'Stangs get a wake-up call
HEY SOB, COME ON AND EAT MY BRAIN. Mustang linebacker Derek Krete  buries his noggin into the chest of Lancer quarterback Art Sobieraj.
By Ian Ross
WINDSOR The question is: do ya feel lucky punk? That's what it all came down to on Saturday when the match-up between the Western Mustangs and Windsor Lancers came down to the final play.
Coming to the rescue for the purple and white was defensive back Jeff Heslop, who, with two seconds left on the clock, deflected a 23-yard field goal attempt by Windsor kicker Ken Tumak that would have won the game for the Lancers. Instead, the second-ranked Mustangs walked away with a marginal 23-22 victory to boost their undefeated record to 4-0, while the Lancers remain in the division cellar with a 0-4 record.
Western's offence was nowhere to be found all afternoon and it was the defence that stepped up to the challenge to keep the team in the game. In total, the defence picked up one fumble and made two interceptions one of which was brought back for a 25-yard major by All-Canadian defensive back Todd MacKay.
"If I'm going to make those plays only on those situations, I'll take them and leave the rest," he said, referring to his dramatic first interception and touchdown of the season.
Western's other touchdown came by way of Mike Lazslo, who scored on a 51-yard run. Lazslo racked up 136 yards on 17 carries for the day, but Windsor effectively shut down the rest of the Mustang running backs.
Western was also unable to mount a credible passing game with receiver Ryan Hazzard, out due to a lung injury and last week's most valuable player Dan Disley, who was hurt in the third quarter.
"At times, when Ollie [Curri] would throw well we'd miss them and other times he would be well off-target," Western head coach Larry Haylor said. "If we could have thrown with any consistency, it would have been a much different game."
"We couldn't get much going [on offence], I can't explain it," Mustang quarterback Oliver Curri said. "Personally, I don't think I had a very good game."
Windsor quarterback Art Sobieraj, sidelined early in the season-opener against Western, returned to complete 21 of 45 passes for 341 yards, including six passes to Rickey Hutson for 111 yards and a touchdown.
"Our team played really well," Windsor head coach John Musselman said. "I just really wish we could have converted at the end to cap it off."
The Mustangs had been cruising along against sub-par teams until Saturday's near-loss, which the players feel should prove to be a valuable lesson.
"This was definitely our wake-up call," Mustang linebacker and co-captain Bernie Tessier said. "Some things we didn't do right out there, but we were luckily able to squeak it out in the end.
"We have a great team," Tessier added. "I think we can beat anybody, but only if we play well. If we go out and turn the ball over and don't move it we're going to lose our next four games."
The team will find out if they can turn things around for a crucial showdown at homecoming this Saturday when the eighth-ranked Waterloo Warriors (2-2) come to J.W. Little Stadium for a 2 p.m. battle.
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Copyright © The Gazette 1997