Volume 92, Issue 40
Friday, November 13, 1998
listening or hearing
Yates Cup plays host to gridiron war
Photo © Dipesh Mistry/Gazette
By John Dinner
No matter which way it's sliced, when it comes right down to it this is a battle for football pre-eminence in Ontario University Athletics. Not just because it's the Yates Cup, but also because of all the emotion and pride which is on the line.
There was this year's Homecoming game, where Western trounced the Warriors 44-20 something Waterloo doesn't want to happen again. And then there's last year's Yates Cup where Waterloo strutted out of J.W. Little Stadium with the provincial title, but also with a little swagger because of their 30-10 victory in front of the Mustang faithful.
If these two games are any indication, then tomorrow's tilt should be a barn burner, but don't expect a blowout.
"It's the playoffs and we expected that kind of play from McMaster," said Mustang head coach Larry Haylor. "We knew it was going to come down to the end of the game and that approach helped us last week and it should help us this week."
Both Waterloo's and Western's offences are peaking at the right time. Waterloo ran over Laurier 32-10 last weekend, so it will be up to the defences of the respective teams to try and decide the outcome, much like last week's match-up at J.W. Little Stadium.
"They have a young defensive core and we have a veteran offensive line, but they also have a strong offensive line and our defence is relatively inexperienced," said Waterloo head coach Chris Triantafilou. "There is a mismatch, but both teams have it."
The two teams virtually mirror each other on the field and off, as both rely on a punishing running game to carry the bulk of the offence. Waterloo's only blemish on their 7-1 regular season record this year was the loss sustained at the hands of the Mustangs.
"We're looking at the tapes from last year's Yates and the game from this year," Haylor said. "I would imagine they keep looking at Oct. 3 and have that circled as a game they would like to get back."
Despite the recent history between these two teams, both coaches are playing down the rivalry and not putting too much stock in the previous match-ups. Both coaches feel Western caught the Warriors at an ideal time as they had just come off a blowout win over York.
"We'll have to wait until the end of the game to find out if we got better from that game and learned something. I believe we did, but it will have to be shown on the field," Triantafilou said.
Mustang running back Fabian Rayne also isn't putting too much emphasis on past games. "It's just another game an important playoff game," Rayne said. "We've got to go out and play our game. We can't let ourselves get distracted by what's happened before. All that matters is what happens on Saturday."
Kick-off is at 1 p.m. at J.W. Little Stadium.
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