Volume 92, Issue 41

Tuesday, November 17, 1998

no. 1 where it counts


Mustang stampede returns the Yates Cup

Tom Baumgartner and Dipesh Mistry/Gazette
IT'S IN THE EYES. The Western Mustangs had a lot to celebrate after Saturday's 47-41 victory over the Waterloo Warriors in the Yates Cup. From top left, Mustang DB Chris Tiede pulls a Warrior down. Bottom left, WR Dan Disley makes a key first-half reception. Center, QB Mike O'Brien is hoisted on the shoulder of his teammates, while above, RB Fabian Rayne was once again in the thick of the Mustang running game which racked up 449 yards along the ground.

By John Dinner

Gazette Staff

Rematches are never easy. Two opponents which know each other very well must go head to head to prove which team is better.

On Saturday afternoon, the Mustang football team found out exactly how tough rematches can be as they faced the Waterloo Warriors, ranked second in Canada, in the Yates Cup. The Mustangs barely escaped with a 47-41 win.

The Warriors, a team Western dispatched quite easily 44-20 earlier this season, came out in the first quarter like the same team from that Homecoming weekend, as Western built up a 15-0 lead in the first quarter before extending that to 29-0 before five minutes had elapsed in the second.

"We came out and played like shit," said Waterloo quarterback Ryan Wilkinson. "If we take away the first quarter, which you never can, I think the game would have had a much different outcome, but who knows. All I know is that we lost."

Despite the 29-point deficit and playing catch-up all the way, Waterloo scratched their way back into it, making for a very interesting game in the dying minutes.

Answering Western's offensive output, the Warriors countered with 21 unanswered points in the second quarter.

"I thought we played well enough to win in the second half, but it was too little too late for us," Wilkinson said. "I give all the credit in the world to Western. They hung on when we played our best football of the year."

The Mustang offence was once again sparked by the superb running of Fabian Rayne and Scott Crawley, complimented by key scrambling by quarterback Mike O'Brien to keep some important drives alive.

O'Brien, named the Yates Cup player of the game, was most dominant when it came to punting, averaging 54.6 yards per punt, scoring two singles and twice keeping Waterloo inside their 10 yard line.

"We moved the ball extremely well all first half and our defence played well enough to hold onto the lead," O'Brien said. "The last 12 months have been really long – I've just been thinking about getting back to this point."

Rayne couldn't agree more with his quarterback. "We were really excited coming into today's game. We wanted it really bad," he said. "We practiced really hard all week preparing for this. Our team is all about heart."

The Mustangs will now head west to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to take on the University of Saskatchewan Huskies in the Churchill Bowl. The Huskies surprised the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, ranked third in the nation, 31-28. The winner will advance to the Vanier Cup at the SkyDome Nov. 28 to face the winner of the Atlantic Bowl between Acadia and Concordia.

To Contact The Sports Department: gazette.sports@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998