Volume 92, Issue 22
Wednesday, October 14, 1998
in living colour
Good old Thanksgiving turkeys
© Dipesh Mistry/Gazette
©Photo by Dipesh Mistry
By John Intini
TORONTO The Western Mustang offence appeared to have home cooking more on their minds than the York Yeomen this Saturday at York University, luckily coming away with a narrow 10-8 victory in their Thanksgiving weekend clash.
The Mustangs (5-0), who were unable to get anything going from the opening kick-off, didn't get on the scoreboard until late in the third quarter. Luckily for the 'Stangs, the Yeomen (1-4) offence was similarly ineffective.
"We did move the ball well at times but just couldn't capitalize in the red zone," said Yeomen quarterback Fabio Brusco. "The game pretty much sums up our entire season. We get close and can't seem to put it away."
Brusco and Mustang pivot Mike O'Brien both finished with dismal numbers. While Brusco completed 14 of 29 for 142 yards without a touchdown, O'Brien matched his counterpart's meager performance, connecting on 11 of 25 passes for 155 yards. Both quarterbacks were picked off twice.
This marks the second time this season Western has had trouble with one of the Ontario University Athletics' weaker teams. In the third game of the year Western struggled against Toronto, squeaking by in the fourth quarter. This inability to get up for weaker opponents is worrisome for head coach Larry Haylor.
"We didn't bring the kind of intensity to the park that we have to," Haylor said. "Good teams bring their game to the park every week and today we left it on the bus.
"Our guys were clearly over-confident," he said. "We saw that Waterloo trounced York a couple weeks back and when we beat Waterloo last week York didn't seem like much of a challenge."
York had a chance to steal the win away from the Mustangs in the dying minutes of the fourth quarter but similar to many aspects of the Yeomen season, they failed. After being pinned deep in their own zone, York battled their way back to the mid-field stripe with half a minute left. Unfortunately for the home-town crowd, things fell apart and the club was forced to turn the ball over on downs.
"This is really disappointing for us," said York wide receiver Brian Nugent. "We have to capitalize in situations when a team like Western gives us an opening. We had an opening today and didn't capitalize when we had to."
Nugent, the highly talented freshman touted by many experts to be the league's next superstar, showed flashes of brilliance throughout the game on offence as well as on special teams. Nugent had a 60-yard punt-return which set up the Yeomen's second field-goal, but on the punt prior to the Yeomen's final drive, Nugent was unable to find room and was tackled inside his own 10-yard line.
"We didn't want to give the ball to [Jeff] Johnson or Nugent," Haylor said. "Both guys can be extremely dangerous with the football. Pinning them deep in their zone was a huge boost for us and was exactly what we needed in that situation.
"The game was in no means a step forward, but rather a learning experience with some very important lessons."
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