Volume 92, Issue 24

Friday, October 16, 1998

arresting developments


Strumming the winless Blues

Dipesh Mistry/Gazette

PLEASE HAMMER DON'T HURT HIM. Mustang line backer Adam Rumball [29] and defensive back Alexis Sanschagrin [7] punished a Waterloo player here and plan to do more of the same against Toronto tomorrow.

By Ian Ross
Gazette Staff

The Western Mustang football team should have no trouble with the Toronto Varsity Blues in Saturday's tilt at J.W. Little Stadium – at least that's the way it appears on paper.

In reality, the story is a little less cut and dry. Granted the 'Stangs are 5-0 and Toronto hasn't won a game all season. Still, stranger things have happened and Western head coach Larry Haylor is well aware of that fact.

"If we had the recipe for a guarantee we would be mixing it right now," Haylor commented.

Haylor may be right in his concerns. The team's adrenaline heading into recent games has been questionable, with the team managing to escape several games with a win in the dying seconds.

"We need to play a lot better than last week," said centre Aaron Sussex, bluntly in regard to last week's 10-8 near disaster against York. "It is a matter of coming out a few weeks in a row with the same intensity. We haven't done that yet."

In the previous meeting between the two teams on Sept. 26, the Mustangs also struggled at times, before rallying late in the game to win 29-7. The game could have been much worse but Western didn't capitalize on the Blues' six turnovers.

Haylor doesn't plan on letting his team rely on such circumstances again.

"With an 0-5 record they should be loose and aggressive," he said. "A real let it go attitude."

Rather, Haylor hopes to learn from the previous encounter to better prepare for the Blues' visit. From that experience, Haylor noted Toronto's defence and special teams are as good as anyone in the league.

"You get a strong appreciation of their game," he said. "A real sense of their abilities and that's the most important sense." Haylor added Toronto's offence has steadily improved over recent weeks.

In fact, both Sussex and Haylor said they see the league as very even in talent and they believe any team, given the right circumstances, could come out the victor in any game this season

Toronto head coach Bob Laycoe agreed. "I thought that at the beginning of the season and believe it even more now," he said.

As for who Laycoe will be looking for to lead his team over the Mustangs, Laycoe was hesitant to name one individual team. Instead, he insisted that for his team to succeed everyone will need to play at an optimal level.

"This is a team game," he said. "Not like basketball, where one player can dominate."

Game time is 2 p.m. at J.W. Little Stadium.

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

Copyright The Gazette 1998