Volume 92, Issue 29

Tuesday, October 27, 1998

purple haze


Absent coach motivates team

©Brendan Howe/Gazette

THE INCREDIBLE SACK. The Mustang defense sacked and punished the Guelph offense, not allowing them any opportunity to get on track.

By John Dinner

Gazette Staff

For weeks head coach Larry Haylor has been saying his team needs to get out to faster starts. On Saturday they did just that – only Haylor wasn't present to witness it himself.

"It was a bit of shock to all of us," said offensive lineman Tim Bakker. "[Haylor's] doing a real noble thing for us but we had to put it out of our heads. We know all the coaches are quite capable so we had the attitude of business as usual."

Bakker was referring to the fact Haylor missed the game against Guelph and will miss next week's home game against Windsor for initiation violations – something the team didn't find out about until Friday.

"There was a lot of distraction this weekend for the team," said defensive coordinator Bob LaRose, who filled in for the missing Haylor. "But we had to put that aside while we attended to the business at hand."

And that business was the demolishing of the Guelph Gryphons 46-8 to secure first overall in the Ontario University Athletics football conference.

"What they didn't do today like they've done in the past is make a lot of mistakes early," said Guelph head coach Dan McNally. "They didn't dig themselves a big hole in the first half."

Instead, what the Mustangs did was score on the opening drive of the game to establish a lead they would never relinquish on Fabian Rayne's first of three touchdowns of the day. Complementing Rayne's rushing was a very effective passing game by quarterback Mike O'Brien who threw two touchdowns and 268 yards on 11 of 17 passing attempts.

The other offensive star of the day was wide receiver Dan Disley who surpassed Mustang great and former Dallas Cowboy Tyrone Williams as the single season leader in reception yards with 99 yards on the day – giving him 654 on the season.

"Dan is definitely our go-to-guy this year. We've been real fortunate to have some great receivers on our team throughout the years," LaRose said. "Disley and O'Brien have been working really well together this year."

"We take a lot of pride in protecting O'Brien and Disley's record," commented Bakker, speaking on the behalf of the offensive line, who have allowed only three sacks all season. "If we can't protect him then he can't throw the ball to Dan. We don't like anyone sacking him. We don't even like it when they are close enough to touch him."

This, however, wasn't an all offence show, as the Mustang defense held Guelph to two field goals and two singles on the day.

"It's been that way all year," LaRose said. "We bent a lot but we didn't break and all we gave them was field goal tries."

Next Saturday, the 'Stangs will wrap up their regular season schedule against the Windsor Lancers at J.W. Little Stadium.

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

Copyright © The Gazette 1998