Volume 92, Issue 21

Thursday, October 8, 1998

far out


Western wants to feast on York

Tom Baumgartner/Gazette

GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE. Running back Scott Crawley (24) and the rest of the Mustangs look to make turkeys out of the York Yeoman.

By John Intini
Gazette Staff

The Western Mustang football team will have to clear the visions of turkey dancing in their heads, as well as last weekend's Homecoming blow-out, if they expect to make the York Yeomen a Thanksgiving appetizer this Saturday afternoon.

According to head coach Larry Haylor, the Mustangs (4-0), who sit atop the national rankings, can ill afford to sit back and bask in the glow of last week's victory over Waterloo – based on the danger of the Yeomen attack.

"The circumstances are definitely worrisome," Haylor said. "It is a lot different preparing for a game in front of a large Homecoming crowd in comparison to a Thanksgiving away crowd. The possibility of a letdown and not acknowledging York is a definite danger that we have tried to address this week."

York head coach Tom Arnott said his club, at 1-3, is not counting on any type of letdown playing the Mustangs. Arnott said his team has been very impressed with Western's play and expects a similar balanced attack with respect to offensive schemes this weekend.

However, an undefeated record and no. 1 ranking is not a source of concern for either his coaching staff or players, who he said will not roll over for the sake of tradition.

"They might be ranked no. 1 in the country, which is great for Western, but our philosophy at York is that we all put our pants on one leg at a time," Arnott said. "If you want to beat us come out and knock us down. Until then, rankings mean nothing."

Problems have mounted for the Yeomen this year thanks to key mistakes late in games. In their last three games, 24 passes from quarterback Fabio Brusco have been dropped – a major area of frustration for the coach.

"Our club is probably the youngest in the league, but the discouraging part is that the mistakes in the first few games have come from our more experienced guys," Arnott said. "We lost a lot of guys from last year and the guys who have been back-ups in the last couple of years have not stepped up."

Haylor likens the York attack to that of Toronto, a team the Mustangs ran into some trouble with earlier this year.

"York is loaded with talent and could easily be 3-1 right now," Haylor said. "In both their games against McMaster and Guelph they had the game until late in the contest before making big mistakes that cost them. They are far from being pushovers."

The biggest Yeomen threats come from freshman receiver Brian Nugent and what Haylor describes as one of the stronger running games in the country.

Although last week's game vaulted the Mustangs into the top spot in the CIAU, Haylor was quick to point out that there is no team in Ontario University Athletics with the ability to run away with the league, stating thoughts of the Vanier Cup and a possible championship are far from the Mustang game plan.

"Good teams find reasons to go and win each Saturday," Haylor said. "Last week we had all the incentives to play a good game. This week we will have to prove we are a good team, balancing mental preparation and a sense of purpose, which is always tough to control.

"There are some weeks when you can go out there and look like national champions and then there are others when you make yourself look as if you couldn't beat a junior high team. Nobody in the OUA have proven to be national champions yet."

Kick-off at York is set for 2 p.m..



1. Western

2. Mount Allison

3. Saskatchewan

4. UBC

5. McMaster

6. Waterloo

7. Queen's

8. Calgary

9. St. Mary's

10. Bishops

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

Copyright The Gazette 1998