Volume 92, Issue 7

Tuesday, September 15, 1998

here we go


Mustangs struggle early

Geoff Robins/Gazette

WATCH OUT FOR THE SEVERED ARM. Mustang running back Fabian Rayne [9] and the rest of the Mustangs started off slow but managed to dismember McMaster in the third quarter.

By Ian Ross
Gazette Staff

HAMILTON – When the Western Mustang football team pulled up at McMaster's Les Prince Stadium on Saturday, two mythical stowaways named Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde slipped off the bus with little notice.

It was the season opener against the Marauders that featured the best and the worst of the nationally no.8 ranked team – fortunately for Western they finished at full tempo with a 37-29 victory.

Facing an unranked Mac attack, the first half was a Western display of deflated emotion and formulated plays. This Jekyll-like performance saw the Mustang machine fail to get any of its gears moving. It was three downs and out for the first three drives of the game, with little else in the half as the team found themselves down 15-7.

"The first half was disappointing," head coach Larry Haylor said. "We really just stumbled and sputtered in that half. There was a lack of aggressiveness."

A radical turnaround was needed during the break and both Haylor and the rest of the team knew it.

"Some of the old guys took the initiative at the half," safety Alan Wilson said. "They really helped to jack it up."

The results were explosive. The Mustangs came out of the locker room with fire in their eyes and a score to settle. In a game saving transformation, the team went from docile to savage – showing the sharp teeth that had them picked by many to win the Ontario division.

Over the next fifteen minutes, the team blasted the Mac defence for three consecutive touchdowns, including a 108 yard TD pass (a Western record) from quarterback Mike O'Brien to slot back Raymond Krumme. Throw in a field goal and the Western team tallied 24 points to take a 30-22 lead to start the fourth.

The teams traded points in the final frame leaving the first victory of the season credited to the purple and white.

"We had to play our best to pull this game through," Haylor said. "It says a lot for this team to come from behind at the end of the game and make the big plays."

Making waves in the defensive corps was fourth-year safety Wilson who made three interceptions on the day (tying a Western record) of which two were immediately turned around for touchdowns by the offence.

Wilson was happy with his performance and the team's, but admitted there is plenty of work to be done to bring the team up to full capacity.

"I had a great game but I also made a few mistakes," he said. "There is always room for improvement for myself and the team."

As for McMaster, head coach Greg Marshall was impressed with the progress the team has made since taking the reins over a year ago. His team ended last season with a 35-35 tie against Western and felt that if his team had a few more breaks, as they did in their last confrontation, the end result could have been much different.

"I would have liked to have the ball back one last time," Marshall said. "We took some chances to do that at the end and lost when they marched 100 yards for the major.

"One thing I can say is that we played better than last year when we tied [Western]."

Haylor was happy to escape Hamilton unscathed and will regroup his troops for Saturday when they take on the Laurier Golden Hawks at J.W. Little Stadium.

"It was a long camp and a tough game [Saturday]," he said. "I think everyone is happy to go home."

Game Summary

First Quarter

McMaster – TD Linton 37 yd. pass from Chapdelaine (Livingstone convert) 11:07.

Second Quarter

Western – TD Disley 60 yd. pass from O'Brien (Fricano convert) 2:09.

McMaster – Single Livingstone 41 yd. 9:04

McMaster – TD Aidoo 1 yd. run (Livingston convert) 14:53.

Third Quarter

Western – TD Ray Krumme 52 yd. pass from O'Brien. 4:25.

Western – TD Disley 41 yd. pass from O'Brien (Fricano convert) 5:35.

Western – TD Ray Krumme 108 yd. pass from O'Brien (Fricano convert) 7:55.

McMaster – TD Janzen 19 yd. pass from Chapdelaine (Livingstone convert) 10:30.

Western – FG Fricano 33 yd. 14:22.

Fourth Quarter

Western – Single 35 yd. O'Brien 9:27.

McMaster – TD Santostefano 14 yd. pass from Chapdelaine (Livingstone convert) 12:44.

Western – TD O'Brien 1 yd. run 15:00.

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

Copyright The Gazette 1998