Volume 92, Issue 15
Tuesday, September 29, 1998
Western pounds U of T into submission
SOMEBODY IS ABOUT TO GET BIRTHDAY BEATS. Three members of the Mustang defence swarm a Blues player on Saturday afternoon in Toronto. A scene typical of the day as Western pummeled Toronto 29-7.
By John Dinner
TORONTO Homecoming 1998 seemed to go unnoticed this weekend at the University of Toronto. Traditionally the football game has been the main attraction at university campuses but at Varsity Stadium a mere 800 fans (half of which were Mustangs) showed up to watch.
Despite the disappointing showing, the U of T Blues gallantly tried to put on a decent show for the few alumni who came out for support. With the defense holding them into the game, something they've done in all of the Blues games this year, they went into the half only down five, disregarding some brutal first half offensive numbers.
With Blues starting quarterback Mark Dienesch throwing three interceptions and the Western defence recovering a fumble, Toronto's defense was able to stymie the Mustang offence and not allow them to capitalize on their opportunities, giving up only 12 first half points.
Mustang defensive back Adam McLeod, who had two interceptions on the day, believed it was just a matter of time before the offense got the ball rolling.
"We know the offence is going to get the job done," McLeod said. "We can play a really confident game as a defence because we know it's just a question of when and a matter of time before the offence scores."
Once again it wasn't until the second half that Western's offense was able to get off the ground but this was due in large part to the Blues defence.
"For much of the game their defense was able to dictate field position," Mustang coach Larry Haylor said. "Defensively they always play tough against us. They've had a very good defensive scheme for about a decade or so and it always seems to work well against us."
The play that eventually broke the back of the Blues' defense was a 40-yard scamper by Western running back Fabian Rayne early in the fourth quarter when the 'Stangs were pinned deep in their own territory, leading only 19-7.
"We didn't do a good job with execution today and that kept our defence on the field too long," said Blues offensive coordinator Ray Zaremba. "By the fourth quarter the guys were just out of gas and that allowed their offence to get going."
The Rayne run sparked two scoring drives which effectively put the game out of reach, capped by a 20-yard TD run for Rayne and kicker Giulio Fricano's fourth field goal of the day.
"We couldn't execute today. It's been our problem all year," said Blues quarterback Noel Carrabs, who replaced Dienesch in the second half. "We haven't been consistent and we don't give our defense enough time to rest because we can't sustain a drive."
With the loss, Toronto drops to 0-3, making playoff hopes very slim. The 'Stangs move to a perfect 3-0, right where they want to be heading into this weekend's homecoming game against their rival and defending OUA champs, the Waterloo Warriors.
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