Volume 93, Issue 35

Tuesday, November 2, 1999


SPORTS

The rugby party's over

Western makes U of T feel blue

Men's rugby keep movin' on up

Champs explode in semifinal

Purple and White 'Stangs lose to red and blue Gaels

Western makes U of T feel blue




©Tom Baumgartner/Gazette

WHO SAID BREAK DANCING WENT OUT OF STYLE IN THE '80's? Scott Crawley and the rest of the Mustangs got down with their bad selves by beating the University of Toronto Varsity Blues 37-2.


By Chad Thompson

Gazette Staff

By the time the curtain dropped at the end of the final regular season game at J.W. Little Memorial Stadium, the Western Mustangs had reversed the outcome of an original meeting with the University of Toronto Varsity Blues in 1929, defeating them 37-2.

The game opened quietly as Western took a 4-0 lead off two singles, by quarterback Mike O'Brien and placekicker Guilio Fricano and a safety. With 1:05 left in the first quarter wide receiver Marty Robertson returned a kickoff 82 yards for the score, giving the Mustangs an 11-0 lead. In the second quarter the Varsity Blues added two singles of their own and by halftime, Western led Toronto 13-2.

Mustang runningback Mike Laszlo said his team seemed out of breath. "We came out flat in the first half. I think it was a mix of the pre-game celebrations and we were jacked after the warmup and then came down because of the wait [for the stadium picture to be taken]."

Western head coach Larry Haylor said his team was lukewarm in the first half. "In the second half we played much better. We have to learn to play both halves with some kind of abandon. We need to play 60 minutes of physical football."

Varsity Blues head coach Bob Laycoe said his team played well defensively to start the game. "In the first half we were able to prevent big plays from Western. In the second half, Western put some really sustained drives together."

The Mustangs pulled away from their Toronto opponents in the second half. Early on, Laszlo and fellow runningback Scott Crawley each ran for touchdowns of 20 and 6 yards respectively.

When asked about his touchdown in the final game at J.W. Little Stadium, Laszlo said it made his day. "It's a great feeling," he said. "I got a touchdown in the first game of the season and the last game of the season."

In the fourth quarter, Fricano kicked a 28 yard field goal and O'Brien scored the final touchdown at Little Stadium from five yards out, to give the Mustangs the victory.

After the game, Laycoe said he was happier with his team's performance this week than the prior two weeks. "We played with heart through the whole game," he said. "Western has outstanding athletes who are well coached. Our kids tried hard."

Defensive co-ordinator Bob LaRose said his defence played well overall. "We took command of the line of scrimmage," he said. "I thought we took command of the game and allowed the offence a chance to score."

Western linebacker Mark Chortos said while the defence played well, it could improve. "We can still take it up one more level," he said. "Our philosophy is to shut them right out, make them go two plays and out."

Saturday's game marked the end of the regular season. Western now looks forward to facing the University of Waterloo Warriors in the first round of the playoffs.

Chortos said the key for Western's defence is to shut down Waterloo's quarterback. "I think if we shut down their quarterback, [Ryan] Wilkinson, we'll take care of Waterloo."

The defence will need to be ready for the game, LaRose added. "We are going to have to rise to the occasion."

Western enters the first round of the Ontario University Athletics playoffs Nov. 6 at J.W. Little Stadium at 1 p.m..


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gazette.sports@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 1999