|Volume 93, Issue 39
Tuesday, November 9, 1999
Warriors stomp out Mustangs
SCOTT CRAWLEY RUNS FOR THE FINAL TOUCHDOWN EVER AT J.W. LITTLE MEMORIAL STADIUM. The Western Mustangs lost a close one Saturday, 35-21, to the University of Waterloo Warriors in Ontario University Athletics semifinal action.
By Chad Thompson
The last football game ever to be played at J.W. Little Memorial Stadium took place Saturday and witnessed the fall of the Mustangs to the University of Waterloo Warriors. Western was defeated in the Ontario University Athletics semifinal 35-21.
In the first quarter, Western took an early 14-0 lead on two touchdowns by runningback Fabian Rayne. However, with one minute left on the clock, the Warriors marched down to the Western one yard line and quarterback Ryan Wilikinson scampered in for the major.
Only one touchdown made the board in the second quarter as Waterloo's defensive back Michael Laporte dove on the ball in the end zone after the Warriors blocked a punt attempt by Western. This knotted the score at 14-14.
Western head coach Larry Haylor cited the play as one of the key turning points in the game. "I thought the punt block hurt us a lot," he said. "We spent 45 minutes working on [preventing this] in practice. It was huge."
The opening of the third quarter saw the Warriors inch away from the Mustangs as Waterloo took seven minutes off the clock during an extended touchdown drive.
Western quarterback and team captain Mike O'Brien said the 17 play drive was a crucial series in the second half. "That was impressive by them. We just sat there and watched, it kept [the offence] off the field for the first half of the quarter."
Waterloo head coach Chris Triantafilou also referred to the drive as a key moment in the game. "After that drive we felt very good about our offence. Western doesn't like being behind."
Later in the quarter, Waterloo added another touchdown by runningback Mike Bradley from the two yard line.
The final quarter saw Bradley add his third touchdown of the game on a 62 yard run. As the clock ran down, Western was able drive down the field and score on a four yard run by runningback Scott Crawley.
Although this narrowed the Warriors' lead to 35-21, it was the last time the Mustangs would be able to get into the end zone.
Triantafilou said the key for his team was to contain O'Brien. "We finally got to O'Brien. He didn't pull one out of the hat," he said. "The [Warriors] made plays today."
Haylor said the strength of the Mustangs is that they need to play as a team to win. "To win our team needs to play well in all phases," he said. "We needed some plays, we didn't get them today. We did a lot of things you notice when you lose."
O'Brien said although the Mustangs were behind on the scoreboard, they never gave up. "I'm proud of my teammates, we never quit. You can't take [Waterloo] for granted, they're a tough team."
Defensive lineman Blaine Palinsky agreed with O'Brien on the character of the team. "We never got down on ourselves, we fought right til the end. We never stopped, [Waterloo] just wanted it more."
Western defensive co-ordinator Bob LaRose said although he was not disappointed with his team's play, he felt the Mustangs did not make the required defensive plays. "We didn't want to give up the big plays. We played well on first downs, but second and long was when [Waterloo] made the plays. Our defence would make a play then give up a big play on the next down."
LaRose added he was happy with the way his defensive unit played all year. "They played as a defensive team. We have a lot to build on and be optimistic about."
Copyright © The Gazette 1999