Volume 93, Issue 24
Wednesday, October 13, 1999
Western defeats the Warriors
TO PASS OR NOT TO PASS, THAT IS THE QUESTION. Mike O'Brien and the rest of the Mustang football team were able to edge the Waterloo Warriors 20-17 this weekend.
By Chad Thompson
The weekend's football game between the Western Mustangs and the Waterloo Warriors was a true test of character for Western, as they battled for a slim 20-17 victory in a game marred by many Mustang penalties.
Western opened the scoring when they pinned Waterloo's offence deep in their territory forcing Waterloo to concede a safety. Then, with less than six minutes left in the first quarter, placekicker Guilio Fricano hit a 43 yard field goal to give Western a 5-0 lead.
In the second quarter, Western drove down to Waterloo's one yard line where Mustang runningback Fabian Rayne plunged in for a touchdown, putting the team ahead 12-0.
After Waterloo scored a single from a missed field goal, quarterback Ryan Wilkinson led his team to the seven yard line where he ran in for the touchdown which was set up by a pass inteference penalty on Western's defence.
With a minute left in the half, Western drove down to Waterloo's eight yard line where, after evading three would be tacklers, Western quarterback Mike O'Brien threw the ball to runningback Scott Crawley for an eight yard touchdown and a 19-8 halftime lead.
The third quarter saw both teams turn the ball over after long drives Western after a fumble on the goal line and Waterloo on downs.
Western added to their lead in the fourth quarter, when O'Brien punted through the end zone for a single, making the score 20-8. At 8:56, Waterloo added a field goal off the foot of kicker Anthony Riha, putting the Warriors back in the game 20-11.
After another long drive by Waterloo, Wilkinson took the ball on the quarterback option and ran for a two yard touchdown. However, Waterloo missed the two point convert and trailed 20-17. With less than 20 seconds left in the game, Wilkinson attempted a long pass which was intercepted by Western defensiveback Jamie Ewart, sealing a 20-17 Western victory.
After the game, Western head coach Larry Haylor referred to the game as physica, but felt his team took too many penalties. "I was disappointed in the penalty situation, they were discipline and reaction penalties, we gave up big yards and momentum."
Haylor, however, said he was pleased with the play of the offensive line. "The offensive line was great today, they blocked the run well and after the first two or three pass attempts we had good pass protection."
Offensive guard Jamie Forsythe said the offence kept it simple. "We did not do anything too fancy today," he said. He added he was happy with the pass protection for O'Brien, as Western faced a big Warrior defensive line. "[O'Brien] was only touched once today and that was on the broken play."
Western's defensive co-ordinator Bob LaRose said he felt his defence struggled slightly. "I'm not sure if it was the excitement of the game, but we struggled to play the quarterback and the option," he said. "We took a huge number of penalties which bothered us."
LaRose added although the defence did not play horribly, he felt they lacked consistency. "We cannot be in a situation where we have to rely on one person to make a definitive play," he said. "It was a good test for us."
Waterloo head coach Chris Triantafilou said his team achieved its goal of playing Western tough. "Our goal was to be physical and we were. We kept with them and adjusted making it a ball game."
He added this game was a barometer for his team. "You do not know how good you are until you play and Western is a good test of how good you are."
Western's next game is Saturday, Oct. 15 at J.W. Little Memorial Stadium versus the Bishop's Gaiters at 2 p.m..
Copyright © The Gazette 1999