Volume 93, Issue 30
Friday, October 22, 1999
The hunt for a perfect record
YOU CAN KNOCK THEM DOWN BUT THEY WILL ALWAYS GET BACK UP. Mike Laszlo (30) and the rest of the Western team are ready to travel to McMaster and hopefully go 7-0.
By Chad Thompson
Fall is everywhere and if the Mustangs have it their way Saturday, the McMaster Marauders, much like the leaves, will be hitting the ground.
Last week's game against Bishop's University saw runningback Fabian Rayne go down with a sprained ankle and Mustang head coach Larry Haylor said there is no decision yet on whether or not Rayne will play Saturday. "We won't play him if there is not a need to play him," he said. "It is a judgment of the medical staff, [they] are assessing him on a daily basis."
Haylor also said they were unsure of the status of starting defensive back Eddie Readings, who suffered an ankle injury at the Homecoming game versus Wilfrid Laurier University. "We'd like [Readings] to get well. He is a tough guy and will try to push it."
McMaster and Western have similar offensive and defensive systems, as former Western offensive co-ordinator Greg Marshall is now the head coach of the Marauders.
Haylor said the similarities in the systems should not pose much of an obstacle to his team. "They have their own way of doing things," he said. "Three years ago it was a concern, but not anymore. Their's and our defensive preparations are more manageable because of the similarities in offence."
Marshall said although similarities do exist from his days at Western, he felt McMaster has more of a passing game compared to the Mustangs. "We run a different system and throw a little more, but that was out of necessity we have a different offensive line. We are getting better than last year, but we're not as strong as Western. It is easier to pass [protect] than to push."
One concern for the Mustangs is the play of McMaster quarterback Ben Chapdelaine. "His value [to his team] is obvious. He's a tremendously good player. He throws well and makes great decisions. He's very aware of his great weapons. They have great runningbacks and receivers along with an offensive line who takes care of him," Haylor said.
Western linebacker Darryl Fabiani agreed with Haylor on the threat Chapdelaine presents. "He's well experienced and a good thrower. He can turn the game around," he said. "They have a well balanced attack they throw and run a lot."
Marshall, on the other hand, said he is concerned with Western quarterback Mike O'Brien. "The key for us is to contain Mike. The runningbacks are outstanding, but the key is Mike."
As for comparing the two quarterbacks, Marshall said their only similarity was athleticism. "Mike is more mobile and creates more [opportunities]. He has a strong arm. Ben has more touch on the ball and is very accurate."
Both Haylor and Marshall said their rivalry on the field was a friendly one. "Greg loves to win and he is a phenomenal competitor," Haylor said.
"It's like competing against your brother," Marshall said. "You want to beat them more than anyone else, [but] when the game is over, it is over friendship goes deeper than that. From the opening whistle to the end of the game it will be competitive."
The Mustangs face off against McMaster Saturday in Hamilton at 2 p.m..
Copyright © The Gazette 1999