Volume 93, Issue 31
Tuesday, October 26, 1999
Western comeback foiled by McMaster
IT WAS THE AIR-SHIP O'BRIEN THIS WEEKEND. Mike O'Brien (12) and the rest of the Mustangs came close to a comeback in the fourth quarter, but lost to McMaster 34-27.
By Chad Thompson
The old sports adage "You can't win 'em all" held true over the weekend for Western's football team, who had their perfect record spoiled with a loss on Saturday to the McMaster Marauders, 34-27.
The Marauders jumped out to a quick lead in the first quarter as their quarterback, Ben Chapdelaine, found wide receiver Michael Linton open for a 75 yard touchdown pass. Later in the quarter, the Marauders added to their lead with a 35 yard field goal from kicker Derek Livinstone, giving the team a 10-0 advantage.
In the second quarter, the ball continued to bounce in McMaster's favour. Western linebacker Justin Anania blocked a Marauder field goal, only to have Chapdelaine pick the ball up and run 20 yards for the touchdown.
Western managed to get on the scoreboard with 11:05 left in the second quarter, when injured runningback Fabian Rayne ran two yards for the touchdown. After a McMaster fumble on the ensuing kickoff, Western kicker Giuilio Fricano hit a 27 yard field goal to cut the Marauders lead to 17-10. McMaster added two unanswered touchdowns before the end of the half and the Marauders went into the dressing room with a 31-10 halftime lead.
Western defensive co-ordinator Bob LaRose said he felt the defence struggled in the first half. "I thought in the first half we weren't mentally prepared. We seemed to have the attitude [that] everything will happen for us."
Anania shared his coach's sentiments. "We struggled a lot," he said. "It took till the second half for us to wake up."
And what a second half it was, as the Mustangs almost mounted a comeback.
After McMaster extended their lead with a 35 yard field goal, the rest of the scoring belonged to Western. With a conceded a safety under their belts, Western drove down to the five yard line and quarterback Mike O'Brian found runningback Scott Crawley for a five yard touchdown pass.
In the fourth quarter, Chapdelaine went for a pass play on a third and two only to be run down by Anania. This turnover on downs resulted in a Western possession at McMaster's 12 yard line. The Mustangs quickly capitlaized with another touchdown by Crawley. Western then successfully opted for a two-point convert which brought them within a touchdown of McMaster. However, the Mustang streak fell short and the Marauders held on to the win, 34-27.
After the game Western head coach Larry Haylor said he was unhappy with the loss. "We are all very disappointed, we never like to lose."
He added, however, the team is not scared of a challenge. "A team afraid to lose is afraid to play, they play cautiously," he said. "I felt the last two games we had little focus and passion. Last week we escaped with one but not this week Mac is too good a team."
Although McMaster head coach Greg Marshall said he was happy with the win, he admitted the third and two turnover was a big mistake. "That is the only thing that will dampen [the victory]. It was a dumb mistake, we almost outcoached ourselves."
On the defensive side of the ball, Anania said the game was a good learning experience for the team. "It was something to humble us. It took us to lose to be humble and get back to basics."
Haylor added his team has to make a choice. "It is an important moment for our team. We have to decide if we are Jekyll or Hyde. We need to be a good team for two halves. We need to play with passion for two halves."
Western's next game is Saturday at J.W. Little Memorial Stadium against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues at 2 p.m..
Copyright © The Gazette 1999