Volume 93, Issue 21
Tuesday, October 5, 1999
'Stangs destroy Golden Hawks
PLEASE LET ME TACKLE YOU, MY MOM IS WATCHING. Scott Crawley (24) and the rest of the Western football team could not be stopped Saturday on their way to a 39-6 Homecoming victory.
By Chad Thompson
The story of the final Homecoming game at J.W. Little Memorial Stadium could not have been written any better as the Western Mustangs trounced the Wilfred Laurier Golden Hawks, 39-6.
The fairy tale began with the opening kick off, as Western kick returner Marty Robertson broke through for a 102 yard touchdown. Fourteen seconds into the game, the Mustangs took a 7-0 lead and they never looked back.
Western added to the point spread in the first quarter with a field goal by place kicker Guilio Fricano from 43 yards out. Laurier and Western then exchanged field goals and by the end of the first quarter, the Mustangs led 13-6.
In the second quarter, Western struck early again. Forty seconds into the new frame, runningback Scott Crawley took the hand off from quarterback Mike O'Brien and ran 26 yards for the touchdown, putting Western up 20-6. Fricano added another field goal which gave Western a 23-6 halftime lead.
In the second half, mother nature stopped co-operating with the festivities and soaked both the players and the Homecoming crowd. However, the Mustangs continued to dominate. After a long third quarter drive which saw Western eat up most of the clock, runningback Fabian Rayne scored on a one yard touchdown plunge, giving the Mustangs a 30-6 lead. In the fourth quarter, after Laurier conceded a safety, Western had another long drive which was capped off by a five yard touchdown run by Crawley, giving the team a 39-6 victory.
"We got our butts kicked from the get go," Laurier head coach Rich Zmich said after the game. "It all started with the 100 yard touchdown run. From the opening kick we were looking up."
Western head coach Larry Haylor said it was definitely a rare event from the beginning. "It was a great day, wow," he said. "Laurier is a great team, we didn't want to get beaten badly on this day. [Laurier] is much better than they played today."
Haylor added the Robertson kick off return triggered a distinct sense of deja-vu. "I remember back in the 1994 Homecoming game when [former Mustang runningback] Sean Reade went 96 yards on a kick off return against [the university of] Toronto."
The Mustangs dominated the ball and Haylor said he felt it was their best offensive day to date. "We controlled the ball and did a few things consistently well."
Crawley, who was named the offensive player of the game, said he felt it was a team effort. "We started clicking today," Crawley said of the offence. He added the award was special but admitted he could not have done it by himself. "I just follow the blocking. I follow the big guys and they open the holes."
The Mustangs also maintained their strong defensive play. Defensive back Adam McLeod, named defensive player of the game, said the defence came together nicely.
"It was surprising to receive the award," he said. "It is really a team award, we played well as a unit. [Linebacker] Darryl Fabiani who got an interception would have been a better choice."
Defensive co-ordinator Bob LaRose said the game was an outstanding team victory. "Defensively we played well, but the best defence we had was when the offence used up the clock in the third quarter."
It has been a total of fifteen quarters since Western's defensive unit has allowed a touch down and LaRose credited this streak to playing with confidence.
"We are more and more confident every week. The secondary is playing well, we are putting pressure on the quarterback. Today, we knew they were physical but we out physicalled them."
When asked if Homecoming '99 could have gone any better, both Haylor and LaRose said they could not think of anything that was missing. "This was a good one," Haylor said.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999