Volume 93, Issue 17

Tuesday, September 28, 1999


Mustangs run over Yeomen

National champs beat Badgers

Western turning season around?

'Stangs smoke Waterloo

Whatever! That was sooo last year

Let the lacrosse games begin

Mustangs run over Yeomen

©Tom Baumgartner/Gazette
RUNNING AWAY WITH THE COMPETITION. The Mustang football team spent the weekend pounding on the York Yeoman 29-7.

By Chad Thompson
Gazette Staff

There was no joy in York-ville, the mighty Yeomen struck out.

The Western Mustangs football team put a damper on York University's homecoming celebration Saturday by beating the Yeomen 29-7.

The Mustangs opened the scoring nine minutes into the first quarter with a field goal by placekicker Giulio Fricano. Three minutes later, Western punt returner Tim Jones set the offence up deep in York territory.

Western drove the ball down to the seven yard line allowing runningback Scott Crawley to push past the goal line for the touchdown. The Yeomen were only able to score a single off the foot of kicker Roy Venier.

In the second quarter the Mustangs added to their lead with a single by quarterback/punter Mike O'Brien and a field goal by Fricano. Venier was able to kick a 29 yard field goal for the Yeomen, leaving the Mustangs up 14-4 at halftime.

The third quarter saw O'Brien score a single and throw a 62 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Marty Robertson, which put the `Stangs ahead 22-4.

Venier added another field goal for York in the fourth which cut the Mustang lead to 22-7. However, with 1:57 left on the clock, the Mustangs drove down to York's four yard line and scored another touchdown on a four yard pass play between runningback Fabian Rayne and O'Brien giving Western the 29-7 win.

After the game, York's head coach Tom Arnott said the difference between the two teams was the execution of the their plays. "We didn't make the play when we had to but, give them credit, they played the best they've played against us in the past three years."

One of the key elements for the Mustangs was shutting down York's running game and their star runningback, Jeff Johnson. "He is a tough back," said Western's head coach Larry Haylor. "We had to adjust to [Johnson's] speed and quickness. We struggled early but we eventually adjusted to him."

Chris Surmacz, a defensive lineman for the Mustangs, said the coaches prepared the team all week for what they would face against Johnson, York's second team all-Canadian. "He is one of the best backs we will face and he was our main focus."

The Mustang defence was also able to shut down York's passing game and defensive co-ordinator Bob Larosse said he was pleased with the secondary's play. "We knew they would throw the ball and they would hit the seams – we were able to use our six defensive back package to our advantage."

Larosse added that in the second half of the game, Western gained the intimidation factor, as their secondary was able to hit the York receivers enough that they began to short arm balls and drop passes.

Offensively, the Mustangs passed the ball effectively and wide receiver James Prescott said it was a matter of being able to establish the passing game. "We have always been confident in the passing game." He added he felt in-sync with O'Brien all game.

Haylor said Western has a good passing game even though it does not receive the accolades it deserves. "We are a very good throwing team if we hit the passes, but everyone plays the run so we need the pass game to give us continuity on offence."

When asked about the key moment of the game, Haylor pointed to the first York drive when defensive back James Ewart intercepted the ball. "They did things early, they took the ball down to our end, but we were able to intercept the pass. We got a first down and then we had the big completion to [wide receiver] Marty [Robertson] which changed the tempo and momentum of the game – we seized it and never let it go."

Arnott put the course of the game into simple terms. "They tackled, we didn't, they covered the receivers, we didn't. We were not fundamentally sound," he said.

The Mustangs play their final Homecoming game at J.W. Little Memorial Stadium this Saturday,versus the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks.

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