Volume 95, Issue 6

Tuesday, September 11, 2001
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The Great Escape

Sundays were meant for church? Not anymore...

Time to kiss ma, pa, the dog and sports goodbye

Soccer kicks off season

Sporting adventures

2001 Western Football Schedule

The Great Escape

Western beats York by a hair

By Ryan Dixon
Gazette Staff

Ryan Dixon/ Gazette
ANYONE WHO READ THE PLAY BOOK RAISE YOUR HAND. Western quarterback Nathan Weiss conducts class during Western's visit to York.

Larry Haylor must have been seeing red.

For three quarters, the head coach of the Western football team watched as his Mustangs tried their absolute best to hand a victory to the Yeomen of York. In the end, they yanked it away and escaped with a messy 16-15 victory.

"We did a few things well enough to escape," Haylor said.

York fought the Mustangs for every yard and that fact alone gave Yeoman head coach Tom Gretes much to be proud of.

"In the past, we've just rolled over and played dead against the big Western Mustangs, but today, we went round for round, punch for punch. We had 15 guys start for the first time – I'm really proud of this football team. We're young and we're only going to get better"

It was the York defence that was packing the most potent jabs, shutting down the Mustangs for most of the game. It was not until Western got the ground game going that things started going the way of the purple and white.

"In the third quarter, toward the end of it and in the fourth quarter, we ran the ball and I thought that was the difference," Haylor said.

Going to the run paid off in the form of the game's only touchdown for either team when inside receiver Guillaume LeRoux broke through the goal line to give Western the lead for good.

Haylor said he suspected the run and not the passing game would serve as Western's meal ticket. "We never had anything in the passing game we felt comfortable with. We were hunting and looking and there wasn't anything we had a comfort level with. So if we're going go down, we're going down running the football."

The root of the offensive insecurities for Western was the stingy York defence, a unit Haylor gave much credit to.

"They took away some of the things we like to do outside. We went to some things in the second half we thought we could do against them and we couldn't because we just didn't throw the ball and get the ball where it had to go," the coach said.

Quarterback Nathan Weiss offered some explanation for the offensive shortcomings. "We had a couple key guys go down on offence and we've got a couple rookies out there and it takes time, obviously. I think we're on the upswing and it's only going to get better," Weiss said.

Weiss added the way Western faced adversity could serve them well in the future.

"I think there's a lot of positives to take from this game. We stuck together as a team, we were down and things weren't looking too good, but we came through and made big plays when we needed to," he said.

Weiss also pointed out the bottom line in a football game isn't aesthetics. "The main thing is we got the win. As ugly as it may have seemed, we got the win and that's all that matters."

Defence is always a necessity and with an offence still searching for it's legs, that need is heightened. Haylor said the Western defenders have served the Mustangs well.

"Our leadership right at the moment is coming from the defence and that's to be expected, because that's where our experience is," Weiss said.

Haylor pointed to one last intangible that gave the Mustangs an edge and compensated for their mediocre play.

"A lot of this game is about will. We didn't play great, but we had great will."

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Copyright The Gazette 2001