Volume 96, Issue 12
Wednesday September 18, 2002

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Mustangs squeak out victory

Niru Somayajula/Gazette

CHRIS, OVER HERE, I'M OPEN! Western Mustangs quarterback Chris Hessel has thrown for 980 yards this season and will look for more on Saturday against McMaster.

The one that almost got away – that's how you could describe last Friday night's football game between the Western Mustangs and the Laurier Golden Hawks.

Western dominated Laurier, that is, until the fourth quarter rolled around.

"We stalled a bit in the fourth, and [Laurier] took advantage," Mustangs head coach Larry Haylor said. Western managed to squeak out a 20-17 win in Waterloo (where Laurier's home field is), despite a late surge from the Golden Hawks.

"They are probably the best 0 and 3 team in the nation," Haylor said, "[Laurier] lost three games by a total of seven points, so they could easily be 3 and 0," he added

Second-year receiver Greg Ross broke his cherry in the game, scoring his first touchdown as a Mustang on a 51 yard strike from quarterback Chris Hessel.

"For the first five seconds, I didn't know where I was," Ross said when recalling his magical moment in the endzone, "that is, until my teammates slapped me out of it."

Fullback Mike Bonk scored the other major on a five yard toss from Hessel.

The Mustangs are improving with every game they put under their belt and with players like Ross, Bonk, linebacker John Hammoud and, of course, last week's Purple Pipe recipient, kicker Nathan Weiss stepping up their play, the 'Stangs look ready to take on their bitter rivals, the McMaster Marauders. Their Homecoming battle of attrition with the Marauders will take place this Saturday at TD Waterhouse Stadium.

"There's going to be a lot of competition at practice [this week]," Ross said in regards to Western's preparation for the Homecoming classic. "Everyone wants a spot [on the dress roster] and everyone wants to beat Mac," he added.

"Right now, we feel like we shouldn't be stopped by anyone in Ontario," Ross said confidently

– Benjamin Mills

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2002 THE GAZETTE