Western fails to convert
Western's football team has long been synonymous with success. Unfortunately, for the past couple of years the Mustangs have played second fiddle to the McMaster University Marauders, coached by Western alumnus Greg Marshall.
With that in mind, the table was set for a Homecoming extravaganza, as Western hosted McMaster on Saturday at TD Waterhouse Stadium in a battle of undefeated Ontario Athletics Association powers.
All the ingredients were there for an unforgettable afternoon. The end result was bittersweet, as the Marauders pulled out a miraculous 38-37 victory.
Western proved they not only belonged with the best team in Ontario they proved they have the potential to beat them. After McMaster stormed out of the gate to a 14-0 lead, it would have been easy for the home side to fold the tent. Instead, they responded with vigor, charging back to square the game and eventually take the lead. By the end of the third quarter, Western was leading by 10 points and looked as though they were on their way to a Homecoming triumph for the ages. They had shrugged off early controversy and drawn upon the strength of nearly 10,000 screaming Mustangs supporters to put the boots to a very potent foe or so it seemed.
The McMaster players obviously read their playbook inside out, but they did not give as much attention to the Western Homecoming script. Instead of reading the part where Mac gets discouraged and makes a feeble attempt at a comeback before heading back to "the Hammer" with their helmets hanging low, Mac cranked up the heat.
The Marauders' comeback was ignited when Mustangs quarterback Chris Hessel had a pass intercepted by McMaster's Kwame Aidoo, who promptly marched the ball into the Western endzone.
Still it looked as though purple would rule the day as the Mustangs ran the ball in for another major score but a blocked conversion attempt ensured only six points went up on the board. McMaster made the Mustangs pay for their crime, posting the winning touchdown complete with conversion with only eight seconds remaining.
Little things decide games.
Good teams lose by a point; great teams find a way to get that little ball between the uprights.
The male form is often on prominent display at football games, but on Saturday there was a little overkill. Late in the third quarter, two men decided dignity was a highly overrated virtue and jumped onto the turf at TD, clad in less than one would find in a La Senza catalogue.
The streaking session definitely got a rise out of the crowd. No word yet if being naked in front of thousands of people had the same affect on the two lads.