Photo by Cindy Cui/ Photo Editor
On Saturday, Nov. 2, the McMaster men’s football team had their semi-finals game. This ended up being reminiscent to the previous two Yates Cup games the Marauders took part in. Similar to 2012 and 2014, McMaster beat the University of Guelph Gryphons, except this time it was in the semi-finals to advance to the 2019 Yates Cup.
The Marauders beat the Gryphons 19-10 with one passing and one rushing touchdown, a field goal and a safety. Star Quarterback Andreas Dueck played a great role, at times playing the part of a running back. He was the team’s second-leading rusher of the day with a total of 89 rushing yards, 17.8 yards per carry and a 55 yard TD run. Dueck finished the game with 305 total yards and no turnovers. The dual threat quarterback gave the Marauders an advantage because it is difficult for the opposing team to have to scheme around a quarterback who can rush. As a result, the opposing team tends to keep defences honest because they have to focus on stopping the run on what may first appear like a passing play.
The maroon and grey dominated all statistical categories posting 152 more total yards than Guelph, six more first downs and a total possession time of 32 minutes 54 seconds compared to Guelph’s 27 minutes and six seconds. Mac will have to build off of their strong performance against Guelph and maintain control over possession, which could allow them to establish a strong run game for their best shot against Western in the game on Nov. 9.
Western will be no pushover. They have consistently been one of the country’s top teams in U sports football and have yet to lose a single game this year. This year also marks the 11th time in 13 years that the Mustangs will be in the Yates Cup, a run of nearly unprecedented dominance.
Defence should be the key to succeeding in the Yates Cup. Western posted the highest point total in the province with 290 total points over their eight games for an average of 36.25 points per game. Our defence will certainly have to keep a hold on Western’s offence.
Much like Dueck, the Mustangs’ quarterback Chris Merchant can run the ball just as well as he can throw it. During a game earlier in the season where McMaster played Western, Merchant had 316 total yards with 104 of them coming on the ground. Merchant even managed to catch a pass for a third touchdown. Containing Merchant will be one of the most important factors that could end up deciding the game.
The winner of this matchup will proceed to the Mitchell Bowl where they will play the winner of the Hardy Cup. The teams in the Hardy Cup are the University of Calgary Dinos and the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. The Marauders have a chance to stop the Mustangs potential Yates Cup three-peat this coming Saturday, Nov. 9.