It was a beautiful day in London, Ont., but the McMaster Marauders found a way to rain on Western University’s Homecoming.
Mac, the No.1 ranked football team in the nation, took on the No.6 Mustangs in the biggest CIS game of the weekend. There were nearly 11,000 people in attendance to watch the football heavyweights battle, but the majority of the crowd would leave the game disappointed as McMaster won this round in the rivalry, 33-27.
The first quarter began slowly, with teams exchanging possessions early, trying to gauge each other’s defence. The Mustangs would strike first, forcing a safety from McMaster and then following up with a rushing touchdown from the league’s leading rusher, Garrett Sanvido.
But the Marauders would respond with their own scoring drive, putting together an 83-yard drive that was finished off by Kyle Quinlan on a one-yard rush.
In the second quarter, the Marauders would pull away from the home team and quiet the Homecoming crowd. The Mac defense was sending blitzes early and often against Western QB Donnie Marshall, and after back-to-back sacks; the Mustangs were forced to concede a safety.
Quinlan would march the Mac squad down the field and hit receiver Tyler Loveday on a post route for six points. The first of two passing touchdowns from Quinlan would give Mac a lead they would keep for the rest of the game.
The highlight of the game was a 67-yard rush from Quinlan, who finished the game with 145 rushing yards. The run would set up McMaster for an easy passing touchdown to Dahlin Brooks.
The second half saw the Marauders score only five points but the defense put together their best half of the season to seal the game. Western gave up nine sacks to the Mac defense, with Ben D’Aguilar picking up four sacks on the day.
Between the pressure from blitzing linebackers and excellent secondary coverage, the Mustang offence struggled to sustain drives throughout the game. Western was held to their lowest rushing game of the 2012 season, finishing with only 130 yards.
Western would put together two scoring drives fourth quarter but ultimately ran out of time. The Marauders remain undefeated with a 5-0 record.
With the season winding down, McMaster has three games left against mediocre opponents: York, Windsor, and Laurier. The Marauders will visit the York Lions on Thursday before Homecoming 2012 against the Windsor Lions on October 13th.