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Men’s football team off to a strong start The Marauders backed up their fifth overall ranking with a strong start to the season

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Photos c/o Kyle West

By Andrew Fayed, Contributor

After falling to the Western Mustangs, last year’s Vanier Cup finalists, 17-34 two weeks ago, the
McMaster Marauders’ men’s football team appears ready to move on and build off of the
momentum of their strong opening weeks into the rest of the season. With several lower
ranked teams ahead on their schedule, the Marauders are favoured to be at a record of seven
wins and one loss by Oct. 19.

While their game versus Western can be seen as a slight bump in the road for the Marauders,
starting quarterback Andre Dueck sees it as fuel for the rest of their season.

“Western is always a fun game. You get to really test yourself against what the benchmark is for
a championship team in this league and see how you matchup,” said Dueck.

The deeper stats for their game against Western show that the Marauders ran into penalty
trouble, in the form of 15 penalties resulting in 130 yards lost. The Mustangs finished the
contest with 6 penalties, losing only 37 yards. When questioned on the impact that these
penalties played in the end-result of the game, Dueck recalled some words of wisdom from
Head Coach Stef Ptaszek.

“Coach said after the game that you have to be at least 14 points better than the other team if
you want to have the refs not be a factor in winning,” Dueck says with a chuckle before
continuing, “It’s always tough when you get into penalty trouble but it’s part of the game of
course, so you have to play around it as much as possible and overcome it when it happens.”
Beyond penalties, the larger disparity between the teams arrived in the form of their rushing
games. Western appeared to dominate for 232 yards rushed to the Marauders 43. Dueck had
nothing but praise for Western’s rushing game.

“It was huge. They got to control the clock, the tempo of the game and hurt us on the
scoreboard. The bottom line is we have to get the job done and they did it better,” Dueck
added.

With that being said, the marauders run game came back in an emphatic fashion during their
game against the York University Lions this past weekend on Sep. 14. Veteran running back
Jordan Lyons averaged 5.5 yards per carry, totalling 94 yards on the ground and two
touchdowns.

With the dust settled on the Western loss, the Marauders are setting their sights on a schedule
that favours them heavily. With their hardest game behind them, the Marauders will face five
teams that are ranked outside of the U Sports football Top 10 rankings.

“It’s definitely been a strong start to our season, but we have some long-term goals that [are]
important not to lose sight of, so we’re only looking to build from here.”

Dueck fills the role of the motivated leader of the Marauders’ men’s football team, ensuring
that both he and the team are honest and accountable. When questioned on why he chose to
play for the Marauders team, Dueck stated it was his love of the game that brought him to
Hamilton.

“Football is such a team game. It’s a chess match. Everyone has to do their job on every single
play for the play to work. It’s a true team game, there’s so much intelligence that goes into
playing.” Dueck said.

The pressure of being a starting quarterback for a top-five ranked school might be enough to
cause other students to panic; but Dueck, a third-year commerce student, seems to perform at
his best under pressure.

“I enjoy the business. I’m definitely never bored, and I have a great support network here. I
really love it,” stated Dueck.

You can catch Dueck and the Marauders’ men’s football team in action at their next game on
Sep. 21 against the Windsor Lancers at McMaster’s Ron Joyce Stadium.

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