With major playoff implications on the line for McMaster, the Maroon and Grey stepped up and crushed the Waterloo Warriors, 66-3.
The stakes were high, with a loss almost guaranteeing a tough quarterfinal playoff game on the road against a CIS-ranked opponent. Mac responded with the most points and largest margin of victory of the Stefan Ptaszek era.
McMaster was given the opportunity to showcase what they are made of and prove why they have one of the best defensive backfields in the country.
McMaster has led the OUA in interceptions for the past three seasons and the Homecoming picked up on that trend. Keldyn Ahlsted led the way with interceptions, snagging three and grabbing the OUA Defensive Player of the Week honours.
More notably was the emergence of a Marauder ground game. Coming into the Waterloo game, McMaster ranked second-last for rushing yards per game. Kasean Davis-Reynolds cured the five-game touchdown dry spell.
“I had a big feeling of relief,” said Davis-Reynolds. “It was due time that we put up a great performance as team.”
Looking ahead to the Oct. 12 matchup against the Laurier Golden Hawks, McMaster will need to continue their dominance. In Laurier’s past two games, they have held a 10-0 on the No. 1 ranked Western Mustangs before losing 45-24 and suffered a narrow overtime loss at Queen’s Homecoming. Their latest loss puts them at 1-6 and confirms that they will miss OUA playoffs for the first time since 2002. However, McMaster is not taking the Golden Hawks lightly.
“Laurier has a great program with a lot of guys that can make plays so to know that we have just as many guys ready to make plays at any point of the game definitely boosts the confidence of myself as a player and for us as a team,” said Davis-Reynolds.
Mac will be heeding the Ptaszek adage: “The only game that really matters is the next one.” Now that the team looks to have ironed out the kinks, the squad can look to climb up the OUA standings. Currently, they sit at 3-3 – good for sixth in the OUA.
The Maroon and Grey will be battling for playoff position against the Windsor Lancers and Ottawa Gee-Gees, both of whom are 4-3.