The McMaster Marauders traveled to Western University last Saturday to take on the Mustangs. The match showcased a clash of the two remaining undefeated teams in the OUA, ranking third (Western) and fourth (McMaster) in the CIS.
The first half featured a see-saw affair. Western jumped out to an 11-5 lead after the first quarter, but McMaster scored a touchdown and a field goal in the second to narrow the gap. Western led 17-15 by halftime.
McMaster’s second quarter field goal was the 78th of kicker Tyler Crapigna’s career, breaking the OUA record for most career field goals. The previous record of 77 was held by now Winnipeg Blue Bomber Lirim Hajrullahu. Crapigna added another tally in the fourth quarter to set the new record at 79.
Western stretched their lead to seven points before Marauders quarterback Marshall Ferguson found wide receiver Declan Cross for a two-yard touchdown pass. The Mustangs regained their lead early in the fourth quarter with a touchdown by wide receiver Shaquille Johnson and carried a four-point advantage into the final three minutes of the game.
Disaster struck for Western late in the fourth. Marauders defensive back Zachary Ismael picked off an errant pass from Western quarterback Will Finch, thus handing possession back to McMaster. The ensuing drive saw Ferguson systematically march the Marauders’ offense down the field, capped off by a last-minute touchdown to wide receiver Max Cameron to secure the win.
The victory pushes McMaster’s record to 6-0 on the year, whereas Western drops to 4-1. Ferguson collected 351 yards, tossing for three touchdowns. Running back Wayne Moore picked up 55 rushing yards and Cameron caught for 97 yards including the game-winning touchdown.
If McMaster can win-out the season – and with games against Laurier and Ottawa, that is a real possibility – Mac should be poised for a run through the playoffs while Western and Guelph may meet in semi-final action.