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Western whips McMaster as defending champs fall to 1-2; big day for Hayden Peters in Antigonish

September 8, 2013

Western Mustangs served notice Saturday that they belong in the conversation with the best university football teams in the country, as they pummeled the two-time defending Yates Cup champion McMaster Marauders 58-15 in an Ontario University Athletics football game in Hamilton.

Western led 10-6 early in the second quarter when it scored three touchdowns in a span of seven and a half minutes — two of them on passes by Will Finch of 42 yards to George Johnson and 53 yards to Brian Marshall — to break the game open.

In all, Finch — the second quarterback from Burlington to beat the Marauders in two weeks — shredded the vaunted McMaster secondary for 449 yards, completing 26 of 35 passes, five of them for touchdowns. Johnson led the Western receiving corps with 9 catches for 224 yards. He and rookie Tom Marshall each scored two touchdowns while Lirim Hajrullahu was good on five of six field-goal attempts.

Quarterback Marshall Ferguson was 27-for-43 for 312 yards for McMaster, which managed just 58 yards rushing. Joshua Vandeweerd caught 11 passes for the Marauders for 103 yards.

Western’s win allowed the No. 4-ranked Mustangs to keep pace with No. 2 Queen’s, which got three touchdown passes from Billy McPhee in a 49-34 home-field win over the Windsor Lancers. The Gaels and Mustangs, now both 3-0, are headed for a showdown Sept. 28 in London.

Elsewhere Saturday, the Ottawa Gee-Gees blitzed Toronto for 657 yards of total offence in a 34-10 victory over the Varsity Blues; the York Lions overcame a 15-point first-half deficit to defeat the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks 33-20 and the Waterloo Warriors gained their first win of the season, 47-8 over the Carleton Ravens.

In Ottawa, the Gee-Gees were nursing a 14-10 lead late in the second quarter when quarterback Aaron Colbon scored with 1:33 remaining to halftime on a six-yard run. Colbon finished the game 32-for-44 for 523 yards, the best single-game passing performance in the conference this season. He threw three touchdown passes and no interceptions.

Brendan Gillanders rushed 13 times for 102 yards for Ottawa, but both of his touchdowns came on passes. Andrew Mullings was the top receiver for the winners, with 10 catches for 192 yards.

Paul de Pass had seven catches for 135 yards for Toronto.

Rookie Lewis Ward of Kingston kicked two field goals and four converts for Ottawa.

In North York, the visiting Golden Hawks took a 15-0 lead when Dillon Campbell scored on a 69-yard run two minutes into the second quarter but York, trailing 15-5 by halftime, scored 23 points in the third quarter, 14 of them on a pair of touchdowns a minute and a half apart early in the period.

Miles Gibbon completed 14 of 28 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed 14 times for 155 yards and a touchdown of his own.

Campbell ended the game with 146 yards from 16 carriers for Laurier.

It was not a banner day for either offensive line, as York recorded five quarterback sacks and 11 tackles for loss, and Laurier defenders posted four sacks and nine other tackles behind York’s line of scrimmage.

With a crowd of 4,500 on hand for Carleton’s first home football game in 15 years, the rejuvenated Ravens got the first touchdown of their modern era but they couldn’t withstand a 478-yard Waterloo attack.

Jesse Mills’ 22-yard pass to Kyle Van Wynsberghe late in the third quarter drew Carleton to within 24-8 but two touchdowns two minutes apart early in the fourth quarter — the second a 40-yard fumble recovery by linebacker Brandon Corelli — sealed the Ravens’ fate.

Jamie Cook was 19-for-28 for 242 yards for Waterloo and he scored a touchdown himself on a 26-yard run. Danny Silvestri rushed 13 times for 120 yards and a pair of TDs, while receiver Nick Anapolski caught 12 passes for 110 yards.

Next Saturday Guelph, 2-0, comes off the bye week to visit Toronto, 1-2; Carleton, 0-2, travels to Windsor, 1-2; McMaster, 1-2, entertains York, 1-1; Ottawa, 2-1, will play at Western and Laurier, 0-3, will go down the street to play Waterloo, 1-2. Queen’s will have the weekend off.

• • •

In Antigonish, N.S., Saturday, St. Francis Xavier X-Men held the visiting Mount Allison Mounties off the scoresheet in the second half as they posted a 31-10 victory on the opening weekend of the Atlantic University Sport football season.

X-Men safety Hayden Peters, an Inverary product via Sydenham High School and the Kingston Grenadiers, led his team with 11 tackles. He also averaged 38 yards on eight punts.

• • •

In Montreal Friday night, Frontenac Secondary School grad Max Caron had eight tackles, two quarterback sacks and three tackles for loss but it didn’t prevent his Concordia Stingers from being defeated 32-19 by the McGill Redmen in the 45th annual Shaughnessy Cup game. Caron, the 2011 President’s Trophy winner as the outstanding defensive player in Canada, also forced a fumble.

McGill overturned a 7-5 Concordia halftime lead with 17 unanswered points in the third quarter.


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