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Three undefeated teams all retain their perfect records

September 22, 2013

Two of the league’s three undefeated teams got a scare Saturday afternoon but ultimately all three emerged from a rainy day with their unblemished records intact.

Western Mustangs spotted the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks a 10-point lead before coming back for a 45-24 victory in Waterloo. The Guelph Gryphons trailed McMaster by three points at halftime and had to deny a two-point convert in the dying seconds of the game before they could claim a 24-22 victory over the Marauders.

Meanwhile, in a game riddled with mistakes in Ottawa, the Queen’s Golden Gaels led throughout their 36-21 win over the Ottawa Gee-Gees.

In other Ontario University Athletics football games Saturday, the Carleton Ravens scored more points than they did in their three previous games combined, but it wasn’t enough to avoid a 50-34 loss to the visiting York Lions, and the Windsor Lancers needed a late touchdown to clinch a 26-11 win over the Toronto Blues.

Western, 5-0, will host Queen’s, 4-0, in the marquee match of the season Saturday in London.

The Mustangs trailed 10-0 and then 17-12 at halftime, but they scored 33 points in the second half to forge ahead. The game remained in doubt until the final six minutes, after Dillon Campbell scored his second touchdown of the game for Laurier to draw the Hawks to within 31-24 with 10:43 to play.

Yannick Harou scored two touchdowns in the last six minutes of the game to seal the verdict for Western, which had 593 yards of total offence. Quarterback Will Finch accounted for 423 yards of it by completing 26 of his 36 passes, two of them for touchdowns.

Brian Marshall had seven catches for 209 yards for Western, the second best single-game performance in the conference this year. Campbell was the game’s top rusher, with 155 yards from 15 carries. His 100-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was the second longest in Laurier school history.

Playing before a Homecoming crowd of 12,000, the Gryphons scored 14 unanswered points in the third quarter to reverse a 13-10 McMaster halftime lead. Guelph led 24-13 with five minutes to play when Tyler Crapigna kicked a 43-yard field goal, his third of the game, for the Marauders.

McMaster then marched 56 yards in six plays in the final minute for a touchdown — a six-yard pass from Marshall Ferguson to Tyler Loveday — to close within two points with 17 seconds to play. Ferguson’s pass attempt for a two-point convert was incomplete.

McMaster was held to just 52 yards rushing. Guelph’s Rob Farquharson, in his first game back from an injury, carried 18 times for 119 yards and a touchdown.

York scored three touchdowns in the first quarter and the Lions ultimately would need every one of them as Carleton chipped away, scoring 17 fourth-quarter points in the closest game of the Ravens’ new incarnation.

Myles Gibbon completed 23 of 29 passes for 381 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions for York. William Austin, in a 147-yard receiving day, had two of those TDs while rookie Martin Hovi, playing in just his second game for the Lions, rushed for a game-best 119 yards.

Ravens quarterback Jesse Mills was 26-for-42 for a career-best 450 yards and three touchdowns, two of which went to Kyle VanWynsberghe, who had a nine-catch, 147-yard day overall. Dexter Brown had a 75-yard TD reception for Carleton, part of a 132-yard receiving performance.

The Varsity Blues lost at Windsor despite 424 yards of offence. Third-year quarterback Simon Nassar, making his first start of the season, was 25-for-43 for 397 yards and Paul de Pass caught 12 passes for 192 yards.

Windsor led 16-11 after three quarters and the outcome remained in doubt until Mitch Dender scored a touchdown on a 49-yard run with 2:10 to play.

Though the Lancers won the game, it may have cost them dearly. Quarterback Austin Kennedy went off the field in the third quarter with an injured left knee, the same one that he hurt last season. With Kennedy out of the lineup for most of the second half, the Lancers finished the game with just 277 yards of total offence.

Thankfully, they got a touchdown from Mike Dubuisson, who took a blocked punt 45 yards to the end zone early in the second quarter to give the Lancers a 7-6 lead. A pair of safety touches gave Toronto a 10-7 lead at halftime.

It was a catastrophic day for the two offensive lines, as Windsor had seven sacks and 10 other tackles behind the line of scrimmage — defensive lineman Tai Pham had four of each — while Toronto sacked Windsor quarterbacks six times and had 10 tackles for loss.

Play resumes Friday when Carleton, 0-4, travels to Toronto for a match with the 1-4 Varsity Blues. In addition to the Queen’s-Western game next Saturday, Guelph, 4-0, will play at Waterloo, 1-3, Ottawa, 2-3, travels to York, 2-2, and Laurier, 1-4, will host Windsor, 3-2. McMaster, 2-3, has the week off.

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