CIS football Saturday playoff roundup
Photo credit Ottawa Athletics
|Acadia||22||Mount Allison||14||Final- 4OT||Boxscore|
|AUS Semi Final|
|It took four sets of overtime, but the Acadia
Axemen eventually prevailed and defeated the Mount Allison Mounties
22-14 to win the AUS Semi-Final on Saturday, Nov. 6 in front of
3,251 fans at Mount Allison's MacAulay Field. With the win Acadia
moves on to the AUS championship game against Saint Mary's on
Saturday, November 13th. Wet weather and muddy field conditions
left both teams painted in a similar shade of brown and struggling
to move the ball offensively.
After a scoreless opening quarter, Mount Allison struck first when QB Jake Hotchkiss found Adam Molnar in the corner of the end zone. The 25-yard touchdown pass put the Mounties ahead 7-0. Acadia responded before the end of the first half when Kyle Graves found A.J. Durling on a 12-yard touchdown pass with three minutes to play.
Mount Allison took the lead again in the 3rd quarter when John Szilagyi nailed a 33-yard field goal to make the score 10-7. Mount Allison stretched their lead to five by forcing Acadia to take a safety at 8:36 of the 3rd quarter. With the score 12-7, Mount Allison forced another Acadia safety three minutes into the 3rd quarter, bringing the score to 14-7. Mount Allison held this lead until Graves once again found Durling in the end zone, this time from 18 yards out with 3:55 to play.
Mount Allison moved the ball into Acadia territory late in the game, needing only a single point to take the lead. With less than 30 seconds on the clock, the Mounties elected to punt, but kicker John Szilagyi's punt went out of bounds just short of the Acadia goal line, keeping the Mounties off the board.
In overtime, both teams had chances to put points on the board but neither team could produce enough offence to take the lead. As per AUS playoff rules, possessions start on the opposition 35- yard line at the start of each series. In the fourth round of overtime, Acadia's used a fake field goal on 3rd down to keep their drive alive. Moments later Acadia scored to take a 20-14 lead. Acadia was also successful on their two-point convert attempt, giving them a 22-14 lead. The Mounties would have one more chance to score, but it was to no avail as Hotckiss's third-down pass attempt fell to the ground, the Mounties' season came to an end.
Playing a home playoff game for the first time in 12 years, the Mounties were led offensively by Matt Pickett who ran for 62 yards on 17 carries and Adam Molnar who grabbed six catches for 74 yards. Hotchkiss was 14 for 32 for 143 yards and one touchdown.
Acadia's QB Kyle Graves was 22 for 44 for 229 yards while the game's top receiver was Scott Kelly who made 10 catches for 112 yards. Defensively Axeman Tom Labenski was tops with 11 solo tackles, while Mounties Luke Ekoh and Ben Halpern had seven and six solos respectively.
The Acadia Axemen now move on to play the Saint Mary's Huskies in the AUS Championship game on Saturday, November 13th in Halifax.
Source: Mount Allison
|FQSE Demi-Finale 1|
QUEBEC CITY – Bruno Prud'homme threw three touchdown passes to lead the No. 1-ranked Laval Rouge et Or to a 56-1 victory over the Bishop's Gaiters in a Quebec University Football League semi-final game at the PEPS stadium. The 10,341 fans in attendance saw Laval score 30 points off 12 Bishop's turnovers, as the Rouge et Or advanced to their eighth consecutive Dunsmore Cup final.
The Gaiters threw seven interceptions, lost four fumbles and also had a turnover on downs. "We had some success today, but we just turned the ball over too much," said Gaiters' Head Coach Leroy Blugh. "Laval deserves the credit for the win. They played well."
The first turnover in the game was actually by Laval, and led to Bishop's having a 1-0 lead on a 41-yard single by Josh Maveety (Kingston, Ont.). However, that was the highlight of the day for the visitors, as a touchdown run by Pascal Lochard, along with a 40-yard pass from Prud'homme to Guillaume Rioux and three field goals by Christopher Milo gave Laval a 23-1 halftime lead.
In the second half, Laval scored touchdowns on passes from Prud'homme to Rioux and Mathieu Picard, an 8-yard run by Lochard and an interception return by Maximilien Du Cap Kamara. Another Milo field goal and a safety touch rounded out the scoring. Kamara finished with four interceptions, tying the CIS single-game record and setting a new league playoff mark.
Gaiters' quarterback Jordan Heather (Oromocto, N.B.), starting in place of the injured Jesse Andrews, went six-for-22 for 114 yards. He threw five interceptions, one short of the school record of six. Shane McDonald (Uxbridge), playing his first career CIS game, came on in relief in the third quarter and went 3-for-5 for 23 yards. He threw two interceptions, both in the last minute of the contest. David Haddrall (Kingston, Ont.) led the Gaiters' receivers with three catches for 44 yards.
For Laval, Bruno Prud'homme went 12-for-24 for 248 yards and three touchdowns. Guillaume G. Bourassa led the Laval rushers with five carries for 63 yards, while Lochard finished with ten carries for 55 yards and two touchdowns. Rioux caught four passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns.
Laval outgained the Gaiters 414 to 149, and made 22 first downs, to the Gaiters' ten. The Gaiters committed nine penalties for 57 yards, while Laval was flagged 11 times for 100 yards. The Gaiters made four sacks, and only allowed two.
Defensively, the Gaiters were led by Mathieu Boulay (Magog, Que.), who made 5.5 tackles, including a pair of sacks and a forced fumble. Zak Buis (North Delta, B.C.) also made 5.5 tackles and forced a fumble, while Dan West made five tackles.
The Gaiters close out the 2010 season with an overall record of 5-5 (5-4 QUFL). Laval (10-0, 9-0 QUFL) advances to play the Sherbrooke Vert & Or in the 2010 Dunsmore Cup final on Saturday, November 13. Kickoff at PEPS is set for 12:30 p.m.
NOTES: Laval leads the all-time series 19-6 ... This is the Gaiters' eighth straight loss to PEPS, dating back to a 1-0 forfeit win in 2001 ... Today marked the end of the CIS careers for the Gaiters' seven fifth-year seniors: Jesse Andrews, Justin Conn, Tim Cronk, Shane Francis, Olivier Mongeau, Shawn Naylor and Nick Poloniato ... Today marked the CIS debut for McDonald and fullback Luca Urbani (Montreal, Que.).
Source: Bishop's Sports Info
|FQSE Demi-Finale 2|
|MONTREAL - L'équipe de football des Carabins
de l'Université de Montréal a subi un revers de 33
à 26 face au Vert & Or de Sherbrooke samedi
après-midi au CEPSUM. La troupe de l'entraîneur-chef
Marc Santerre voit donc sa saison se terminer en demi-finale
provinciale. Les unités spéciales de Sherbrooke ont
fait la différence.
« Le Vert & Or était venu pour jouer au football et on savait qu'on affrontait une très bonne équipe, a affirmé l'entraîneur-chef des Carabins, Marc Santerre. Ils ont joué avec beaucoup de confiance et réalisé des jeux clés. Je suis malgré tout très fier de nos joueurs. Nous avions plusieurs jeunes dans l'alignement et c'est de très bon augure pour l'avenir. »
Les visiteurs ont effectivement commencé le match en force grâce à deux retours de botté de dégagement spectaculaires de Raphaël Gagné qui ont mené à deux touchés. Un premier retour de 71 verges, au premier quart, a permis au porteur de ballon David Dumas-Goulet de marquer un majeur sur une course de dix verges. Au début du second quart, Gagné a cette fois réussi un retour de 56 verges. Quelques jeux plus tard, Dumas-Goulet ajoutait un autre touché sur une course de 12 verges. Tout juste avant, le botteur William Dion avait réussi un placement sur une distance de 17 verges. De plus, avec un touché de sûreté accordé par les Carabins, le Vert & Or avait l'avance 19 à 0 au début du deuxième quart.
Les Carabins ont finalement mis des points au tableau sur leur séquence à l'attaque qui a suivi le deuxième touché de Dumas-Goulet. Après une longue série de jeux sur une distance de 73 verges, Alexandre Nadeau-Piuze (HEC Montréal, administration) a repéré Nicolas Bordeleau (arts et sciences) dans la zone des buts neuf verges plus loin. Ce jeu a été réussi en situation de troisième essai et quatre verges à faire.
Alors que les deux équipes se livraient une bataille de tranchées et que c'était le statu quo au tableau indicateur, Sherbrooke faisait face à un troisième essai et dix verges à franchir près du centre du terrain au début du quatrième engagement. Les Verts ont effectué une feinte de botté de dégagement et le centre-arrière Vincent Garwood a détalé sur une distance de 41 verges.
Sur le jeu suivant, le quart des Verts, Jean-Philippe Shoiry, a échappé un ballon recouvré par les Carabins. Cependant, la troupe de Marc Santerre a commis une infraction sur la séquence qui a annulé ce jeu. À la reprise, Garwood a marqué le majeur en recevant une passe de quatre verges, portant la marque à 26-8 en faveur des siens.
Au milieu du quatrième quart, Sherbrooke a ajouté à son avance. Une interception de Nadeau-Piuze a mis la table à un autre touché des Verts. Mûs par l'énergie du désespoir, les Bleus ont rapidement répliqué grâce à un touché de Rotrand Sené (arts et sciences) sur une course de 16 verges. Jean-Christophe Morin-Phaneuf a également capté une passe de touché. Bien que deux transformations de deux points aient été réussies et que Sherbrooke ait accordé un touché de sûreté, c'était trop peu, trop tard pour les Bleus.
Même si les Carabins tiraient de l'arrière, le quart Alexandre Nadeau-Piuze a tout fait pour garder son équipe dans le match. « On s'est battu, a dit Santerre. Alex a répondu intelligemment à l'appel. Il nous a donné une chance de revenir dans le match. » Bien qu'il ait encaissé plusieurs coups durant le match, dont sept plaqués, il n'a jamais flanché. Il a terminé la rencontre avec 35 passes complétées en 54 tentatives pour un total de 370 verges. Ce sont trois nouvelles marques d'équipe.
Pour le Vert & Or, il s'agit d'une victoire historique. Ils remportent leur premier match éliminatoire en huit ans d'existence. De plus, depuis la finale de la Coupe Dunsmore disputée au CEPSUM en 2004, aucune équipe n'avait remporté un match éliminatoire à l'extérieur dans la conférence québécoise. Sherbrooke affrontera maintenant le Rouge et Or samedi prochain à l'Université Laval en finale de conférence pour l'obtention de la Coupe Dunsmore.
Les 3369 spectateurs des Carabins ont été bruyants jusqu'à la toute fin, remerciant ainsi les Bleus pour cette saison 2010 qui, malgré la déception d'aujourd'hui, aura été très excitante.
Source: Montreal Sports Info
|OUA Semi-Final 1|
|OTTAWA - Today, two teams begun their quest for the
Yates Cup and beyond at Frank Clair Stadium in Ottawa. The uOttawa
Gee-Gees were hosting the Laurier Golden Hawks in the OUA
Semi-Final game. Emotions ran high, the intensity was fierce, and
the nerves were apparent as the Gee-Gees storied season was on the
line for the first time this season.
The first quarter saw Laurier jump out to an early 7-0 lead as the Gee-Gees could not withstand some early pressure deep in their zone. Yet, with a little luck on their side, the Gee-Gees' ensuing drive would see Brad Sinopoli, Peterborough, Ont., connect with third-year receiver Alex Fortier-Labonte, Gatineau, Qué., even after the ball was tipped by a Laurier defender. The score remained tied at seven a piece.
Laurier would try to answer back until fifth-year defensive back Chayce Elliott, Burnaby, B.C., intercepted a Laurier pass to regain possession of the ball. Then on second down, Brad Sinopoli would find fifth-year receiver Matt Bolduc, Ottawa, Ont., way down field. This would then setup Sinopoli's second touchdown pass of the quarter as he connected with fifth-year receiver Cyril Adjeitey, Ghana, to go up 14-7.
In the second quarter, Laurier would comeback fairly quickly to tie the game 14-14. Then midway through the third, following an unnecessary roughing penalty against the Gee-Gees on Laurier's punter; the Golden Hawks would get the ball back deep in Gee-Gees territory and would go on to score a touchdown for a 21-14 lead.
The Gee-Gees woes would continue unfortunately. Later in the quarter off a Laurier punt, second-year defensive back Soonbum Cha, Burlington, Ont., misplayed the kick and the ball was subsequently recovered by the Golden Hawks. This would prove to be costly as Laurier would then manage to make a field goal and stretch their lead 24-14. However, the Gee-Gees would get back on the board as Laurier conceded a safety, putting the score at 24-16 Laurier lead. And with the Gee-Gees missing a field goal attempt, the score would remain as such through halftime.
The third quarter would remain fairly quiet until Chayce Elliott would make a 41 yard punt return to reignite his team. On the ensuing drive, Brad Sinopoli went long to find third-year receiver Ezra Millington, Newmarket, Ont., who pulled it down with a Laurier defender on him for an amazing 53 yard touchdown reception; Gee-Gees pull within one, the score now 24-23. Still Laurier would make a couple plays of their own to get in close enough for second-year quarterback Evan Pawliuk, Kingston, Ont., to rush in for a touchdown.
Now with the score at 31-23, the Gee-Gees would carry a first and goal into the fourth quarter. And they would make no mistake as Sinopoli would hand off to first-year running back Frank Ngandui, Laval, Que., and he would dive into the end zone for a touchdown. Unfortunately, the Gee-Gees would be denied however on the two point conversion attempt and so the score would remain 31-29 for Laurier.
It was now up to the Gee-Gees defense to hold strong. Feeding off a loud and rambunctious crowd, they would do just that, and create a turnover at Laurier's own 50 yard line. Still, the garnet and grey would be unable to capitalize. And so again the Gee-Gees defense would be called upon to keep Laurier from stretching their lead as fifth-year defensive back Lee Shaver, Ottawa, Ont., and fellow third-year defensive back Chris Daly, Burlington, Ont., would make a valiant effort to stop what looked like an almost sure Laurier touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter.
The Gee-Gees would finally take the lead as third year Aaron Colbon, Orleans, Ont., would need some good hands to make up for a bad snap and place the ball in time for third-year kicker Matthew Falvo, Welland, Ont., to kick the go ahead field goal at 2:59 in the fourth quarter. The Gee-Gees now lead 32-31.
This game would go down to the wire as Sinopoli would throw an untimely interception to give Laurier some life in the final minute. But credit to the Gee-Gees defense who, with the crowd behind them, were able to finish strong and secure the one point victory. And with that, the Gee-Gees advance to next week's Yates Cup game to be played here in Ottawa at Frank Clair Stadium.
Head coach Jean Philippe-Asselin was more than pleased to get the win, and credited his players being able to keep their cool under pressure: "I think we showed we were resilient all year. Whether we did it before or not doesn't change anything; we will fight every minute and we showed that again today."
With defense being a big story in this game, assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Sean Hall knew his boys were capable of being the difference: "We've preached it all year that you got to just keep believing and keep doing what you do and when the time comes we just want to be in a position to win games. We've talked about that from day one, and today we were in that situation and the guys pulled through. Kudos to our team; our guys never quit, they never stop believing and just keep playing."
When asked about the game winning field goal and a low snap, Colbon and Falvo were thankful they were able to execute in that pressure situation: "These are the best parts about kicking; coming through for your team in a big moment. I knew we had to get those points, and it was a great job by Aaron (Colbon) to put it down," said Falvo.
The Gee-Gees can now shift their focus to the 103rd Yates Cup to be held next weekend at Frank Clair Stadium in Ottawa. The garnet and grey will await the results of Western and McMaster who are playing in their OUA Semi-Final game today as well.
Source: Ottawa Sports Info
|Canada West Semi-Final 2|
|CALGARY – Big players put up big numbers in
big games – and the University of Calgary Dinos have their
big guns to thank for a 40-33 Canada West semi-final win over the
Regina Rams Saturday afternoon at McMahon Stadium.
Erik Glavic found Anthony Parker for a 70-yard TD strike on the opening play of the game as the fifth-ranked Dinos built up a big lead, then staved off yet another fourth-quarter charge by the Rams to hang on for the victory.
The Dinos (7-2) will host the Alberta Golden Bears (4-5) in the 74th Hardy Cup game next Saturday afternoon at McMahon Stadium for the conference championship after Alberta stunned the Saskatchewan Huskies with a 28-point fourth-quarter comeback in the other semi-final. Calgary, which won both previous games against the Golden Bears this season, will be looking for a third straight Canada West title, while the Bears will search for their first conference banner since 1981.
The ending followed a familiar script – Calgary opening up a lead and the Rams fighting back late to make a game of it for the third time in as many games between the two clubs in 2010.
"We've played them three times now, and we've been able to get out to a lead in every one of them," said Calgary coach Blake Nill. "But they're too good. They're offence is too good, and it's only a matter of time before they make some big plays. It's too bad it had to end that way, but at the same time this is a good football team. It's just another example of what kind of football is played in this conference.
Despite the nervous moments at the end, it was the Dinos' best offensive performance of the 2010 season. Season-highs included Glavic's passing (360 yards), Matt Walter's 162 rushing yards, Parker's 145 receiving yards, and the team's 587 yards total offence.
"Our offensive line really played well today," said Nill. "To beat a team three times in this conference says a lot – it says that there's some level of consistency, despite what we've been through."
After the opening score and a pair of Aaron Ifield singles, Nathan Coehoorn added a 28-yard major on the last play of the first quarter and the home side was off to a 16-0 lead after 15 minutes.
Parker hauled in a wildcat pass from Steven Lumbala from 20 yards out midway through the second quarter, then scored his third on a 45-yard pass from Glavic late in the third. Anthony Woodson also hauled in a major.
The Rams scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but the 22-point Calgary lead was too much to overcome. Two of those majors came courtesy Brenden Owens, while Adrian Charles scored his second of the afternoon with just 59 seconds on the clock.
Glavic completed 18 of 27 passes for 360 yards and four touchdowns, while Regina's Marc Mueller went 27-for-37 for 331 yards and two touchdowns. Parker was the game's leading receiver with five catches for 145 yards and three TDs, while Coehoorn had eight catches for 133 yards and the lone major. Owens led the way for the Rams with 101 yards on nine catches.
Matt Walter won the head-to-head battle between the two leaders in Canada West rushing this season, out-gaining Charles 162 yards to 127.
The Dinos get the chance to host the Hardy Cup for the second time in three seasons as they look for the three-peat as conference champions. And to win the banner they'll have to repeat the same feat: beat the Golden Bears for the third time this season.
"It's a difficult task," Nill said. "It's going to be about who shows up ready to play. If you execute, you'll be in good shape and if you don't, you'll be in trouble. Teams in this conference just have too much power. I'm glad we're at home though."
It will be the first conference championship game between the Dinos and Bears since 1993, when Calgary won 32-12 at McMahon Stadium. All-time the Dinos are 3-2 against Alberta in the post-season, including a conference semi-final win last year, and Calgary is 2-1 in conference final games against Alberta after a loss in 1980 and wins in 1984 and 1993.
Source: Calgary Sports Info
|Canada West Semi-Final 1|
|SASKATCHEWAN, Sask. - Even the Alberta Golden Bears
should be surprised to find themselves in the Canada West final.
Completing a stunning and seemingly unfathomable comeback, the fourth-seeded Golden Bears erased a 30-3 third quarter deficit to shock the top-seeded Saskatchewan Huskies 31-30 Saturday at Griffiths Stadium in PotashCorp Park in Saskatoon.
Alberta moves on to face the second-seeded Calgary Dinos next
Saturday in the Canada West championship, the Hardy Cup. The winner
advances to host the national semifinal, the Mitchell Bowl, Nov. 20
Golden Bears' quarterback Julian Marchand picked apart the Huskies secondary in the second half, tossing for 309 yards and three touchdowns for the game. Laurence Nixon was steady at the helm for the Huskies, throwing for 280 yards and two touchdowns.
Despite their absence in the game's crucial moments, the Huskies defence forced five turnovers on the afternoon and were vital in giving their side a 9-3 edge at halftime.
After 76-yard Rory Kolhert touchdown reception put the Huskies up 30-3, everyone but the Golden Bears checked out of the game. With only 3:50 left in the third quarter it seemed the Huskies had punched their ticket to the Canada West final.
The fourth quarter was supposed to be a footnote, but instead it became a riveting comeback narrative no Huskie will care to revisit.
First Marchand connected with Laine Rodgers for an 11-yard touchdown toss to close the third quarter and make it 30-10. Then, four minutes into the fourth Marchand found Ryan Meraw from nine yards out to bring the deficit to 30-17.
When Matt Jarvis rumbled into the end zone to make it 30-24 with 2:47 remaining, the 3,921 in attendance stiffened up. However, another Bears major just seemed too unlikely.
But when the Bears took control on their own 33-yard line with 1:36 remaining after yet another Huskies three
and-out, worry was in vogue.
Marchand marched the Bears to Saskatchewan's 33 before an improbable catch punctuated an improbable comeback. Marchand tossed the cowhide up for Ryley Richardson, who eluded defensive back Cody Halseth and climbed the ladder to come crashing down, ball-in-hand, to tie the game at 30.
Hugh O'Neill's extra point sailed through the uprights in a silent stadium, giving the Bears a 31-30 lead.
With only 18 seconds left on the clock the Huskies could not get within field goal range after starting from their own 23-yard line.
Source: Saskatchewan Sports Info
|OUA Semi-Final 2|
|LONDON, Ont. - The Western Mustangs are heading to
their fourth straight Yates Cup final as they held on to defeat the
McMaster Marauders 34-28 Saturday evening at TD Waterhouse Stadium
in front of 3,640 fans.
No. 7 McMaster dominated the time of possession battle over the No. 2 nationally ranked Mustangs, but 21 unanswered points by Western gave them a big enough cushion at home to survive their seven turnovers to hold on for the victory.
Western will travel to Ottawa next weekend to face the Gee-Gees in the 103rd Yates Cup at 1 p.m. Ottawa survived a scare from Laurier, winning 32-31 earlier Saturday. Ottawa handed Western its only regular season loss, a 20-19 decision on Sept. 6 at Frank Clair Stadium in the nation's capital, winning on a late fourth-quarter drive.
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Against McMaster, freshman Andrew Thibaudeau was the catalyst for the Mustangs on offence, with four receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown, and another touchdown on a spectacular 104-yard kickoff return which tied a school record and changed the game's momentum.
It was the first kickoff return for a touchdown for a Western Mustangs player in league play since Jay Leroy turned the trick in 2003.
"As a first year, going into this game, the pressure was on," Thibaudeau said. "I'm happy to get a chance to play for the Yates Cup in my first season."
Thibaudeau's kick return tied the school record set by Brendan Lenko (1984 vs. Windsor) and Rob Stewart (1986 vs. Waterloo) at 104 yards. It was the first returned kick or punt for a touchdown since Randy McAuley returned one against Ottawa in 2003.
"For the kick return, just busting it open, I saw it and just went for it," Thibadeau told The Score. "It just surprised me that I could actually get another one because it hadn't been done in seven years (at Western) and the last one I got against Toronto was called back."
"I think it drove me more to want to get another one this week."
Thibaudeau's receiving touchdown including 10 yards after the catch with a Marauders defensive back draped over him.
"I thought I was going to get tackled and turns out I was fighting the guy for 10 yards and some how got in, so I'll take it," Thibaudeau said.
His performance caught the attention of head coach Greg Marshall who commended the rookie receiver from Kitchener, Ont., after the game.
"That kick return, McMaster had the momentum and we got the return and he scored on it. That changed the game," Greg Marshall said. "He's been making great plays, he's and athletic kid who is outstanding for a first-year player. He handles the pressure well."
The two-headed rushing monster of Jerimy Hipperson and Nathan Riva combined for 182 yards. Hipperson, of St. Catharines, Ont., scored his 12th touchdown of the season netting 97 yards on 11 carries, while Riva of LaSalle, Ont., scored as well for the Mustangs getting 17 carries for 85 yards.
Donnie Marshall was 12 of 18 passing for 217 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.
Defensive captain and middle linebacker John Surla of Niagara Falls, Ont., led the Mustangs defence with eight total tackles including one for a loss.
Two fifth-year linebackers playing in their final home game were also effective. Adrian Kaiser had five total tackles while adding a sack and a forced fumble, while Jason Kosec added seven and a half tackles.
"That's what our defence is about, we made big plays when it counted most," Kosec said. "I swear, (strength and conditioning) coach Jeff Watson, in playoffs and in the fourth quarter, when it's on the line we the best in-shape team because of him."
Kosec, a draft pick of the Canadian Football League's Edmonton Eskimos, said he's stoked for another opportunity to play Ottawa.
"I'm excited to go down there and play them in their house and get another shot at playing Sinopoli," Kosec said.
McMaster got off to a quick start on offense marching down the field on their first two possessions getting a 19-yard field goal from Andrew Waugh and a five-yard touchdown run by quarterback Kyle Quinlan who ran for 50 yards on the day.
The Mustangs responded on the ensuing kickoff as Thibaudeau returned the kick 104 yards for a touchdown.
Lirim Hajrullahu tied the game up at 10 just before the end of
the first quarter on a 31-yard field goal.
But Donnie Marshall responded, rolling out of the pocket and hitting Thibaudeau for a 52-yard run and catch as he dragged the defender 10 yards to tie it at 17-17.
Western completed their three minute drill before halftime, capping off the drive with a five-yard Hipperson rushing touchdown. The drive was kept alive by a pass interference call against McMaster on a third-down Mustangs' gamble
The Mustangs led 24-17 going into half.
After surviving two Donnie Marshall interceptions in the third quarter, the Mustangs scored on Riva's eight-yard rushing touchdown.
With 21 unanswered points the Mustangs led 31-17 halfway through the third quarter.
But the veteran-laden Marauders responded as they ran the ball directly through the heart of the Mustangs' defence with Jordan Kozina closing the lead to 31-24 on a two-yard touchdown run. Kozina finished with a game-high 106 yards and one major on 16 attempts.
Waugh booted his second field goal of the game, from 17 yards out, to make it a four-point game at 31-27 for Western.
But Hajrullahu kicked a 43-yard field goal of his own into the wind, putting the Mustangs ahead 34-27 with 7:48 remaining.
Quinlan punted the ball through the end zone for single point to cut the Western lead to 34-28 with five minutes left in the fourth quarter, but the Mustangs defence took over.
They bent, but did not break on the final drive and kept the Marauders off the board for the remainder of the game.
A first down catch by Nick Trevail and a first down run by Riva sealed the victory.
"We could have played better but this is playoff football and the only thing that counts at the end is what is says on the scoreboard," said Mustangs head coach Greg Marshall, who is now 6-0 in home playoff games with Western.
The Marauders lost their second game of the year in London, Ont., but their head coach Stefan Ptaszek said he was happy with the season as a whole.
"I'm really proud of the guys," said Ptaszek. "(With) all the injuries we endured, it was a great season. They are a championship-calibre team and we played a championship calibre-team."
"We wanted to make less mistakes," he said. "When we aren't killing ourselves, we are very competitive. We gave up some big plays and can't do that against a good football team. We played well in spurts and not all four quarters."
Thibaudeau is excited to get another crack at Ottawa - he thought he had scored the game-winning touchdown in Week 2 but it was called back for a late hit behind the play - which many involved in the game suspected had nothing to do with the scoring play.
"That touchdown scored, you could have said it could have been a game-changer, but it is what it is," he said. "When we faced them, it was early in the season, so obviously we hadn't become the team we had become now."
"I am pretty sure everyone on the team wants it (the Yates Cup)," Thibaudeau said. "It's just such a great experience I think to be able to have, and especially being a first year, and for for those guys in their last year, we just want to take it home."
"We probably didn't play our best today, and we'll fix it next week and we'll go at it even harder."
Greg Marshall said his team will need to refocus this week in practice and prepare for the passing onslaught expected from the Gee-Gees.
"I expect they will throw on us," Greg Marshall said. "We cannot shut down Sinopoli completely, he's as good as they come, but we want to contain him."
"To be a championship team, we will have to play like one next Saturday. It should be a great game."
Source: Western Sports Info