Mounties’ unbeaten streak ends in Mitchell Bowl
HAMILTON - The third-ranked McMaster Marauders have advanced to the 50th Vanier Cup defeating the Number 6 Mount Allison Mounties 24-12 at Ron Joyce Stadium on Saturday evening.
It was the first loss of the season for the Mounties after going unbeaten throughout the AUS Football Conference regular season and claiming the Loney Bowl two weeks ago against the St. F.X. X-Men.
McMaster’s defence highlighted the CIS football national semifinal with the Marauders tallying nine sacks against Mount Allison while pinning them four times in their end zone to collect eight points on safeties alone.
Mark Mackie was named the Mitchell Bowl most valuable player collecting three of the McMaster’s nine sacks as part of his five solo tackles.
“This was all about our defensive game plan to stop the run, it really allowed us to dial up the pressure on later downs.” said Mackie a second-year defensive lineman. “With how we play defence it could be any guy who gets the numbers, today it was my turn, but it’s always a total team effort.”
The Marauders advance to face the Montreal Carabins in Montreal next Saturday. Kickoff for the game is set for 2 p.m., live on Sportsnet, Sportsnet 360 and Radio-Canada.
The Marauders defence limited Mount Allison to just 10 first downs, 156 net yards of offence and only 19 minutes in total possession. Running back Chris Reid, the AUS rookie of the year and the second most productive ball carrier in the country in league play, was held to 53 yards on 11 carries.
Andrew Surya registered two sacks in the win while three others had one apiece. Joseph Richardson posted six total tackles including four solo and two assisted.
McMaster head coach Stefan Ptaszek was very pleased with his defensive unit.
“Man those kids got after it - the backend played excellent,” said Ptaszek. “As much as you see all those sacks you didn’t see any receivers running wide open and that makes a head coach very happy.”
“We did just enough to win,” continued Ptaszek “We were hoping to control the ball a little better and establish the run. We did not, but [Mount Allison] are a tough team and worthy of recognition defensively.”
Wayne Moore scored McMaster’s lone touchdown punching in a six-yard run in the third quarter. Moore finished as the game’s top rusher posting 146 yards on 30 attempts. His touchdown was McMaster’s first offensive touchdown in six quarters.
His contribution was key after Chris Pezzetta, who had rushed for 287 yards in McMaster’s first two playoff games, suffered a knee injury on the Marauders first play on offence and did not return.
McMaster quarterback Marshall Ferguson was 18 for 32 with 154 yards passing and no touchdowns. Mount Allison counterpart Brandon Leyh finished with a game high 186 yards passing on 15 completions.
Ferguson’s favourite target was Daniel Vandervoort, who caught 12 balls for 102 yards.
Tyler Crapigna kicked three goals in the Marauders victory notching points from the 32, 38 and 30 yard lines.
McMaster had a 10-point lead midway through the second quarter before Mount Allison got on the board when Leyh found a hole in the Marauder secondary hitting Josh Blanchard on a 48-yard touchdown strike.
Blanchard was by far the most productive player for the reigning two-time AUS champions in a losing cause with 194 all-purpose yards, including 124 on 10 receptions.