Moun­ties’ un­beaten streak ends in Mitchell Bowl

The Citizen-Record (Cumberland) - - SPORTS -

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.

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