McMaster Marauders nipped what would have been a stunning upset in the bud Sunday afternoon, scoring 24 points in the third quarter of a 55-33 defeat of the Toronto Varsity Blues on the opening day of the Ontario University Athletics football season.
Toronto led the defending Yates Cup champions 26-17 late in the second quarter, when McMaster’s Danny Vandervoort caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Asher Hastings with 10 seconds remaining in the first half.
After Toronto fumbled the second-half kickoff, Vandervoort scored again in the first minute of the second half, to put the Marauders into the lead. It was the first of three McMaster touchdowns in the quarter.
Each team had more than 400 yards of offence, and Toronto had 34 first downs. Hastings, making his first intercollegiate start, completed 26 of 34 passes for 384 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions.
Vandervoort caught four of those TD passes, among his 10 catches that gained 168 yards.
Toronto quarterback Simon Nassar was 29-for-49 for 361 yards.
Frontenac Secondary School grad Mitch O’Connor returned a punt 48 yards for McMaster.
In other games Sunday, the Western Mustangs throttled the Windsor Lancers 76-7, the Guelph Gryphons whipped the Waterloo Warriors 78-7, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks defeated the York Lions 38-21 and the Queen’s Golden Gaels beat the visiting Carleton Ravens 34-24 (http://www.sportkingston.ca/index.php/articles/view/3345.html).
The largest crowd of the day, 2,021, witnessed Western’s demolition of the hometown Lancers. The Mustangs ended the day with 749 yards of total offence, to just 188 for Windsor, which managed only 11 first downs and seven times had a ball carrier tackled for a loss.
Two Windsor quarterbacks were equal opportunity passes, completing four of 18 attempts to teammates and four others to Western defenders.
Will Finch was 20-for-27 for the Mustangs, for 226 yards. By the third quarter, he’d given way to Josh Beach, who completed five of his six pass attempts. Alex Taylor rushed for 144 yards and Adam Sinclair 107 yards for Western, which spread the ball around, as nine different players rushed with the ball and nine different receivers caught one.
Matt Uren led with eight catches for 104 yards.
In Toronto, Malcolm Thompson returned an intercepted pass 60 yards for a touchdown as Laurier got past York. The Lions had just scored a touchdown to close the gap to 14-7, but Thompson’s TD sent the Hawks on their way to a 31-7 lead midway through the third quarter.
Laurier quarterback Eric Morelli, playing in place of the injured James Fracas, threw for 258 yards and three touchdowns, completing 19 of 28 attempts. Zeph Fraser caught one of those balls, and he took his first intercollegiate reception for a 43-yard touchdown.
Hawks running back Dillon Campbell gained 116 yards from 20 carries, the10th game in a row—and the 15th time in his last 16 games—that he’s surpassed the 100-yard plateau.
York’s top threat was Nathaniel Pinto, who caught seven passes for 108 yards.
Sunday night in Waterloo, Guelph jumped to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter and the Gryphons led 46-0 before Waterloo finally scored a touchdown with seven seconds remaining in the first half.
Guelph had 708 yards of offence, though the Gryphons ran just three more offensive plans than did the Warriors, 61-58. Jacob Scarfone caught eight passes for 201 yards, 20 yards more than Waterloo managed to gain as a team. He scored two touchdowns.
Gryphons quarterback James Roberts was 15-for-22 for 325 yards. Alex Skinner, the transfer from Laval, mopped up by completing three of his six pass attempts for 112 yards.
Another Frontenac grad, Rob Carnegie, carried the football four times for Guelph, for 19 yards.
Play resumes next Sunday afternoon when the Ottawa Gee-Gees open their season by hosting Queen’s, and Waterloo visits Carleton. On Labour Day, Laurier will play a day game at Guelph, while Western hosts York and Toronto entertains Windsor at night. McMaster gets the weekend off.