Men’s football ends season with 28-5 loss to McMaster

The Hawks finish their season 1-7 and will start off-season training in a week. (Photo by Heather Davidson)
The Hawks finish their season 1-7 and will start off-season training in a week. (Photo by Heather Davidson)

There’s no better way to end your season than at home, but it would have been nice for a little fight.

After playing the No. 1 Western Mustangs tightly and forcing the Windsor Lancers and No. 5 Queen’s Gaels to overtime, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s football team should have been able to hold the 3-3 McMaster Marauders a little closer.

But on the final day of their 2013 season, the Hawks failed to put up a challenge to the defending Yates Cup champions, dropping a 28-5 decision at University Stadium.

“Mac executed,” said head coach Michael Faulds after the game. “And they’re a good football team. They came in 3-3, but we know that they’re a better team than a .500 team. Our guys battled hard. They played well. We had three drives inside their five yard line that we went for on third down and couldn’t punch it in. We’re a very young football team.”

Those three drives in the red zone were all stopped by an impressive display of McMaster defence to keep Laurier from scoring a single touchdown.

The first quarter began with a 22-yard field goal from third-year kicker Ronnie Pfeffer, who nailed it through the uprights to put the Hawks up 3-0.

However it didn’t last long. McMaster’s Michael DiCroce received a 12-yard pass from fourth-year quarterback Marshall Ferguson to put the Marauders up 8-3 at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter was all McMaster with four unanswered scoring plays. First, Tyler Loveday would receive a 37-yard pass from Ferguson for the score. The ensuing kick off, fourth-year kicker Tyler Crapigna would send a bullet through Laurier’s endzone for the single.

Crapigna would add a 40-yard field goal before Wayne Moore would punch in a touchdown on a six-yard run. McMaster led 25-3 at the half.

Merely a safety would be added to Laurier’s point count and Crapigna would put up a 24-yard field goal to round out the scoring.

Despite only putting up five points, Laurier ran 23 more plays than McMaster, and quarterback James Fracas put up a career-high passing attempts with 45, completing 27 of them for 243 yards.

His counterpart, Ferguson, completed 13 passes on 29 attempts for 197 yards and two touchdowns.

Pfeffer also stamped his name in the record books Saturday, finishing the season fifth all-time for career punting yards, finishing the day with 303 yards and totalling 6,558 yards in three years.

Laurier finishes the season 1-7, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2002. It was also the return of former head coach Gary Jeffries, who sits as the McMaster special teams coordinator, and left University Stadium with the win.

The Hawks will be back on the field in a week for off-season training, but will be without graduates Isaac Dell, Felix Odum, Rashad La Touche and Tommy Griffiths.

“The reason that we’re improving as much as we are is that we are outworking everyone,” Faulds said, “We’re going to give the guys a week off, but off-season training starts October 21 and we’re going to get after it right away.”

“You have to think of the negatives – sure we’re not in the playoffs, but we have an extra two months in the gym than some of these playoff teams,” he continued. “So we’re going to take advantage of that.”

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