(HAMILTON, ON) – Kyle Quinlan passed for 401 yards and three touchdowns, and Max Cameron caught seven passes for a game-high 209 yards, and the defending national champion McMaster Marauders notched a 37-18 victory over the Windsor Lancers on Saturday afternoon.
Austin Kennedy threw for 350 yards and two majors, but was intercepted on four occasions throughout the contest at Ron Joyce Stadium. The Lancers turned the ball over six times on Saturday and were held to under 100 yards on the ground. Evan Pszczonak led Windsor’s receivers with 135 yards on four catches while Matt McGarva picked up eight tackles on the day.
The loss drops the Lancers (3-4) under .500 for the first time this season, and they now sit tied for fifth in the conference with Laurer (3-4). The Marauders (7-0) remain the only undefeated team in the country and also clinch a first-round bye with the victory.
The Lancers drew first blood on their opening drive by scoring a Rouge after a 45-yard punt from Dan Cerino (Stoney Creek, Ont.) could not be brought out of the Marauders end zone. However, McMaster answered with a 61-yard scoring drive, using less than two minutes to go up 7-1.
Midway through the quarter, Kennedy (Windsor) became the Lancers all-time passing leader after Pszczonak (Amherstburg, Ont.) made a circus catch for 32 yards, moving his team into Marauder territory. Kennedy continued to march his team down the field, and polished off a 90-yard drive by finding Dylan Whitfield (Windsor) for a 17-yard touchdown reception.
The Lancers defence came alive soon after, as McGarva (Surrey, B.C.) picked off McMaster quarterback Quinlan to give Windsor possession with great field position. It was Quinlan’s first interception of the season. That led to a 16-yard Cerino field goal which put the Lancers up 11-7 at the end of the opening quarter.
The lead was short-lived as the Marauders struck once again at the 7:06 mark of the second quarter. Needing just two and a half minutes to go 91 yards, Quinlan’s TD strike to Dahlin Brooks would put the home team up by three points. The Lancers looked like they were about to tie things up, moving into field goal range. However, an untimely interception thrown by Kennedy allowed the Marauders to take over the ball and negate the threat.
Kennedy would get another opportunity late in the half to even the contest, but was picked off for the second time in the quarter and third time in the half. This allowed the Marauders to add a field goal, as they would go into the half up 17-11.
The Marauders looked dangerous early on in the third quarter, but after moving down the field, the Lancers defence came up with a big play as Josh Burns (LaSalle, Ont.) intercepted what looked to be a sure touchdown pass from Quinlan in the Windsor end zone.
However, after a quick three and out by Windsor, the Marauders quickly moved the ball into Lancers territory looking to extend the lead. A touchdown pass was negated by an offside penalty assessed to McMaster, and they would have to settle for a field goal, extending the lead to nine. The CIS champions continued to find their stride in the quarter, using six plays and 69 yards to find the Lancers end zone and putting the game seemingly out of reach.
However, Windsor quickly answered on their next drive as Kennedy found Pszczonak for an 80-yard touchdown catch that allowed the Lancers to stay within striking distance heading into the final quarter.
The Marauders added another field-goal early in the final period to move the lead up to 12. The McMaster defense would then put the contest on ice, forcing a Kennedy fumble deep in Windsor territory and recovering the ball in the end zone, adding seven more points to their advantage.
Windsor will wrap up the regular season next Saturday, October 20 when they travel to the University of Waterloo for an afternoon match-up with the Warriors. Kick-off is set for 1:00 p.m.