Tony von Richter
September 14, 2013, London, ON (ISN) — The Western Mustangs football team picked up an important victory over the University of Ottawa on Saturday afternoon at TD Stadium, defeating the Gee-Gees 83-27 to remain undefeated this season.
Along with the win the Mustangs narrowly missed out on making history.
Western’s 83 points scored were only four points away from eclipsing their team record for most points scored in a game, which remains 86 points. The final score of 83-27, too, fell just one point short of overtaking the OUA record of 111 total points scored in a match.
Despite the lopsided win Mustangs head coach Greg Marshall says his team needs to play better to be considered a great football club.
“Certainly the goal of the season at the beginning of the year was to beat the University of Ottawa in this football game, but our goal is to get better and getter each week,” he said after the game.
The Mustangs potent offence was led by quarterback Will Finch who threw for 297 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 63 yards and added one rushing touchdown. The Burlington native spread the ball around on Saturday as three different Western players each had five receptions with Brian Marshall leading the way, hauling in three touchdown passes.
Running back Garret Sanvido led the Mustangs ground game, putting in his best performance of the 2013 season with 180 yards rushing on 12 carries with two touchdowns.
Fresh off being listed in sixth in the latest CFL Scouting Bureau rankings veteran linebacker Beau Landry had another strong game leading the Mustangs defence with 10.5 tackles, one sack and two fumble recoveries. Sean Blake followed with 6.5 tackles, while Pawel Kruba recorded 4.5 stops on the day along with his third interception in two games, taking this one back for a touchdown.
Kicker Lirim Hajrullahu went 3-3 on field goals while adding ten extra points, nearly tying his team record of 11 extra points in a single contest.
On the other side of the field, Ottawa Gee-Gees fifth-year quarterback Aaron Colbon added to his CIS leading passing totals, throwing for 328 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. Receiver Ian Stewart was Colbon’s main target, racking up 148 yards on eight receptions.
Scoring came fast and furious during the game’s early stages with both teams trading points throughout the first quarter.
The game got off on the right foot for the Mustangs, as kicker Lirim Hajrullahu nailed a 27-yard field goal early in the first quarter to put his team up 3-0 less than three minutes into the game.
Ottawa leveled the game at 3-3 on the ensuing drive after kicker Lewis Ward booted his own 27-yard field goal.
The two teams would trade points on the next three possessions with the Mustangs scoring first on a 25-yard field goal from Hajrullahu before Brenden Gillanders recorded the day’s first touchdown, running 31 yards for the score to put Ottawa up 10-6 midway through the opening quarter. Yannick Harou answered back for the Mustangs on the next drive capping off a 66-yard drive with a four-yard rushing touchdown to regain the lead.
The offensive showcase continued just over a minute later as Finch connected with receiver Brian Marshall on a 32-yard pass to put the Mustangs up 20-10 at the end of the first quarter.
Ottawa didn’t take long to respond in the next frame as in the opening minute of the second quarter Gee-Gees quarterback Colbon found receiver Andrew Mullings on a four-yard touchdown pass, narrowing the Mustangs lead to 20-17.
Despite Ottawa pulling within three points, the Mustangs began to run away with the game on the ensuing drives. Garrett Sanvido finished off the Mustangs next drive, carrying the ball three yards for his first touchdown of the game to put Western up 27-17. And after an Ottawa turnover a few plays later, Finch scored a 12-yard rushing touchdown to further extend his team’s lead.
After Gee-Gees kicker Ward added a 36-yard field goal on the next drive, Brian Marshall responded just over a minute later caching a 17-yard pass from Finch for his second touchdown of the day. Hajrullahu then capitalized on an Ottawa turnover kicking a 22-yard field goal to give the Mustangs the 44-20 lead after 30 minutes.
The Mustangs continued to build their lead in the third quarter, with four different Western players recording touchdowns. Garret Sanvido got the scoring started, spinning past the Ottawa defence for a 64-yard rushing touchdown which was followed up a few minutes later with Brian Marshall catching his third major of the game to put Western up 60-20.
Western’s defence got in on the scoring action on the next drive when Kruba picked off a pass from Colbon and took it back 50-yards to extend the Mustangs lead. A few minutes later Adam Sinclair added an eight-yard rushing touchdown to cap the score at 74-20 after three quarters.
After the Gee-Gees conceded a safety to open the fourth quarter, Mustangs quarterback Blake Huggins entered the game and on his first offensive drive of the game, Huggins would get the ball to the one-yard line and carry it in himself, tallying the Mustangs 10th major of the game and putting Western up 83-20.
The final points of the game would go to the Gee-Gees, when Colbon launched a 26-yard pass to Mullings to make the final score 83-27 for Western.
While it appeared the Mustangs had a strong grip as the game went on, coach Marshall explained that the Gee-Gees offence always poses a threat.
“There was no time to take the foot off the accelerator and say we can’t score more points—that offence can score points in bunches,” he explained.
The Mustangs will try to extend their win streak on Saturday, September 21, when they travel to Waterloo to take on the Laurier Golden Hawks. Game time is set for 1:00 p.m. and fans can listed to all the action live on 94.9 CHRW Radio or on NewsTalk 1290 CJBK with Tom McConnell and legendary Mustangs coach Larry Haylor calling all the action.