Mac Beats Toronto 32-5 in Week 2

mac beats university of toronto

McMaster and University of Toronto fans kicked off Labour Day in Hamilton in excellent fashion. After all was said and done, the Marauders imposed their will on offence and defence as Mac beats the Varsity Blues 32-5. Toronto was unable to solve McMaster’s defence as the Blues were kept from scoring a touchdown after scoring three against Guelph in Week 1.

Mac Beats Toronto 32-5 in Week 2

Mac Defence at it Again, Force Fumble First Play

Marcus Hobbs and the U of T offence got a quick introduction to the McMaster defence. On the Varsity Blues first play, Toronto receiver Albert Awachie was immediately laid out by Mac defensive end Mike Kashak causing a fumble, which the Calgary Stampeders draft pick immediately recovered. McMaster scored a field goal off the possession to take an early lead. The defence had Toronto’s number with a sack, an interception and forced three fumbles.

The Vandervoort Show

Danny Vandervoort was Asher Hastings favourite target on the afternoon and the receiver put on a show for the fans in attendance. The fourth-year receiver blew the game open for Mac in the first half with a dazzling one-handed grab up the middle. Two plays later Vandervoort caught his third touchdown pass of the year on an under route strolling into the end zone to put the Marauders up 13-2.

A CFL scout in attendance of the game described Vandervoort in one word as “crafty”.  In his second game of the year, the receiver started right where he left off last week leaving opposing secondaries in his rear view mirrors. After thirty minutes of play, Vandervoort had 4 catches for 101 yards and a touchdown. At half, Hastings passed for 298 yards and one touchdown.

Mistakes Costly for Varsity Blues

U of T was in the game until the eleven-minute mark of the third quarter. After the Varsity Blues seemingly chipped away to get good enough field position, the game went south attempting a 35-yard field goal. McMaster defensive back Keldyn Ahlstedt came off the edge, blocked the field goal kick, and the ball popped up in the air right to Ben Mergarry, who ran the length of the field for a touchdown. The kick appeared to have been delayed by a bobbled snap giving time for Ahlstedt to jump in front of the ball. The Marauders went up 26-2 because of that.

“Turnovers, those first two really hurt us and then the blocked field goal really crushed us, but there is a lot to build on from this game,” Toronto coach Greg Gary said postgame.

“We need to make those catches, make sure we don’t fumble the ball and we’ll be competitive.”

Hobbs was generally on target passing for the Blues, but untimely drops by his receivers hampered the offence throughout the afternoon. With 1:02 left in the third quarter, the Blues appeared to have scored their first touchdown, but flags fell around the pocket and the play was called back for a penalty on the U of T offensive line. Despite the loss of field position, Toronto made the 32-yard field goal attempt decreasing Mac’s lead to 26-5.

The Mac Hammer

Chris Pezzetta saw the ball a fair amount in the first half balancing out the offence. In the fourth quarter Mac used the tailback to hammer on Toronto’s defence with crushing run after run to kill the clock and Toronto’s hopes of a comeback attempt.

One drive in particular started at Mac’s 41-yard line and they gave the ball to Pezzetta five times resulting in 37 yards gained for McMaster. The drive killed almost four minutes of game time, and resulted in a 25-yard field goal to push Mac’s lead back to 24 points. Pezzetta finished the game with 117 yards on 18 carries.

Pezzetta relishes the role as the team’s closer.

“As a running back and an offensive line we get better as the game goes on and we get more carries, those guys were really good today in the second half were awesome moving bodies and making my job easy.”

Moving Forward

U of T takes on the red hot #9 Carleton Ravens at home in their 2016 home opener at Varsity Stadium. The Ravens are coming off of an upset win against the #4 Western Mustangs 38-31. Mac hits the road to take on the Ottawa Gee-Gees.

Despite the lopsided score, Toronto proved to be capable of hanging in with the Marauders, but just couldn’t hang on for a full sixty minutes.

“A win’s a win, Toronto played us tough and did a good job,” said McMaster head coach Greg Knox.

Reflecting on his team, the first year head coach laid out how his team with plenty of talent is expected to play.

“I think we’ve got a lot of talent, the most important criteria for us at the end of the day is protecting our quarterback, establishing a run game and getting the ball in the hands of our playmakers.”

Protect Hastings, check. Establish a run, 145 yards on 29 carries, check. Get the ball in the hands of play makers, with 346 passing yards, and seven different pass catchers, double check.

In two games, Mac has played some really great football, beating teams with skill and tenacity. With the weekend of upsets coming to a close Mac appears to be at the top of the pecking order in the OUA. U of T, even with two losses, is still in the hunt for a playoff spot.

Main Photo of Martin Bazyl.

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