HAMILTON (CIS) – The third-ranked McMaster Marauders have advanced to the 50th TELUS Vanier Cup defeating the No. 6 Mount Allison Mounties 24-12 at Ron Joyce Stadium on Saturday evening.
McMaster's defence highlighted the CIS football national semifinal with the Marauders tallying nine sacks against Mount Allison while pinning them four times in their end zone to collect eight points on safeties alone.
Mark Mackie of London, Ont., was named the ArcelorMittal Dofasco Mitchell Bowl most valuable player collecting three of the McMaster's nine sacks as part of his five solo tackles.
"This was all about our defensive game plan to stop the run, it really allowed us to dial up the pressure on later downs." said Mackie a second-year defensive lineman. "With how we play defence it could be any guy who gets the numbers, today it was my turn, but it's always a total team effort."
The Marauders (10-1) advance to face the Montreal Carabins (10-1) at Percival Molson Memorial Stadium next Saturday. Kickoff for the game is set for 1 p.m., live on Sportsnet, Sportsnet 360 and Radio-Canada.
The Marauders defence limited Mount Allison to just 10 first downs, 156 net yards of offence and only 19 minutes in total possession. Running back Chris Reid, the AUS rookie of the year and the second most productive ball carrier in the country in league play, was held to 53 yards on 11 carries.
Andrew Surya of Burlington, Ont., registered two sacks in the win while three others had one apiece. Joseph Richardson of Waterdown, Ont. posted six total tackles including four solo and two assisted.
McMaster head coach Stefan Ptaszek was very pleased with his defensive unit.
"Man those kids got after it – the backend played excellent," said Ptaszek. "As much as you see all those sacks you didn't see any receivers running wide open and that makes a head coach very happy."
"We did just enough to win," continued Ptaszek "We were hoping to control the ball a little better and establish the run. We did not, but [Mount Allison] are a tough team and worthy of recognition defensively."
Wayne Moore of Etobicoke, Ont. scored McMaster's lone touchdown punching in a six-yard run in the third quarter. Moore finished as the game's top rusher posting 146 yards on 30 attempts. His touchdown was McMaster's first offensive touchdown in six quarters.
His contribution was key after Chris Pezzetta, who had rushed for 287 yards in McMaster's first two playoff games, suffered a knee injury on the Marauders first play on offence and did not return.
McMaster quarterback Marshall Ferguson of Kingston, Ont., was 18 for 32 with 154 yards passing and no touchdowns. Mount Allison counterpart Brandon Leyh of New Westminster, B.C., finished with a game high 186 yards passing on 15 completions.
Ferguson's favourite target was Daniel Vandervoort, who caught 12 balls for 102 yards.
Tyler Crapigna of Nepean, Ont. kicked three goals in the Marauders victory notching points from the 32, 38 and 30 yard lines.
McMaster had a 10-point lead midway through the second quarter before Mount Allison got on the board when Leyh found a hole in the Marauder secondary hitting Josh Blanchard of Oromocto, N.B. on a 48-yard touchdown strike.
Blanchard was by far the most productive player for the reigning two-time AUS champions in a losing cause with 194 all-purpose yards, including 124 on 10 receptions.
NOTES: This will be McMaster's fourth trip to the Vanier Cup with their last coming in 2012 when they lost to Laval at the Rogers Centre in Toronto 37-14… McMaster's has a 1-2 record in Vanier Cup appearances with their lone win coming in 2011 when they knocked off Laval 41-38 in double overtime in Vancouver… McMaster also played in the third Vanier Cup back in 1967 losing to Alberta at Toronto's Varsity Stadium 10-9… Next week's game will be the first ever meeting between McMaster and Montreal… Since the opening of Ron Joyce Stadium on September 13, 2008, the McMaster has a win-loss record of 33 and 4.
MTA 0-7-3-2: 12
MAC 7-5-7-5: 24
MAC – Team safety, 3:17, MAC 2-0
MAC – Team safety, 5:47, MAC 4-0
MAC – Tyler Crapigna 32 field goal, 14:29, MAC 7-0
MAC – Tyler Crapigna 38 field goal, 3:12, MAC 10-0
MTA – Josh Blanchard 48 pass from Brandon Leyh (Ryan Lambert convert), 7:44, MAC 10-7
MAC – Team safety, 14:20, MAC 12-7
MAC – Wayne Moore 6 run (Tyler Crapigna convert), 4:17, MAC 19-7
MTA – Ryan Lambert 23 field goal, 7:48, Mac 19-10
MAC – Team safety, 0:58, 21-10
MAC – Tyler Crapigna 30 field goal, 10:20, MAC 24-10
MTA – Team safety, 13:56, MAC 24-12
Source: McMaster Marauders