HAMILTON (August 28, 2016) – McMaster's Asher Hastings of Regina tossed four touchdowns and compiled 320 yards passing en route to a 40-10 win over the Carleton Ravens on opening day of the OUA football season.
Hastings hooked up with two of his favourite receivers from the 2015 season, hitting Dan Vandervoort of Barrie, Ont., and Max Cameron of St. Catharines, Ont. for his four touchdowns.
Vandervoort finished the day with two touchdowns on four receptions for 197 yards while Cameron also finished with two touchdowns on four receptions for 60 yards. Vandervoort was the game's top receiver with Carleton's Kyle Van Wynsberghe of Delhi, Ont. leading the Ravens with 134 yards on five receptions.
McMaster shut the door on the Ravens after Carleton scored twice in the second quarter, putting up 19 unanswered points.
The Marauders scored twice (14-0) in the opening quarter before the Ravens put themselves on the board with a 32-yard field goal from Michael Domagala of St. Catharines, Ont., in the second quarter.
Carleton's lone touchdown also came in the second quarter on a flea-flicker with Ravens receiver Van Wynsberghe of Delhi, Ont., throwing a 63-yard bomb to Nathaniel Behar of London, Ont. That put the score at 21-10 with the Ravens not scoring again.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED: Hastings and Vandervoort picked up right where they left off last year early in the game. Hastings connected with Vandervoort on an 86-yard catch and run play which put the Marauders up 7-0 at 8:51 of the first quarter. Last season, the duo connected on 11 touchdown receptions which led the OUA and was a McMaster team record.
STRONG START: Greg Knox got his first career head coaching victory with tonight's win over Carleton. Last year, Knox was the defensive backs coach for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and before that, was the Defensive Coordinator for McMaster. Knox took the job when long-time Marauder head coach, Stef Ptaszek, left to take the Offensive Coordinator position with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
AUTOMATIC: McMaster's first-year kicker, Adam Preocanin (Burlington, Ont.) had a solid opening to his OUA football career, notching 15 total points while converting three field goals, four extra points and two rouges. He kicked field goals from 37, 45 and 28 yards with the 45 being his career high to date. The Nelson High School grad has yet to attend his first class at McMaster, with class starting on Tuesday.
DEFENCE: Robbie Yochim of Kelowna, BC tallied 6.5 tackles (six solo, one assisted) and also had an interception with a return of 38 yards in the win for the Marauders. Ben Megarry of Burlington, Ont., also had six total tackles and chipped in with two sacks in the game. Carleton's Leon Cenerini of La Salle, Man., was the Ravens best defensive player, earning 6.5 total tackles.
FULL HOUSE: McMaster football fans and 'frosh' students packed the stands on opening night selling out Ron Joyce Stadium with a total of 5,427 taking in the rare night game on campus at McMaster.
UP NEXT: McMaster (1-0) will face the University of Toronto Blues (0-1) during the WeatherTech Football Day in Hamilton. The game is set for 12:00pm at Tim Hortons Field on Labour Day Monday and will be played before the CFL's Hamilton Tiger Cats take on the Toronto Argos in the annual Labour Day Classic (6:30pm).
Free McMaster student tickets courtesy of RBC are available by visiting www.ticats.ca/macfootball. For all other general public tickets can be purchased via www.ticats.ca or www.ticketmaster.ca
THEY SAID IT:
Head Coach Greg Knox's take on the game …
"It was a good job by everyone, frankly. I thought everyone played well in all three phases. Our defence was very strong. We gave up a couple of long ones and one trick play got us. But beyond that, I thought we did a great job. Our offence was explosive, and our special teams did very well considering a very young kicker."
Knox on Carleton…
"We're going to respect all of our opponents. It was a young team and they've come a long way. Ultimately, they've got a little ways yet to go, but they played hard and they'll be back I'm sure."
Knox on what the Marauders will work on this week…
"There is plenty to work on, and we faced a lot of adversity in training camp and have a lot of young players on the offensive line. I think we've got a pretty dynamic offence and we'll just continue to build on what we did here in the first week. Defensively, we're going to take baby steps all year and play sound defensive football. We're talented up front and we're young in the back but we're going to get better with time."
Hastings on the win…
"It was a team win, and it's nice to get a 'W' for Coach [Greg] Knox, his first win. The offensive line played great. I mean, two of those guys were playing defence last week and one is a brand new starter, so I'm just proud of my teammates. It was a big win for the program."
Hastings on Carleton…
"There was a lot of hype around Carleton and they played really well in their exhibition game. They put out a good showing here today and are really athletic. But I think our defence made a lot of plays and forced a lot of turnovers. They busted in the back end a couple of times and I was able to capitalize."
Hastings on his chemistry with Vandervoort and Cameron…
"Having a guy like Max who was around in the summer quite a bit and running routes for me, he's so dependable and will go up for any football and come down with it. He made a few catches tonight in double coverage and making my stat line look better than it really should. And obviously, Danny Vandervoort is a strider. He's going to be playing in the CFL next year, and any one-on-one match up, I'm throwing it up to him because he's going to come down with it. "
Vandervoort on his chemistry with Hastings and his first touchdown reception of the year…
"We picked up where we left off last year. We had some great chemistry at the East-West Bowl and had some real time to bond. They had never seen that look from us, and I broke free and Asher through a perfect ball right into my stride. Then I really had to make sure that I didn't drop it."