Mustangs football

Cedric Joseph runs down the field against the Windsor Lancers, Sept. 4, 2018.

The Mustangs routed the Lancers this weekend on the road, winning by a score of 58-25.

In pitting Western University against Windsor University, a meeting of the two top offences in the country, few could be surprised that the game amounted to over 1,100 yards and 80 points of total offence.

If there was any doubt that the game was going to be a barnburner, the two sides showed their hands early by trading back-to-back 82-yard touchdown passes on the second and third drives of the game.

These two drives provided a preview of the rest of the contest: it was a passing showcase. Western’s Chris Merchant finished with 340 yards, four touchdowns and one pick on 66.6 per cent passing. Windsor’s Sam Girard lobbed two touchdown passes and posted 396 yards with a 74 per cent completion percentage.

Amazingly, Lancers receiver Matthew James, hauled in 180 of Girard’s 396 passing yards. The third-year wideout needed just seven catches to rack up his impressive total. 

The aerial attack was much more spread out on the other side of the field. The Mustangs had five receivers finish the game with over 50 yards receiving. Each of Malik Besseghieur, Cole Majoros, Savaughn Magnaye-Jones and Brett Ellerman crossed the half-century mark.

Despite the lopsided score, the game was quite close entering halftime. With 30 minutes to play, the Lancers trailed the Mustangs by a score of 23-17. 

However, as has often been the case this season, Western was able to regroup during the break and separate themselves from their opponents with a big third quarter.

Over the final half, the Mustangs outscored their opponents 35-7. Only two other teams in Ontario University Athletics scored over 35 points in their games on Saturday, let alone in one half.

Two weeks ago, running back Trey Humes explained that all the credit for their second-half explosions should be placed on head coach Greg Marshall and his coaching staff. 

“Yeah, G. Marsh is a good motivational speaker,” Humes said, with a smile. “But, yeah, no, we get in there at halftime and we really just do good at rallying the boys, but also making halftime adjustments: seeing what they're doing out there on the field, seeing what's not working, and fixing it as quick as possible and get it back out there and making it work." 

Fourteen of the 35 points that the Mustangs scored came in the final minute of regulation, adding insult to injury for a dejected Windsor team. A Humes 10-yard rush and an Alex Salychev pick-6 packed dirt on the Lancers grave.

Humes’ late touchdown capped another strong performance for the fourth-year back. The Ajax, Ont. native finished with 92 yards rushing and one score on 16 attempts. Also, Jonathan Femi-Cole, Humes’ running mate, quietly had his best game for the Mustangs – posting 56 yards and a major on eight attempts, for an impressive 7.0 yard average.

After dominating in their last game, the Mustangs defence struggled to contain Windsor on Saturday. Despite winning by a massive margin, the score hides the fact that the Lancers managed to produce 526 yards of total offence — just behind the Mustangs total of 593.

With 526 yards on offence, Windsor perfectly doubled the total yardage that the Guelph Gryphons were able to muster last weekend against the same Western defence.

The Mustangs will need to find a way to match their offensive and defensive capabilities in order to produce the best possible on-field product.

Western will be back on home turf next weekend against the University of Waterloo. The Warriors managed to rack up 57 points this weekend, so the Mustangs defence will need to find their form quickly.

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