HAMILTON (September 12, 2015) – McMaster's Asher Hastings of Regina tossed five touchdowns as the No. 7 McMaster Marauders exploded for 33 second-half points to drop the Ottawa Gee-Gees 57-42 at Ron Joyce Stadium on Saturday.
McMaster moves to 2-0 on the year while Ottawa falls to 1-1 in the third week of OUA football competition.
Hastings was 24 of 35 tallying 343-yards passing with five touchdowns in the air while adding another on the ground in a wild victory which saw the Marauders down by 15 points late in the second quarter.
"It's stressful when the other team is putting up points and you know that the pressure is on all game," said Hastings of the Saturday afternoon shootout. "I'm definitely going to have a headache from all of the yelling the worrying, but it's fun when you know that you can put up points like we can."
Gee-Gees quarterback Derek Wendel of Belleville, Ont., had a strong game as well, throwing for three touchdowns and 301 yards as well as an interception. He completed 24 passes on 46 attempts.
Dan Vandervoort of Barrie, Ont., caught two of those five touchdown passes, with his second coming on a 61-yard bomb from Hastings late in the third quarter which handed McMaster the lead for good.
Hastings was unsurprised by what his offence achieved on Saturday, given the weapons he has at his disposal.
"Ottawa plays aggressively on defence, so you've got to make them pay," said the Marauders second-year quarterback. "We didn't get the running game going to the extent that we wanted to, but if you're going to play man coverage against Danny Vandervoort and the guys we have in our receiving corps, we should be able to make you pay."
It appeared Ottawa would walk away with an easy victory in the first half of the game as the Gee-Gees struck for 22 consecutive points and built what looked like a comfortable 15-point lead in the second quarter.
However just before the half McMaster responded, with Hastings connecting with Vandervoort on a 13-yard touchdown pass to make the score 32-24 heading into the break.
The second half saw the Marauders score 33 points, including 26 unanswered to take advantage of the Gee-Gees and swing the game into their favour.
THEY SAID IT: "At half-time, we challenged our offensive line and running backs and explained that five yards versus seven yards on first down is a whole different world. You saw a few sustained, run-focused drives in that second half that contributes to having only seven points on the board from them in the second half" – Head Coach Stefan Ptaszek
"They need an identity. Ottawa has a razor-sharp quarterback that has weapons all over the field and we're used to smothering people. We had to be patient today and make enough plays to hold them at bay. That second half is who this defence is going to become" – Head Coach Stefan Ptaszek
TRICK PLAY: Ottawa didn't roll over and pulled the game within eight points (50-42) with less than six minutes to play. However on the ensuing drive, McMaster used a trick play to score their final touchdown to put the game out of reach. The Marauders offence direct-snapped the ball to receiver Mitchell O'Connor of Kingston, Ont. who punted onside. Dan Petermann of Stoney Creek, Ont. recovered the punt in the air, taking it 10 yards untouched down the sideline into the end zone for the touchdown.
RECORD BREAKER: Vandervoort's second touchdown reception of the game not only broke the game in McMaster's favour but handed him 19 touchdown receptions for his career. He is now tied with Vaughn Swart (2000-05) and Matt Peressini (2007-11) on the school's all-time list.
ARIAL ATTACK: Four different McMaster receiver's caught touchdowns including Vandervoort (2) as well as Max Cameron of St. Catharines, Ont., Aaron Baker of Scarborough, Ont., and Jordan Lyons of Burlington, Ont. Dan Petermann of Stoney Creek, Ont., was the top receiving target leading all receivers in the game with 6 receptions and 135 yards.
DEFENCE: The Marauder defence suffocated Ottawa's running attack surrendering just 69 yards. Bryce Vieira of Vandureuil-Dorion, Que., was the Gee-Gee's top runner with just 41 yards. Robbie Yochim of Kelowna, B.C., had an interception in the game while Cole Munden of Oakville, Ont. led the defence in tackles with five.
BY THE NUMBERS: McMaster and Ottawa combined for 99 points, which is the highest-scoring game the Marauders have ever been involved. The previous mark was 98 points back in 1998, when the Waterloo Warriors bested the Marauders 55-42 on October 10 in Waterloo, Ontario.
Source: McMaster Marauders