HAMILTON (October 7, 2016) - The No. 8 McMaster Marauders toppled the Queen's Gaels 36-6 and moved into a four-way tie for first place in the OUA football standings.
The win pushed McMaster's record to 5-1, which pulled them into a tie with Ottawa, Wilfrid Laurier and idle Western. Laurier dumped Toronto 54-3 on Thursday night, while Ottawa defeated York 54-20 tonight; Western is on a bye week. The Marauders do not play the Golden Hawks or the Gee-Gees this year, but are on a collision course with the Mustangs, set for the final week of the season on October 22.
The Marauders defence was the biggest factor Friday. Defensive back Mike Kashak of Courtice, Ont., grabbed the CIS lead in sacks, posting 4.5, and now has 11.5 on the season. Heading into the game, he was tied with Western's John Biewald of Ottawa with seven. Kashak sits one sack away from trying the CIS single-season record of 12.5.
Kashak, a fifth-year senior, also had eight total tackles, which marks his best game in his career. His previous career high in tackles was last year versus Guelph when he tallied six.
Overall, McMaster's defence held Queen's to just 231 yards of offence, a recovered a fumble which they converted for a touchdown and three interceptions. The defence also sacked Queen's quarterbacks a total of seven times for a loss of 52 yards.
Kicker Adam Preocanin of Burlington, Ont., accounted for 23 points in the game, knocking a career-high seven field goals. At one point Procanin posted 14 unanswered points by himself including a rouge and five field goals. His previous career high was six, which came back against Toronto on September 5.
Preocanin`s seven field goals in a single game was also the third best total recorded in CIS history (tied with four others). Warren Kean from Concordia holds the record of nine in a game, which he registered on October 21, 2016 against St. Mary`s. Boris Bede of Laval made eight against Bishop's on September 20, 2014.
Quarterback Asher Hastings of Regina recorded McMaster`s only touchdown on a one-yard rush. Hastings also passed for 235 yards.
Chris Pezzetta of Burlington, Ont., picked up his seventh career 100-yard rushing game, collecting 100 yards on 20 carries. Queen's top rusher was Jonah Pataki of Wallaceburg, Ont., with 92 yards.
Queen`s added two field goals in the final quarter to account for all of the Gaels offence.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED: Defensive back Aaron Clarke of Mississauga, Ont., created a 14-point swing for the Marauders in just four minutes. At 13:41 of the second quarter, Clarke recovered a fumble in the Gaels end zone to earn his first career CIS touchdown. On the very next drive, Clarke intercepted Hobbs, which set up a five-play, 36-yard drive capped by Hastings' one-yard touchdown run. Clarke's swing was all the Marauders needed to seal the game over the Gaels.
DEMON IN THE BACKFIELD: Kashak sits just one sack away from tying the CIS single-season sack record with two games left to play in the 2016 campaign. McMaster's Ben D'Aguilar (2012) and Montreal's Jean-Samuel Blanc (2012) hold the high water mark with 12.5 sacks. Kashak currently has 11.5 sitting alone in seventh place while four are tied with 12.
THROUGH THE UPRIGHTS: Preocanin`s performance has pushed the rookie kicker into the CIS records. Not only does he sit in third (7) and seventh place (6) for most field goals in a game, but he is now just four field goals away from tying the CIS for most in a season. Preocanin now has 22 field goals this year, trailing Guelph`s Daniel Ferraro (2014) and Calgary`s Johnny Mark (2015). McMaster`s team record is 24, which was set by Tyler Crapigna in 2014.
OUA RECORD: While not a CIS record, Preocanin's seven field goals ties an OUA record for most field goals in a single game, set by the University of Toronto's Lance Chomyc. Chomyc hit seven against York back on October 5, 1982.
LOOK SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS: McMaster kickers were on fire Friday night, with Preocanin hitting seven field goals in seven attempts. His longest were two 48 yards kicks against Queen's. In the nation's capital, Marauder alumnus and current Saskatchewan Roughrider Tyler Crapigna was six for seven in his CFL regular season game against the Ottawa Redblacks. Crapigna`s long in the game was 50 yards, and he hit the game-winning field goal in overtime to earn the win for the Roughriders.
UP NEXT: McMaster (5-1) hits the road next week to take on the York Lions (2-3) in Toronto on October 15. McMaster leads the head-to-head match-up with York, having won 32 games and losing 12. The Marauders are currently riding a 16-game winning streak against the Lions dating back to 1998.
Queen's (2-4) returns home to battle the Windsor Lancers (2-4) for their playoff life during the Gaels' Homecoming on October 15.
QUOTABLE: Greg Knox, McMaster Head Coach
Knox on the process of the season…
"I think it's another positive step for us. All three phases of the ball responded well and I think we're progressing. I think we moved the ball well against a tough defence when we had to and I thought our defence was stout again. Our special teams did a great job of putting points on the board when called upon."
Knox on defending the run...
"We've been doing a good job against the run all year long. We gave up many more rushing yards than statistically we would have liked. But the fact is, when they're down like that, I'm content to let them run the ball, because then they're not getting behind us and putting points on the board.
Knox on Kashak...
"He's done a fantastic job. He's gotten better every year and I think think he's a talented kid with a bright future in this game."
QUOTABLE: Mike Kashak, McMaster fifth year defensive back and sixth round 2016 CFL draft pick
Kashak in the same breath as McMaster alumni Ben D'Aguilar...
It's a pretty big honour to be mentioned alongside a guy like that. He was a great player. We have great game plans and great coaches who are putting us in the position to make plays, and that's what it comes down to.
QUOTABLE: Adam Preocanin, McMaster first year place kicker
Preocanin on what's working…
"I give all of the credit to my kicking coach Dana Segin. He's definitely helped out with my form so that I can get maximum distance, and it's really helped as you can see. My range is growing and I feel much more comfortable now, and not letting any of the rankings get to me."
Preocanin on coming to McMaster...
"It was expected. I knew coming in that I was coming to a pretty strong team. I didn't expect to have the start that I've had personally, but it's been really good."
Source: McMaster Marauders