The UW football team (4-3) visited the McMaster Marauders (5-2) on Oct. 19 with the hope of picking up a win before the beginning of the OUA playoffs.
The Warriors were riding a two-game losing streak, having dropped games against Western and Laurier, both by only three points, and a win against the second-place Marauders would have had them trending in the right direction at the most crucial point of the season. Unfortunately, McMaster dominated the game from the opening kick-off and stifled the Warriors’ offence en route to a 31-14 win.
The Warriors’ offence was on fire coming into Hamilton and was the reason Waterloo clinched a playoff berth the week prior.
Quarterback Tre Ford was continuing his MVP form from last season, leading the league in passing yards and terrorizing opposing defences with his rushing game, while running back Dion Pellerin was stellar and led the OUA in rushing yards over the past month. All signs pointed to an offensive battle, but it was McMaster’s defence that stole the show.
McMaster limited UW to a season-low 298 yards and held them scoreless in the first half. The defensive line bothered Ford all game, as four different Marauders came up with sacks at various points of the game.
The Marauders’ offence matched the play of their defence. They opened the scoring close to the end of the first quarter when Blake Reason thundered into the endzone. Reason capped off an impressive 56 yard drive that took McMaster just over a minute to convert.
The Marauders’ pulled away in the second quarter, scoring 17 unanswered points to open up a 24-0 lead at halftime.
Waterloo’s defence kept McMaster off the board in the third quarter and Pellerin’s touchdown gave the visitors hope of a comeback, but it was ultimately too little, too late. The teams would trade touchdowns late in the fourth quarter before McMaster took the contest 31-14.
Pellerin was easily Waterloo’s best player of the game. He was the only Warrior who consistently found space on the field, rushing for 89 yards and scoring two touchdowns in the second half.
The Warriors will regroup and travel to Ottawa on 26 Oct. for their Yates Cup quarterfinal matchup against the Gee-Gees. Waterloo took the teams’ final meeting 40-30 back in 2017.