Despite another record-breaking outing for Lancer quarterback Austin Kennedy, Windsor fell to the Western Mustangs 43-26 at TD Waterhouse Stadium Saturday before a crowd of 6,052 spectators.
Coming off an offensively charged, dual-pronged 54-4 thrashing of the Toronto Varsity Blues last weekend, the Lancers could neither establish a running game nor ignite their notorious passing till late in the contest.
“I was a little disappointed that we took so long to get going,” Lancers head coach Joe D’Amore lamented. “We scored 22 points in the last quarter, but we only scored two in the first three quarters.”
Perhaps the only real bright spot of the night was Kennedy’s fortune. He become the all-time leading passer in Lancers history after throwing 21-48 for 338 yards on the night and beating out Hec Crighton winner Scott Mallander for the distinction.
Also on the night, Kennedy threw touchdown passes to Jordan Brescasin and Evan Pszczonak and also ran one in. Kicker Dan Cerino had the extra points.
In a battle for sole possession of third place, both with 2-1 records, it was the Mustangs who finally opened up the scoring with a field goal near the end of a rugby-like first quarter and ended the scoring with their sixth touchdown in the dying seconds of regulation time.
“We came out strong on the ground and passing, but we almost let them back in with their defense,” said Mustangs’ Brian Marshall, who hauled in one of Western’s touchdowns as their top receiver with 149 yards on the day.
Marshall admitted the Lancers took a couple injuries. “We were able to take advantage of that,” he said. “Especially with Matt McGarva with a sprained elbow, we attacked that spot.”
The Mustangs league-leading rusher Garret Sanvido totaled 204 yards for 443 yards of offense. His effort was matched by teammate Harold Matobola, who picked one off and returned it 68 yards, in addition to several other defensive gems.
Notable, too, was the Lancers entire defensive line which had three successive sacks out of a total of five, and caused five fumbles on the day as well. Lancers defensive lineman Thai Pham tallied five solo tackles, two assists and a sack. Linebacker Brad Adams led the Lancers in tackles with two solo and 10 tackle assists.
Despite good passing from Kennedy, who many feel is the current top CIS quarterback, he had two fumbles and two interceptions. Of the slow start and at times haphazard play of the Lancers, he commented, “That is mainly just a rhythm thing. It took us a little time to figure out what they were doing defensively. We know we have it in us.”
Coach D’Amore echoed this sentiment. “It’s just those little things,” he said. “We got out of our rhythm early and when Austin gets out of his rhythm, he just keys in on Jordan. But, we have to distribute the ball, because when we start distributing the football we are pretty tough to defend.”
Of his desire to crack into the OUA Top 3 and still earn a home game playoff spot, coach D’Amore speculated that they’ll have to beat one of the other top teams in the conference.
“We now have to steal one from the other two big teams (in McMaster and Queens), and/or hope that Guelph loses one they out to win,” he said.
No. 1 ranked McMaster maintained its dominance in the OUA West this week, claiming sole possession of first place by beating fifth-ranked Queen’s 33-20 to leave the Gaels in second. The Lancers (2-2), now sitting alone in fourth place, are back at home in a night game Saturday at Alumni Stadium at 7 p.m.