by Brett Hedges
The Lance – Sports Editor
It was a rough start to the OUA regular season for the Windsor Lancers football team, as they fell to the Western Mustangs 76-7 at Alumni Field.
Lancers head coach Joe D’Amore said the loss was not a reflection of the kind of football team Windsor has.
“Are they a better football team than us? Of course they are,” said D’Amore. “But are they a 76-7 better football team than us. I’d like to believe not. Early on I thought the defense played relatively well but offensively, we’ve got a young group, especially at quarterback and we couldn’t initiate any first downs.”
The visiting Mustangs built a 10-0 lead just two minutes into the game and scored two touchdowns in the final minute of the second quarter to push their lead to 33-0 at halftime.
“They have one freshmen dressing on their roster but other than that they’re a veteran football team,” said D’Amore. “They’re running on all cylinders and when you’ve got two young guys playing quarterback for the first time in the OUA, you see the jitters and early on we missed some throws, had some drops and that puts you behind the eight-ball right away.”
While the Mustangs offense racked up over 750 total yards, their defense held the Lancers to 195 yards and also kept the home team off of the scoreboard until Tarrence Crawford scored Windsor’s lone touchdown at 2:30 of the fourth quarter.
Crawford led the Lancers on the ground with 73 yards and a TD, while kicker Anthony Malandruccolo finished the game with 444 punting yards. Crawford said now that Windsor has a game under their belt, all of the Lancers can do is look forward to their remaining schedule.
“We have a very young team, a very young offense,” said Crawford. “All we can do is watch the film, see what we did wrong and hopefully fix it for our next game against Toronto.”
In preparation for a Labour Day game against Toronto, Crawford said Windsor’s offense simply needs to execute at a higher level.
“We just need to move the ball, get first downs and score,” said Crawford. “We put our defense on the field a lot today so our offense needs to keep moving the ball, score, rush the ball better, pass the ball better and improve as a team. If we improve as a team on offense and defense we’ll be alright.”
For the Mustangs, Alex Taylor led the visitors ground attack with 144 yards and one touchdown, while receiver Matt Uren finished with 104 yards and a touchdown.
Lancers rookie safety Spencer Trinier had no shortage of playing time or production in his OUA debut. The Herman product recorded a quarterback sack, a fumble recovery, four special tackles and multiple tackles as Windsor’s starting safety. In reflection on the defense’s performance, Trinier said they must communicate better when adjusting to opposing offenses formations.
“We got our first test, jumped right in head first and we played Western. They are one of the top teams in the country let alone the OUA,” said Trinier. “We see where we match up and we have to fix and what we have to make better, they were a better team today but I don’t think 76-7 better.”
D’Amore added that historically the Lancers had been a team which started off the season well and faded towards the end of the year.
“We have to look at it that way… maybe we could be a team that struggles early and plays better at the end,” said D’Amore. “We’ve still got seven more games to be successful. I think the more you sit and dwell on a loss like this the more it’s going to sit with the players. Let’s see where we made our mistakes and get ready for Toronto.”
The Lancers come back home five days after battling the Toronto Varsity Blues to face the Carleton Ravens at Alumni Field, Sept. 12. Kick-off is 1 p.m.