McMaster did what many thought was impossible and defeated the defending Yates Cup champions on Saturday.

A 22-point second quarter helped lead the Marauders to a 29-15 victory over the Western Mustangs to claim their first Yates Cup as the top OUA football team since 2014.

While it ended well for the men in maroon, the start was very suspect as the first five minutes saw the Marauders fumble twice and quarterback Andreas Dueck was picked off. Western took advantage of the turnovers and put up 10 points on the board from them.

The complexion of the game completely turned when Western’s QB Chris Merchant, arguably the number one quarterback in U Sports today, tweaked an ankle injury which limited his movement which allowed the Marauders defense to put a lot of pressure on him and eventually sacked him four times.

It took until the second quarter for the Marauders to put their first points on the board when backup quarterback Matt Krason used a QB sneak from the one-yard line to score his first of two touchdowns on the afternoon. On their next drive McMaster took the lead on a Justice Allin three-yard rushing touchdown to finish off a four play, 56-yard drive.

The Mustangs would then concede a safety and McMaster’s Nate Edwards would sack Merchant for another safety on back to back drives to go up by eight.

When the whistle went to end the first half, the Marauders held a 22-10 lead over Western.

The second half saw little scoring as the defenses stepped up. The Mustangs’ Marc Liegghio would hit a 37-yard field goal in the third quarter. McMaster did the rest of the scoring as Krason slipped in for another touchdown and Adam Preocanin conceded a safety just past the halfway point of the final frame.

McMaster’s final dagger to the Mustangs came late in the fourth when Noah Hallett picked off Kevin John’s pass with 58 seconds remaining in the game. While the Marauders would give the ball back to Western after a three and out, there was little they could do with their fate sealed.

Western’s loss was the first to an OUA opponent since the 2016 Yates Cup while the Marauders captured their eighth Yates Cup in 11 appearances. The last time the Marauders accomplished the feat, they went on to capture the program’s first Vanier Cup.

Dueck completed 18 of 25 passes in the contest for 243 yards while Jordan Lyons rushed for 72 yards on 16 attempts and Xander Tachinski hauled in three catches for 66 yards. Defensively, Hallett and Josh Cumber each had an interception. Edwards would collect two sacks and Eryk Bujalski led the way with seven tackles and a sack.

McMaster will head to Calgary where they will face the Dinos on Saturday, November 16 in the Mitchell Bowl. Calgary defeated the Saskatchewan Huskies 29-4 in the Hardy Cup to advances to next week’s national semi final.

The last time these two teams met was in the 2012 version of the Mitchell Bowl at Ron Joyce Stadium with the Marauders coming out on top 45-6.