By Michael Grobe
The 2019 Yates Cup champion McMaster Marauders season came to a crashing halt on Saturday, as they lost 30-17 to the Calgary Dinos in the U SPORTS national semifinal, the Mitchell Bowl in Calgary.
The No. 7 Dinos logged 16 straight points, including 13 in the second half, to separate themselves from the No. 3 Marauders, and upend McMaster’s Vanier Cup aspirations.
McMaster was aiming for the fifth Vanier Cup appearance in school history, and what would have been its fourth in this decade. The loss drops McMaster’s bowl game record to 4-7.
Calgary had answers for the Mac offence all game, allowing the Marauders to rush for just 69 yards and put strong pressure on third-year quarterback Andreas Dueck, which resulted in a neutralized aerial attack.
Dueck finished with 297 yards passing and a single touchdown. Tommy Nield was the game’s top receiver, and finished with 151 yards on eight receptions, including a touchdown catch from Dueck late in the fourth quarter.
Calgary’s Adam Sinagra tossed one touchdown and passed for 261 yards in the win. His favourite target was receiver Jalen Philpot, who hauled in 130 yards receiving and the lone touchdown reception. Philpot was named the game’s offensive MVP.
Dino Robinson Rodrigues was the game’s top running back, netting 125 yards rushing.
The turning point in the game came late in the second quarter with the Marauders trailing 14-7, but gaining momentum and looking to tie the game.
McMaster drove down the field 77 yards, but after a dropped pass in the end zone, had to settle for a field goal. That swung the momentum to Calgary, as the hosts took advantage by kicking their own field goal to set the score at 17-10 heading into halftime.
Calgary went on to open up a 20-point lead on the Marauders in the second half, including a game-sealing touchdown with 7:33 to play.
The Dinos defence finally surrendered a touchdown to McMaster when the result was beyond doubt, with Dueck hitting Nield with 45 seconds left in the game to conclude the scoring at 30-17. McMaster nearly got the ball back on an onside kick attempt after the touchdown, as Nield was able to get his hands on the ball but a final bounce in Calgary’s favour ended the game.
McMaster’s season comes to an end with an 8-3 record (6-2 regular season), with the Marauders earning the school’s eighth Yates Cup title as OUA conference champions. Six Marauders were named OUA conference all-stars.