By Michael Grobe
A 10-point fourth quarter gave the Marauders the breathing room they needed Friday, as McMaster held on to defeat Queen’s 27-24 at Ron Joyce Stadium for their third consecutive win.
Moving to 4-2 with the victory, the Marauders took over sole possession of third in the OUA standings, and completed their home schedule with a perfect 4-0 record.
In a see-saw battle, Jordan Lyons punched in a five-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter, with Adam Preocanin knocking in a 19-yard field goal on the Marauders next drive to give McMaster a 27-16 lead and the space they needed to secure the victory.
Lyons rushed for 71 yards in the win on 16 carries.
Queen’s put the result in jeopardy with just under three minutes to play, with Rasheed Tucker punching in a three-yard run to set the score at 27-24. However, the Gaels failed to convert on their next two drives including a 54-yard missed field goal attempt by Gaels kicker Nick Liberatore as time expired.
Marauder quarterback Andreas Dueck tossed 358 yards in the game and helped orchestrate the key drive by connecting with wide receiver Tommy Nield twice to set up the five-yard Lyons rushing touchdown. Dueck hit Nield for a 43-yard gain and then followed it with a seven-yard connection before Lyons earned the game-breaking major.
For his part, Nield hauled in 161 yards receiving on eight receptions. Dueck aired the ball out to Nield a handful of times, with his longest catch coming on a 48-yard catch and run on the second play of the game.
Preocanin went to work against the Gaels, connecting on three field goals hitting on 41, 12 and 19-yard attempts. He also missed two, but converted two singles and made the field goals when they mattered most.
Jackson White converted on a short-yardage play to cap a 10-play, 75-yard drive for McMaster’s only other touchdown
Mac’s Eryk Bujalski was the top defender, tallying nine total tackles and forcing one fumble. Nolan Putt had an interception Friday, which was his second in as many games.
Jake Puskas opened the scoring for Queen’s with a six-yard run in the opening quarter.
Queen’s quarterback Nate Hobbs tossed 431 yards and failed to record a touchdown, while throwing an interception and being sacked twice in the loss. The Gaels had two receivers break the 100-yard barrier with Matteo Del Brocco posting a game high of 163 yards receiving. Teammate Richard Burton tallied 142 yards on nine receptions.
The loss drops Queen’s to a 3-4 record.
Source: Fraser Caldwell