After ending the regular season with a rough 40-15 loss to the Laurier Golden Hawks on Oct. 2, the McMaster Marauders’ win against the Queen’s Gaels on Oct. 28 brought them back to Waterloo for the Ontario University Athletics semi-final game. And reminiscent of the last time, the Marauders’ playoff season was brought to an end with a disappointing 16-9 loss.
Thanks to an early 11-yard touchdown run by the Golden Hawks’ running back Levondre Gordon, Laurier made their presence known early. The No. 5 U Sports team’s defence stopped several attempts made by the Marauders’ offence. By the half, the 2016 OUA Rookie of the Year Adam Preocanin was able to kick Mac on to the scoreboard, bringing the game to 7-3.
The low-scoring game was courtesy of both teams’ defence, but Laurier was able to move the ball just enough for “No Pressure” Nathan Meshur to kick four good field goals. Despite another good kick from Preocanin, Mac was unable to close the gap in the score.
Along with struggling on the field, penalties were a big issue for both teams and officiating in general was sometimes just inexplicable. With a total of 31 penalties (Laurier with 14 and Mac 17), some of Mac’s penalties were the result of mental errors including too many players on the field and offside, while others were more extreme like their three objectionable conduct penalties.
Two of those OC penalties were the aftermath of a verbal altercation on the field after a hard hit by Laurier’s defensive back Isaiah Guzylak-Messam on Mac receiver Mitch O’Connor. O’Connor was unable to get up for a long period of time and several players became extremely upset.
By this point Mac’s frustration was at an all-time high, while Laurier had started to prematurely celebrate their win. For the Marauders, this is their third-straight time getting knocked out of the playoffs by the Golden Hawks. This game’s outcome has surely intensified the rivalry between the two teams going forward, especially for the Marauders.
For first-year quarterback Jackson White, his first playoff loss happening so close to his hometown of Cambridge was the last thing he pictured for this season.
“Obviously it didn’t go how we wanted it to, but right now I’m just feeling for the fifth years,” said White. “If you look at the positives, they didn’t expect us to make the playoffs and we made it all the way to the OUA semi-finals.”
The game exhibited room for growth within the Marauder program and raised some questions about the OUA’s officiating.
“Our inexperience has shown all season but I think the kids played hard and it is what it is,” said McMaster head coach Greg Knox. “Congrats to Laurier and best of luck at the Yates Cup.”
With this being several senior players’ last game, Mac will be loosing key players especially on the defensive side of the ball. Fifth-year players including linebackers Eric Mezzarila and Alec Robertson will be among the major losses for the Marauders.
“Were going to lose a lot of great players but we just have to fill those spots and be better for the 2018 season,” said White.
The Golden Hawks will be face off against the Western Mustangs in London on Nov. 11 for the 110th edition of the Yates Cup. Laurier will be trying to defend their title as the 2017 Yates Cup Champions by fending off the No. 2 Mustangs, who have yet to lose this season and will be looking for revenge along with another shot at the Vanier Cup.
If you know a thing or two about McMaster Football, the name Tyler Crapigna rings a bell. The fifth-year kicker hailing from Nepean, Ont. has made a name for himself and he will go down as one of the best in McMaster Football history.
But it did not always come easy for him.
On Oct. 7, 2010, in his rookie year donned in maroon, Crapigna suffered a broken leg after a failed kick return against the Guelph Gryphons. Though it was what he called a very gruesome injury and could have been the end to a premature career, he was given the encouragement he needed from family and friends that year off the field to come back better than ever.
“Throughout the whole process of recovering from an injury everyone was there, always giving me that extra push I needed to get back on the field and be back with the team,” Crapigna said.
Being away from football practices and absent from team games really took a toll on Crapigna, but he knew that he wanted to help his squad in any way he could when he was back suited up.
“That first season coming back from the injury, I wanted to be serviceable to the team,” said Crapigna.
Having a great rebound season, Tyler and the Marauders came face-to-face with the opportunity to hoist the coveted Vanier Cup in 2011 vs. Laval Rouge et Or. This was McMaster’s second time having a chance at the title, with the first attempt being a loss in 1967. Crapigna, who was named to the first all-Canadian team in both 2011 and 2012, kicked the game-winning field goal in a double overtime of a 41-38 victory over Laval, the only national title in program history.
“It was definitely a special moment to realize that things came full circle from the lowest point of being injured and not being able to play, to being in the biggest game of my university career,” he said.
Crapigna, a fifth-round pick for the Calgary Stampeders in the 2014 CFL draft, had a chance to experience the game on a professional field as he booted the game-tying and game-winning field goals for the Stampeders in their pre-season. Now back at McMaster, he gained great life lessons and learned from some of the best kickers in the league.
“I learned how to be a pro about stuff, the way to handle things and you learn tips on how to deal with certain aspects of the game.”
Crapigna is now the CIS record holder for career field goals. Having the home game against Waterloo put on pause and the fans in Ron Joyce Stadium applaud his work meant a lot for the fifth-year veteran.
“It’s nice to see that the countless amount of hours you put on and off the field is recognized,” said Crapigna.
His parents, who are present at almost every football game, his team and the fans, are whom he is greatly thankful for.
“It’s a whole team game and without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” praises Tyler of the teamwork responsible for his successes.
With a 42-31 OUA semi-final win against the Ottawa Gee-Gees this past weekend, the mentality now amongst the team is preparing for the Yates Cup. The confidence level is high approaching this game.
“We have a team we can go places with,” said Crapigna.
As Tyler’s last year in maroon dwindles down, he wants to salvage the experience as much as he can.
“I want it to last as long as possible. You come into the last season and these five years have flew by quicker than I thought.”
Crapigna sees a great future for the McMaster Football program long after he leaves.
“I hope we can continue the kicking tradition and being a recognizable program to the country. The program is in good hands with the coaching staff they have,” said Crapigna.
Wherever Tyler goes in life, the Marauder way of life will stay with him forever. “I’ve bled maroon for five years and it is something that will never leave me.”
Having five years as a McMaster kicker on his athletic resume, Crapigna will return to training camp with the Calgary Stampeders this summer and hopes to use his talents professionally. His focus is on the next level and the training that will go on during his road to the CFL.
Q: If you could hang out with a celebrity for a day, dead or alive, who would it be?
A: “Paul McCartney for the stories and a ukulele lesson over beers”
Q: Who is your role model?
A: “Tom Brady. He is the ultimate leader and I pattern my 40 time after him.”
Q: Why did you choose your sport?
A: “I was forced to play football by a high school basketball coach that wanted my teammates and I to get tougher. I immediately fell in love with the game.”
Q: Favourite color?
A: “Glow in the dark”
Q: Favourite band?
A: “‘The Sheepdogs’, ‘City and Colour’ and ‘Jack Johnson’ ”
Q: What is your dream job?
A: “Sports broadcasting. Either hosting a radio show called “Tim, Sid and Marsh” or hosting the 1a.m. edition of Sportscentre.”
Q: Favourite thing to do on the weekend?
A: “Spanning the globe to study the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat that only the wide world of sports can supply.”
Q: What are you studying at Mac?
A: “Political Science, Communication and how to say “YES” like Marv Albert”
Q: If you could play any sport other than Football what would you play?
A: “I would be a Formula 1 race car driver, “I wanna go fast” - Ricky Bobby.”
With the Marauder football program reaping extra success over the past couple of years, they can now add former football player Jesse Lumsden to their list of successes.
Not only did Lumsden play for the Marauders but he was also a member of the Canadian Olympic bobsled team.
Lumsden and his partner Lyndon Rush won the two-man World Cup championship and represented Canada at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, B.C. as well as the 2014 winter games in Sochi, Russia.
The former Hec Crighton trophy winneris returning to the McMaster campus to speak at the 17th annual Marauder football Gala Dinner, which will be held on May 1 in the McMaster Sports Hall.
Lumsden was blessed with much success during his time at McMaster as he received the Hec Crighton trophy for most outstanding player in Canadian University football in 2004.
He then continued on with his football career into the Canadian Football League where he was named CFL East Division All-star in 2007 as a member of the Hamilton Tiger Cats.
After some bouts with injuries his football career seemed to be over, but his athletic career only blossomed from there.
He made the transition to bobsled shortly after and has continued to move up the ranks within the Canadian National Program.
As a member of the Marauder football team, the annual football gala is one that players keep marked in their calendars.
All of the proceeds from this event go to the Athletic Financial Awards (AFA) for Marauder players.
The evening includes a silent auction and the important presentation of the McMaster High school Coaching Achievement Award.
This award is presented annually to a coach selected from the Hamilton, Halton, Haldimant and Niagara Regions, which recognizes their dedication within coaching at the high school level.
Nominations for the award can be made by contacting Jon Behie and can be made at the McMaster football office located on the second floor of DBAC.
With two Yates Cups, a Vanier Cup ring, a Hec Crighton trophy nomination and a long list of OUA honors to his name, Michael DiCroce will now face a new journey ahead, one that will hopefully see him playing professional football in the Canadian Football League.
The 2011- 2012 football season for the McMaster Marauders football club was one of the best season’s the school has ever seen.
With doubt surrounding the Marauders, the team was able to secure a spot in the Vanier Cup game after taking down the Western Mustangs in the Yates Cup match and the Acadia Axeman in the Uteck Bowl.
The Marauders were then matched up with the reigning Vanier Cup champion Laval Rouge et Or squad. In what TSN dubbed “the best game ever”, Mac came out victorious, putting an end to a picture perfect season.
That season in particular was a special one for Michael DiCroce not only because the Marauders came out as champions or as the first place team in the nation, but because DiCroce was recognized for his efforts which included winning the 2011 OUA Most Valuable Player award and receiving a nomination for the coveted Hec Crighton trophy.
“Being a member of the football team has been pretty special,” DiCroce said.
“Knowing what we did in my third year here and what we did last year and this year, it’s been pretty special.”
Despite a picture perfect season for the Hamilton native, DiCroce would not always experience good luck throughout his career at McMaster.
After coming off a textbook 2011 season and into one of the most important years of his football career, DiCroce would suffer a devastating injury at the start of the 2012 season, which also happened to be the start of his draft year.
The second day of the 2012 season’s training camp would prove to be a day, which would begin the battle that was his fourth year.
A broken bone in his foot would make a developmental year one that would be a lot order viagra online harder to deal with.
“That injury set me back a lot and I didn’t play the whole regular season. I was in the physio clinic for those eight to nine weeks and I was in the walking boot for about nine weeks,” DiCroce said.
“It was hard because I had trained all year and all summer for that year hoping that it would be a special year for me going into the draft.”
After a frustrating blow to his season DiCroce would face another battle. One that meant proving his injury would not let his style of play or skill falter.
He wanted to prove that he had recovered from his injury and that CFL scouts would not be disappointed with his return.
DiCroce ended up receiving an invitation to the CFL combine where he impressed both coaches and scouts with his recovery, proving that he was playing better than ever.
With a light slowly beginning to show at the end of the tunnel, DiCroce would earn a CFL contract in his draft year as he was drafted 29th overall by the Winnipeg Bluebombers.
Opting to return to McMaster for a fifth year DiCroce wanted to ensure that school also remained an important priority for him.
“My decision to come back this year was so that I could finish up with my degree so that I had a back up plan if football didn’t work out,” said the fifth-year receiver.
“Coming back this year to finish off my last year was something I wanted to do. Winnipeg does have my [negotiation] rights so I will be reporting back to camp in June and that’s definitely something I am looking forward to.”
DiCroce has also proved that height is not a determining factor of how big you play.
At 5’11” he is one of the smaller receivers in the OUA, but his style of play says otherwise.
“There is one guy in the NFL who is my favorite receiver, his name is Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers. He’s the same height as me but he plays so big and he’s so fast and goes up and gets the ball when it’s in the air and he makes guys miss,” said DiCroce.
“That is always something I have tried to do myself because I am not the biggest receiver on the field so if you can believe in yourself to play big, then you will.”
When asked what DiCroce would miss most about being a Marauder his response would perfectly encompass what made the sport special to him.
“I think I’m going to miss my time with the guys on the field the most. That’s why we all came back to play the game this year, that’s why we love it so much is just to hang out with the guys and see the guys everyday,” he said.
Despite a long list of achievements that any university athlete would envy, DiCroce remains humble and understands the sacrifices that must be made in order to achieve success.
With a prosperous career in his midst it would be no surprise to see DiCroce’s athletic achievements only continue to grow.
With the Marauders 2013 football season coming to an end this past weekend on Nov. 2 in London, Ont. the McMaster Marauders have lost a bit more than just their hopes of a playoff run.
The Marauders also say farewell to some of the best players this football program has ever seen. Players that helped lead the McMaster Marauders to the school’s first ever Vanier Cup win and two consecutive Yates Cup wins in 2011 and 2012.
Matt Sewell, Mike DiCroce, Mike Daly and Joey Cupdio are some key Marauder names that we will not be seeing on the roster for next season as their years of eligibility in the football program have expired.
It’s more than just the success these players have had that will be missed, but the memories and teammates they will leave behind which is proving to be the hardest part of the thought of graduating for these fifth year all-stars.
“The best part of it all for me were the bonds that were made with my friends and brothers, the guys you go to war with are at your side through good times and bad,” said graduating wide receiver Mike DiCroce.
“Those bonds are the ones that last forever,” he added. “I know we made history at Mac and we made our stamp across the country that we are the best.”
It’s not hard to understand why these Marauders can look back on their careers and know that they took their school and their football program to a whole other level.
The 2011 season will remain a viagra dosage highlight for the graduating Marauder players and CFL hopefuls.
“The best memory is definitely the whole 2011 season where we went from zero to hero,” DiCroce said.
“We hit our lowest point as a team and later as an underdog (and a team doubted by many) went on to hit our highest point as a team, successfully silencing the critics.”
These graduating Marauders can still look towards hopeful athletic careers with Mike Daly drafted by the city’s own Hamilton Tiger-Cats, DiCroce going 29th overall to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Joey Cupido with another budding athletic career taking place alongside his football one.
Cupido is also a key member of the Calgary Mammoth National Lacrosse League team, which he is a dedicated member of when he isn’t lacing up for the Maroon and Grey.
Although it will be difficult saying good-bye to some McMaster OUA All-stars, the Maroon contingent still possess many positives for the 2014 season and seasons to come.
McMaster kicker and key component of the Vanier Cup win Tyler Crapigna returns for another year of Marauder football for the 2014 season.
The Marauders also added three rookies to the Ontario University Football All- Rookie list with the likes of Daniel Vandervoort, Mark Mackie and Nicholas Firlit who all put up impressive numbers this season for McMaster.
The spotlight on the McMaster Marauders has not gone off yet. With a budding season in the works for the men in maroon, McMaster fans can certainly expect returning quarterback Marshall Ferguson to lead his team to another playoff spot once again, and maybe even helping the Marauders to continue on to another stint in the Yates playoff game.
The McMaster Marauders football squad tore up the field in Waterloo, Ont. this past Saturday afternoon against the Laurier Golden Hawks. The Oct. 12 match saw the Marauders once again find success over their opponents, this time to the tune of 28-5.
With expectations continuing to mount weekly, the stakes continue to reach new heights. A playoff spot is not the only thing up for grabs, but also the opportunity to host a home playoff game.
The Carleton Ravens (0-7), a team returning to OUA football competition after a 15-year absence, is only remaining it is crucial for the team to continue to maintain their confidence in order to set the tone for playoffs.
“Momentum is everything in football so there is no problem getting motivated to play anyone, especially an up-and-coming Carleton program,” said quarterback Marshall Ferguson of the team’s opponents.
Ferguson set a new Marauder single-season record for touchdown passes in a season; tossing two touchdowns to reach a total of 20 this season with one game remaining. The third-year QB is aware of the team’s goals and that an effort is to be made in order to improve.
“We don't have concerns as an offence week-to-week, we have challenges that we need to prepare for on a day-to-day basis so that we can accomplish the goals we all have as a team,” Ferguson added.
“My focus is on improving every day both individually, as a team and an offence.”
Aram Eisho led the defense in tackles with a total of 12 on the day. The Marauders were able to keep the Golden Hawks out of the end zone, including three goal line stands in the fourth quarter.
With the playoffs in sight, the Marauders will once again face some of the top-ranked opponents who defeated them during the regular season.
Proving his leadership capabilities this season, Ferguson is well aware of the challenges these teams will provide.
“We have to get better in some way, every day between now and our eventual playoff opponents,” said the Kingston, Ont. native.
The Marauders now look to face some uphill battles, ones that will be the biggest they have come across this season. With key starters Joey Cupido and Matt Sewell still out of the lineup, the Maroon and Grey face the harsh reality of possibly entering the playoffs without their big guns.
With two down and one to go the Marauders are set to face Carleton on Oct. 19 in Ottawa, Ont. With the last of the do-or-die games approaching, the ninth-ranked Marauders hopes of hosting a playoff game.
McMaster Marauders quarterback Kyle Quinlan has signed with the CFL's Montreal Alouettes.
“I'm definitely excited to have an opportunity to keep playing football,” said the quarterback to McMaster's athletics and recreation department. “I'm glad it's in Montreal, because my short time with the Alouettes last year was such a positive experience."
The deal was completed on Thursday evening.
If Quinlan makes the Alouettes, he will likely be in a back-up role behind Anthony Calvillo, who announced this week that he would be back with the team for the 2013 season. Calvillo holds the all-time record for passing yards in the CFL.
Quinlan attended the Alouettes training camp in May, but was cut from the team, leading him back to McMaster to play out his final season of university football eligibility.
Alouettes general manager Jim Popp told media outlets that Quinlan would have a real chance to make the team this time around.
Quinlan earned national attention during his time with McMaster's football squad, leading the Marauders to their first national championship with 2011's Vanier Cup victory. Although the Marauders fell to the Laval Rouge et Or in 2012's Vanier Cup rematch, Quinlan was awarded the Hec Crighton Trophy for being the top player in the CIS.
A crowd of 37,098 streaked the Rogers Centre with maroon and grey for the 48th Vanier Cup against the Laval Rouge et Or Friday night. Unfortunately, the record-breaking crowd for the CIS championship game also left, for the most part, with heavy hearts. Glen Constantin’s team would not be stopped. In a battle for historical milestones, it was Laval who would prevail, winning their seventh Vanier Cup title. No program in Canadian history has won more.
In the much anticipated rematch of last year’s overtime thriller of a championship game, which the Marauders won 41-38, the Rouge et Or came out firing on all cylinders. Without question the nation’s second ranked team had not forgotten about their loss from a year ago.
The first quarter of the game was scoreless for both teams, as neither seemed willing to give up the first points.
Running a strong ground game in the second frame, Laval went out to an early 12-0 lead. It looked as though their opponents outmatched Mac. Suddenly, a drive was sustained which ended in an all too familiar Kyle Quinlan rushing touchdown. The environment was electric, and undeniably hostile towards the Rouge et Or who despite travelling to neutral ground for the game, walked into a visiting team role.
With less than two minutes remaining in the first half, Laval took possession of the ball only to be promptly shut down by Mac’s defense, which showed its first spark of the game. It was clear that for the first time, the Maroon and Grey had gained momentum.
What happened next was unthinkable. Pinned to their own 14, Quinlan led his team up the field for a 24 second, 96 yard scoring drive capped off by a 52 yard Dhalin Brooks touchdown reception. On the biggest stage ever for CIS football, the Hec Creighton trophy winner demonstrated why he is considered to be one of the best players to ever don the McMaster colors.
As a result, the Marauders entered half time with a 14-12 lead; much different from the 23-0 margin they had at half the year before.
In an eerily similar fashion to the 2011 Vanier, though, when both teams returned to play in the third quarter, the Rouge et Or played a completely wired and vicious brand of football.
Laval looked determined to take the Vanier Cup away from the defending national champions, and they did just that.
The Rouge et Or went up 18-14 and never looked back. It was not the day for Mac to repeat as champions, and Laval tailback Maxime Boutin did his part to make sure of that. The second year player, who only began to start recently, rushed for over 250 yards, including an 84 yard run-which marked the third longest play from scrimmage in Vanier Cup history. Boutin was part of a team rushing performance of 373 yards, breaking a previous record for Vanier Cup single game yards formerly held by the 1982 UBC Thunderbirds. “They made it easy for me, and I almost always had a huge gap to run into,” Boutin said of his offensive line after the win. For his efforts, Boutin was awarded CIS player of the week along teammates, defensive end Arnaud Gascon-Nadon and kicker Boris Bede.
The 6 foot 5, 255 pound senior Gascon-Nadon decided to return for a final year despite the opportunity to go pro. Drafted by the Hamilton Tiger Cats in last year’s CFL draft, Gascon-Nadon cited that “This is the reason I came back and didn’t go pro” in a CIS press release. “After last year’s loss to Mac in the Vanier, we all wanted to get this payback. We really wanted this seventh banner to become the most decorated team in history,” he continued.
For both teams, the long journey to the 48th Vanier was one of domination and preparation. Laval undoubtedly had practiced all season for a chance to take back what they believed to be rightfully theirs from McMaster. The Marauders looked to join Laval in the upper echelons of CIS football by winning a second straight national championship. Truly, it was a story that wrote itself. For McMaster fans, it was a bittersweet conclusion.
As the crowd thinned out and the clock winded down, it was clear that the spirits of Mac’s fans had been broken. That being said, the players on the field continued to battle, persevering through tough calls and plenty of time wasted by Laval injuries.
Regardless of the 37-14 loss, Mac’s run to the 48th Vanier broke CIS records and they carried their school and the entire Hamilton community the entire way through. It was a story made memorable regardless of the ending.
For all the players, coaches and fans of McMaster football it was a difficult day. That being said, one loss is certainly not enough to break the spirits of this program. The streak of 21 consecutive victories had come to an end. There was no repeat of a national championship. But there is not yet a way to measure the impact that the Marauders have had on CIS football; the 48th Vanier Cup was evidence that it is on the map in a way it has never been before.
The McMaster Marauders are headed to the Vanier Cup for the second straight season after beating the Calgary Dinos on Saturday by a score of 45-6.
The Nov. 17 Mitchell Bowl at Ron Joyce Stadium in Hamilton marked the first ever meeting between the two teams.
A crowd of 5,442 packed the stadium to watch one of the most anticipated matchups of the year in the CIS.
Mac’s Kyle Quinlan took over the game in the first half despite struggling early, scoring two touchdowns on the ground and throwing another to receiver Bradley Fochesato for 61 yards. After two frames, the Marauders were up 24-4 over the Hardy Cup champion from the west.
The visiting Dinos racked up a costly 97 yards of penalties in the first half, which helped Mac sustain drives and get good into good scoring position.
The Marauders defense neutralized the nation’s number-one offense, holding Calgary to their lowest halftime point total of the season.
In the second half, the Marauders extended their lead early. Quinlan scored his third rushing touchdown to make the score 31-4 with 11:49 left in the third quarter.
Receiver Robert Babic had a strong third quarter, catching the ball six times for 95 yards in the frame. Babic added a 31-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter for his ninth catch of the game, making the score 38-4. He would finish with an outstanding 10 catches for 156 yards and a touchdown.
Drive after drive, Calgary could not seem to penetrate the home team’s defense. On the other side of the ball, the Dinos could not stop Kyle Quinlan and the McMaster air attack.
With the Laval Rouge et Or winning the Uteck Bowl by a score of 42-7 earlier in the day, it looked as though a rematch of the 2011 Vanier Cup final was inevitable.
The 13th man was alive and well for the Marauders as the Ron Joyce crowd made constant noise.
Both quarterbacks in the Mitchell Bowl game are candidates for the Hec Creighton trophy, awarded yearly to the most outstanding player in the CIS. Calgary’s Eric Dzwilewski finished 10 of 21. Quinlan, who will be taking his team to a second straight Vanier Cup game, with one of his best games of the season, completed 25 of 35 passes for 412 yards, three TDs. Quinlan also added 50 more yards and three scores on the ground.
By the time all was said and done, McMaster had crushed the Dinos, not allowing a single touchdown while scoring six times, extending their winning streak to 21.
Only Laval, St. Mary’s and Western have ever repeated as national champions, and the Marauders have a chance to join that exclusive company next week.
The 48th Vanier Cup will be played on Nov. 23 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. The game will be a rematch of the 2011 final between the Laval Rouge et Or and the McMaster Marauders. Last year, Mac won in double overtime by a score of 41-38