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McMaster returns to Vanier Cup with rout of Calgary

McMaster University Marauders quarterback Kyle Quinlan is tackled by University of Calgary Dinos' Tye Noble during first half Mitchell Bowl football action in Hamilton, Ontario, on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012.


It was billed as a contest between the two top university outfits in the nation but only the McMaster Marauders bothered to play the part.

Displaying far superior skill in all aspects of the game, the Marauders ran roughshod over the mistake-prone Calgary Dinos to power their way to a 45-6 victory in the Mitchell Bowl here at Ron Joyce Stadium on Saturday.

With the decisive victory, McMaster's 21st in a row, the country's No. 1-ranked outfit have booked a return trip into Friday's Vanier Cup to defend its national championship in Toronto against a familiar foe.

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In what will be a rematch of last year's thrilling finale, the Marauders will face the No. 2-ranked Laval Rouge et Or.

"I think there could be some history here," McMaster coach Stefan Ptaszek said about the upcoming clash. "There's been a couple programs that have won two in a row. No program's won two in a row [with] 22 straight [wins]."

"They could set themselves up for old guys like myself talking at the bar about the greatest team ever. They deserve to be in that conversation and one of the first teams mentioned."

McMaster quarterback Kyle Quinlan, the Ontario nominee for Canadian Interuniversity Sport player of the year, was superb in the Marauders win, rushing for three touchdowns and throwing for three more against a thoroughly demoralized Calgary outfit.

Quinlan was named player of the game, completing 25 of 35 passes for 412 yards while rushing for an additional 50.

"We expect a lot of ourselves offensively but so see the defence fly around like that was really exciting," Quinlan said.

Quinlan's favourite receiver was wideout Robert Babic, who hauled in 10 passes for 156 yards and one touchdown.

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Calgary quarterback Eric Dzwilewski, who was harassed by a swarming McMaster defence most of the day, was ineffective completing just 10 of 21 passes for 114 yards before being lifted late in the third quarter.

The Canada West champion Dinos did not help themselves with costly penalties, especially in the first half where the Marauders shot in front 24-4.

On the game, the Dinos were penalized 17 times for 127 yards.

Nill said the undisciplined play has been a characteristic the team has been unable to shake all season and on Saturday if finally caught up the the Dinos.

"To be honest with you, we didn't make any plays on offence," Nill said.

Laval advanced into the Vanier Cup by stomping No. 9 Acadia Axeman 42-7 in the other CIS national semi-final, the Uteck Bowl, in Quebec City.

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For Laval, it will be its third consecutive trip to the national championship where the Rouge et Or will be seeking what would be a record-setting 7th CIS football title.

The game will also mark just the second time in Vanier Cup history that the same two teams have met in back-to-back finals.

Both the offences were decidedly low key for most of the first quarter where the Marauders opened up a 7-3 lead.

Calgary struck first on a 37-year field goal by Johnny Mark.

The Marauder offence started to warm up after that and put together a smart-looking  nine-play, 95-yard drive culminated by a one-yard quarterback keeper by Quinlan on the final play of the quarter that lifted the Marauders in front 7-3.

McMaster continued to roll into the second quarter where they opened up a 24-4 lead.

Quinlan scored his second TD of the game on a quarterback keeper after a Calgary unnecessary roughing penalty for a out-of-bounds hit on the McMaster pivot give the Marauders possession at the one.

Quinlan then delivered a perfect strike to wideout Bradley Fochesato for a 61-yard scoring play that put the Dinosaurs deep in the hole.

All of Quinlan's football smarts were on display during McMaster's first possession of the third quarter.

Pressured in the backfield, Quinlan remained calm and did a great job locating a secondary receiver, Babic, who made a nice grab for a 20-yard gain to the Calgary 10.

On the next play, rolling out to his left and unable to to spot a receiver, Quinlan tucked in the ball and scrambled neatly up the middle for his third TD of the game that put the Marauders ahead 31-4 and pushed the Dinos to the brink of extinction.

Babic then laid Calgary to rest, hauling in a 31-yard TD strike from Quinlan early in the fourth.

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