Harry McMaster took a hit midway through the first quarter. A hard one. You could hear it around TD Stadium.
But McMaster didn't go down. Maybe he was surprised that he was still conscious after such a bone-crushing collision. But he stayed up and kept running. If there was one play that was emblematic of the Western-Queen's football game on Saturday, it was McMaster fighting through that hit to pick up the extra yards for Western University.
The Mustangs were nearly perfect on Saturday. Queen's was their punching bag. From the opening whistle to the dying seconds, Western was utterly dominant in every facet of the game. They won 48–10 and improved to 5–0 on the season.
Western opened the scoreboard at just over two minutes into the game, with quarterback Chris Merchant running the ball six yards into the end zone to take the early 7–0 lead.
The Mustangs scored two more touchdowns in the first quarter, with Merchant finding Alex Taylor twice. The first quarter ended with the Mustangs up 23–0.
The Gaels opened the second quarter with a field goal to get on the board, cutting the Western lead to 23–3. The Mustangs responded with a field goal of their own, extending their lead to 26-3 with 7:51 left in the second quarter.
Queen's offence, which compiled a measly 33 yards of total offence in the first quarter, found their footing in the second quarter, finally finding the end zone on a two-yard pass from Nate Hobbs to Alex Zulys as Western's lead was shortened to 26–10.
The Mustangs answered with a field goal before the end of the first half, as Marc Liegghio kicked his second field goal of the evening to put the home side up 29–10 heading into halftime.
In the third quarter, Taylor found a hole and ran the ball 74 yards, going down deep in Queen's territory. The Mustangs couldn't finish the drive off with a touchdown, however, settling for another Liegghio field goal to extend their lead to 32–10.
In the fourth quarter, Taylor continued his impressive, Hec Crighton-worthy performance with a 35-yard touchdown run to put the Mustangs up 39–10.
Liegghio added to the Mustangs lead once more, hitting a 46-yard field goal as Western went up 42–10 with 9:44 left in the game.
The Gaels wouldn't make it any closer, as two more field goals from Liegghio — who tied a Western record for number of field goals in a game — put the Mustangs up 48–10 to end the contest.
Taylor ran for 184 yards to lead all rushers, while Merchant passed for 306 yards on 18-of-29 passing. McMaster led all receivers with 111 yards on seven receptions.
Now at 5–0 on the season, the Mustangs look ahead to a 2016 Yates Cup rematch with the Laurier Golden Hawks in a battle of undefeated teams. That game will kick off on Sept. 30 at 1 p.m in Waterloo.