Football School

Mustang return to gridiron

The Purple and White enter the year seeking the university’s 31st Yates Cup title

The Western Mustangs football season kicks off in late August as the team begins the campaign seeking its 31st Yates Cup and seventh Vanier Cup title in program history.

The Mustangs will take to the field to open the season on August 28 against Windsor. It will be the second year in a row that Western begins the season in a contest with the Lancers, last year securing their first win of the season by a 69-point margin.

The next week will see the Mustangs on the road to Ottawa to take on the Carleton Ravens on Sept. 4. While the teams have only met twice in the past, with both games ending in favour of Western, the Ravens have improved in each of their three seasons since their return to the OUA, and head into 2016 with some momentum after making it to the Semi-Finals last season.

Action will then return to TD Stadium on Sept. 10 with a matchup between Waterloo and Western, also marking the return of former assistant coach Chris Bertoia to London. Bertoia took over as head coach of the Warriors program in 2014, and this year’s contest will be the first time the two teams have squared off since Bertoia took the reins in Waterloo.

The following week will see the Mustangs take on Queen’s in one of the most highly anticipated matchups of the season. Western will be aiming for their fourth consecutive win over their historic rivals, while the Gaels will look to put on a show in the first-ever game in the newly revamped Richardson Stadium. Western will stay on the road for week five, heading up to Guelph for a rematch of the 108th Yates Cup. The past four games between the two sides have gone in favour of the Gryphons, a streak the Mustangs will be looking to break in front of what is sure to be an enthusiastic red and gold homecoming crowd.

Week six will see Laurier come to London for Reunion Weekend on Oct. 1. The Mustangs have taken four of the last five contests, last defeating the Golden Hawks in the OUA Semi-Final by a 25-10 score, and this year’s matchup should be another exciting one between the two rivals.

The Mustangs will then enjoy a bye in week seven over the Thanksgiving holiday, returning to the field on Oct. 15 to take on the GeeGees in Ottawa. A healthy rivalry game will bring an end to the Mustangs’ regular season, as the McMaster Marauders head to the Forest City for Western’s Homecoming game. The Marauders-Mustangs matchup always makes for a tightly-contested affair, and this year’s game should be no different as it will likely have major playoff implications when the two teams face off on Oct. 22.

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2016 Mustangs Football Schedule
Aug. 28, 7 PM – Windsor at Western
Sept. 4, 7 PM – Western at Carleton
Sept. 10, 1 PM – Waterloo at Western
Sept. 17, 7 PM – Western at Queen’s
Sept. 24, 1 PM – Western at Guelph
Oct. 1, 1 PM – Laurier at Western – Reunion Weekend
Oct. 15, 1 PM – Western at Ottawa
Oct. 22, 1 PM – McMaster at Western – Homecoming

Story submitted by Pam Bialik, Proudly sponsored by Doug Tarry