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CIS Corner: Previewing the Yates Cup

Quarterback Kyle Quinlan is looking to lead McMaster to a second-straight Yates Cup title. (Canadian Press)The McMaster Marauders and Guelph Gryphons are set to meet in the 2012 Yates Cup at Ron Joyce Stadium in Hamilton Saturday afternoon.

The Marauders are coming off a 42-28 semifinal victory over the Western Mustangs last weekend, a game in which Kyle Quinlan threw for 324 yards and three touchdowns, while the Gryphons made a stunning comeback in their semi final, overcoming a 22-point deficit over the Queen's Golden Gaels to pull out a 42-39 win.

Gryphons head coach Stu Lang told the Guelph Mercury after the victory:

"The guys just had to dig deep and realize that we are a great team," Gryphon head coach Stu Lang said. "They came back, it's phenomenal. I could stand here and mention every guy. … Everyone steps up."

It wasn't the first time Guelph had put together an impressive comeback. In Week 7 of the regular season, with a first-round bye and home-field advantage in the semis on the line, the Gryphons erased a 25-point deficit against Queen's and went on to win 33-28.

They'll need that type of never-die attitude if they want any chance of taking down a powerhouse Marauders team and capturing the Yates Cup. The last time these two teams met — a 50-9 blow out victory for McMaster — Gryphons quarterback Jazz Lindsey played his poorest statistical game of the season, throwing for just 137 yards and three interceptions. He's only thrown one INT since and Guelph will need big performances out of him and running back Rob Farquharson who finished third in the CIS in rushing yards this season.

"We're very much sort of a lunch bucket team that goes to work, does the job and goes home," Stu Lang told Y! Sports back in October.  "Having said that, to be successful you need a couple of players to have career years and obviously one of those is Rob Farquharson who has just been phenomenal… On defense Jeff Finley and then of course Jazz. Every team goes as far it's quarterback and he's still young but he's maturing and he makes smart decisions."

Lindsey will be up against one of the top offensive players in the CIS in Kyle Quinlan who threw for 2457 yards, 19 touchdowns and just two interceptions this season. The Marauders quarterback is also up for the Hec Creighton Trophy awarded to the most valauable player in the Canadian university football.

A successful passing offence has been essential for the Marauders who lost their starting tailback Chris Pezzetta for the season back in August after the second-year back suffered a knee injury during training camp. His replacement, Jimmy Hill is also out for the remainder of the season due to injury.

Stefan Ptaszek spoke highly of his star quarterback's ability to constantly adjust in an interview with the Toronto Star:

"He's been able to get the most out of everybody in that huddle. It's been a different cast of characters each week but he keeps getting it done… He is a unique talent and one of the more special talents this country has ever produced. I hope he gets a shot to continue his career after this season is done."

Stu Lang said back in October that he was hoping his team could get back to Hamilton at some point this season and turn the tables on the Marauders. "I think heading into Mac [last time] we were a little nervous, obviously first game against the Vanier Cup champions."

Saturday is his team's second chance. And this time the Yates Cup is on the line.

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