Marauders defence an unsung hero

The McMaster Maruaders practice at the University of Toronto's indoor football facility on...

The McMaster Maruaders practice at the University of Toronto's indoor football facility on Wednesday, in preparation for Friday's Vanier Cup rematch against Laval. (JACK BOLAND/QMI AGENCY)

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:04 AM ET

If the McMaster Marauders’ defence somehow manages to shut down the Laval offence on its way to a second Vanier Cup win maybe, just maybe it will finally get noticed.

One would have suspected that after putting together two pretty good games in which the Marauders defence made both the Guelph Gryphons and Calgary Dinos offences disappear, they would have gotten No. 1 billing in the build-up to the Vanier Cup Friday against the Laval Rouge et Or.

Nope, not yet.

“When you have a guy like Kyle Quinlan playing quarterback for you, you‘ve got the receivers that you have, the arsenal that we have, I’d want to talk to them first too,” said Marauders all-Canadian linebacker Aram Eisho. “Those guys are something special. They definitely make things happen. People in Canada, they enjoy watching a great offensive power battle. We’re the guys who do the grinding, all the tough work. It just keeps us hungry. We don’t mind it. We’re a team, 55 guys go out there and battle together.”

The second-year player has been a monster in these playoffs and been a leader since he became a starter early last year.

He was the defensive player of the game in last year’s Vanier Cup and with his combination of speed and strength he’s a load to handle.

He’s also one of the emotional leaders on the team. Television has run a ton of film on McMaster coach Stefan Ptaszek’s speech at the Vanier Cup last year.

Eisho delivers his own speech prior to every game. Television wanted to film that as well but Eisho said they couldn’t use the footage.

“It’s R-rated. (Television) would have loved to use it but couldn’t,” he said a little sheepishly. “Before the game, I get focused, listen to music, as soon as the face paint comes on, the pads are strapped, the bucket is coming on, I know its that time where it’s all or nothing. Coach P leaves the room and it’s just the boys in there. We get in our own mindset and we get ready for a war. It’s 60 minutes of toughness. You see me here ... ? well, you have to be two different people.

“It started last year after I got to start for the first time. It usually comes out right before I head out on the field. I don’t prepare anything. It’s something I just feel and say and we get rolling and the guys love it. They always say ‘Ram talk to me, Ram say it. Ram talk to me.’ It gets me going gets, me in my mindset. They love it.”

Whatever he says, it must be working especially for the defence. They’ve given up an average of 15 points in the playoffs, only giving up six to Calgary and 13 to Guelph but Eisho knows this is his clubs toughest challenge will be against Laval.

“We know we can compete with them,” he said. “We have just as many athletes on our side of the ball. It’s going to be anyone’s game. You have to be ready to go. You know they are going to be ready to go. If you aren’t ready to go, you have already lost it.”

Now that sounds like a speech, minus the R-rating.

 

 

 


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