Golden Hawks men’s football team suffer second loss of the season to UofT

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Photo by Aaron Hagey

The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s football team fell to 1-2 on the season after a tough loss to the University of Toronto Varsity Blues on Saturday, Sept. 7 at University Stadium, the game attended by first years participating in Orientation Week for their closing ceremonies.

The game started off with a dominant first quarter by Laurier, with Nathan Mesher kicking off the scoring with a field goal, followed by a fumble recovery from Tanner Nelmes putting the Hawks up 10-0. Connor Carusello would finish off the quarter with 13 seconds to go shooting a 12-yard pass to Brentyn Hall to put the Hawks up 17-0.

Toronto wouldn’t go down without a fight and came back in the second quarter with three unanswered touchdowns, securing a 21-17 lead. Levondre Gordon would put the purple and gold back in the lead with a 12-yard run for a 24-21 lead, and Nathan Mesher would score a rogue point to put the Hawks up by four.

Toronto would score one last field goal right at the half to cut the Laurier lead to one point at 25-24 going into the last two quarters.

The Varsity Blues would be the first to score in the third quarter, being the only points scored in the third. Laurier came back in the fourth with three field goals in a row, pushing their lead to 34-31. However, the Varsity Blues continued to push and eventually made a scoring drive with 40 seconds left in the game to secure a win, with a final score of 38-34 in favour of Toronto.

“Internally, we’re definitely disappointed. No one wanted to be 1-2 at this point, but it speaks to the parody around the OUA at this point,” said head coach Michael Faulds.

“Toronto is definitely a better team than they have been in the past decade, and to be quite honest we haven’t played up to our full potential. We’ve seen glimpses of it and quarters of it, but we have yet to put together four full quarters of football that we expect.”

The Hawks will be travelling to the nation’s capital to face off against the Ottawa Gee-Gees before heading into their bye week, which is followed by their homecoming game against Queen’s University.

“The biggest issue in the first three games has been our discipline, that is something that we have extreme focus on heading into Ottawa this weekend,” Faulds said.

“It’s a good opportunity for us to go up to Ottawa, have team meals and meetings together, there is more of the team camaraderie standpoint, and everyone’s in it together, there are no distractions, so the 47 guys who get the opportunity to dress will be focused and it’s a big time meaningful game for us to get to 2-2.”

The Golden Hawks will be at the University of Ottawa for the first time in seven years, with their last match-up on the Gee-Gees home field ending in a 35-27 win for the purple and gold.

“We can’t after games anymore say that we had more first downs, yards, time of possession, winning every statistical category except for the major ones like penalties, and obviously you want to be leading on the scoreboard at the end of the game,” Faulds said.

Do we feel like we’ve been in every game or we can play with any team and beat any team yes, but it’s one thing to say it and this Saturday we have to go out and do it, we have to live by our promise of being a disciplined football team and if we do that we can win any game.”

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