Hawks effort falls short against powerhouse Mustangs

(Photo courtesy of Laurier Athletics, Thomas Kolodziej)
(Photo courtesy of Laurier Athletics, Thomas Kolodziej)

The scoreboard could not tell the tale of the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks Saturday afternoon.

Despite a 45-24 loss to the first place Western Mustangs, the Hawks put up a fight — even leading for the entire first half — against the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) powerhouse.

“The whole week we talked about it being a fight and we had to come out hard,” said defensive back Felix Odum. “They’re a good team and a good offence and a lot of teams cave when they take the lead. And we talked about fighting. We talked about coming out hard. And we did.”

The Hawks started their offensive drive about halfway through the first quarter when third-year kicker Ronnie Pfeffer hit a 35-yard field goal to put the home team up 3-0.

But it seemed all too familiar to the 56-3 loss a year ago to the same Mustangs.

So, to prove the suspicion wrong, James Fracas finished off a 67-yard run from Greg Nyhof for the quarterback sneak, putting Laurier up 10-0 at the end of the first quarter.

It was the first time this season that Western’s been shutout in a quarter.

The second quarter featured more offence from the Mustangs, as the team managed a safety, a field goal and a touchdown from Yannick Harou from one yard out — his first of three on the day.

But Laurier’s offence didn’t give up, as running back Dillon Campbell made an outstanding 100-yard run to give the Hawks another seven points on their tally. The 100-yard run is the second longest in school history, behind Mike Montoya, who ran for 103 yards in 2007.

At half, Laurier led 17-12.

But going into the second half, Western’s offence began to roll. Another field goal from Lirim Hajrullahu, a touchdown from Adam Sinclair and a touchdown from Justin Sanvido gave Western 17 unanswered points in the quarter, making it 29-17 for the visitors.

But Laurier kept up the pressure. The Hawks continued to march down the field, getting first downs left and right and finding a way to intercept Mustang quarterback Will Finch.

In the fourth quarter, Campbell ran for his second touchdown of the day, bringing Laurier within two touchdowns with over ten minutes to play in the game.

“We prepared for them,” Campbell said. “They underestimated us and we showed them what we could do. So we came out, banging heads, and we played as hard as we could. Unfortunately we couldn’t do the whole thing.”

But Harou’s second and third touchdowns of the game would put the Hawks too far behind and secure a Mustang win.

The Hawks were hindered by penalties, as at one point in the game, the team was given 30 yards in penalties.

“We had far too many penalties,” head coach Michael Faulds said. “We need to clean up our discipline and clean up penalties. But I’m proud with how our guys fought. They fought for four quarters even when Western had the lead. We still came back in the fourth and fought so that’s good to see.”

The Mustangs are now a perfect 5-0 on the season and still sit first in the OUA. Laurier drops to 1-4. Laurier takes on the Windsor Lancers in their homecoming game next Saturday with a 1 p.m. start.

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