Hawks fall to Queen’s; start season 0-2

Laurier’s Alex Anthony (3) is wrapped up by a pair of Queen’s defenders. (Photo by Kate Turner).

There’s no worse way to start a season.

The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks entered University Stadium Saturday night under the lights with a crowd of first years and eager students, only to lose what subtle momentum they had to a powerful Queen’s Gaels squad.

As time winded down, the Gaels quieted the entire stadium, stealing the Hawks’ home opener by a score of 42-16.

The young Laurier squad were left empty on offence for the second consecutive game, as they only scored two touchdowns, both late in the second half.

Queen’s receiver Justin Chapdelaine makes a catch over top of Laurier’s Tanner Philip. (Photo by Kate Turner).

“I think they learn every week, but we’re still making too many errors,” head coach Gary Jeffries said after the game. “We can’t win in this league with the mistakes that we’re making. Some physical, some mental.”

Quarterback Travis Eman connected with receiver Alex Anthony for the Hawks’ first touchdown of the season midway through the third quarter, and Alex Sanchez found the endzone late in the fourth, but the slight signs of life from the offence wasn’t enough.

The Gaels started early when the Hawks conceded a safety, then gave up a 35-yard field goal from kicker Dillon Wamsley. The visitors from Kingston then went on a tangent of offence with four consecutive point gains, taking the lead to 22-2 at the half.

Gaels’ running back Ryan Granberg would find the endzone twice with 55 total yards during the game.

“26 minutes. 26 minutes we played our guts out,” Jeffries said about his young team’s first half performance. “It was an even football game until we turned it over. We kept fighting in the second half and competed hard and that’s all I can ask of them.”

Quarterback Travis Eman was nine for 21 with two interceptions and 87 yards on the game before Steven Fantham, who was five for 12 and 75 yards, replaced him under centre.

Jeffries looks ahead as the team hopes to rekindle their morale as they take on York next Saturday.

“Every week is important,” he said. “We just take them as they come and every week is the biggest game of the season. We have to be better, no question, and we just got to keep working hard.”

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