Hawks get back on track with win against Carleton Ravens

The Wilfrid Laurier University varsity football team got back in the win column on Friday, Oct. 5, as they took down the Carleton Ravens by a final score of 37-31. 

The Hawks knew they needed to change something to end their three-game losing streak, and that change came at quarterback.

Connor Carusello made his first start at quarterback for Laurier in place of Tristan Arndt, and he was extremely impressive in his debut. 

The Caledonia, Ont. native threw for 383 passing yards to go along with four touchdowns while completing 21 out of 31 of his pass attempts. 

Carusello picked apart the Ravens defence all day long in a game where the Hawks needed all the offence they could get. 

The game quickly turned into a shootout from the second quarter onwards as both offences were in a great rhythm. 

After a combined four field goals between the teams opened the game, the Ravens and Hawks exchanged a pair of touchdowns before halftime as the purple and gold held a narrow 23-17 advantage at the break.

Carleton came out of halftime with a momentum shifting play, as the Ravens blocked an attempted punt by the Hawks before punching it in from inside the 10-yard line. 

Unfortunately for Laurier, things went from bad to worse as ace kicker Nathan Mesher picked up an injury on the blocked punt.

On their next drive, the Hawks pulled a rabbit out of the hat as star receiver Kurleigh Gittens Jr. ran for 36 yards on a fake punt which eventually led to a touchdown for Laurier, restoring their six-point lead heading into the fourth and final quarter. 

Carleton continued the see-saw affair as Ravens quarterback Mike Arruda connected with Phil Iloki for a 45-yard touchdown to open the final 15 minutes.  

However, on the first play of the ensuing Hawks drive, Carusello found rookie receiver Esson Hamilton for a 78-yard bomb which effectively ended the game. 

The Hawks are now an even 3-3 on the season, which ties them for fifth in the OUA standings. With only two games remaining on the schedule, the Hawks can’t afford any more losses if they want to make the playoffs.

The first of those remaining two games is against Windsor as the Hawks will look to get above .500. 

That game is set for kickoff at 11:00 a.m. on Oct. 12 at University Stadium.  

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