Hawks impress at Homecoming

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So far, the Wilfrid Laurier University men’s football team have been following the script laid out for them.

With their 53-3 Homecoming victory over the Carleton Ravens on the weekend, the Hawks move to 3-1, while the Ravens fall to 2-2.

The Hawks have been beating the teams they were supposed to beat; they were heavy favourites in their victories over the University of Toronto Varsity Blues and Waterloo Warriors. Their one loss came in an extremely tight game against the closely-ranked Windsor Lancers.

Coming off a last minute victory against the Ottawa Gee Gee’s last week and sitting at 2-1, the Ravens seemed like they were a likely candidate to break the trend.

However, some huge performances by the Hawks quickly extinguished any chance of a Ravens victory.

Running back Dillon Campbell got things going with two touchdowns, but he did not work alone on Saturday afternoon.

The Hawks were leading 34-0 at the half, and according to head coach Michael Faulds, it was a total team effort led by quarterback James Fracas.

“We are a really balanced offence. Everyone knows our headliner is Dillon Campbell, but James Fracas is doing such a great job,” he said. “He’s spreading the ball around. You saw Marcus [Arkarakas] had some catches and[Anthony] Pizzuti had some catches, so he is doing a really great job being the facilitator out there.”

Campbell rushed for 176 yards during the game. He currently sits at 850 so far this season and has not even played in half of two of the games.

He is 21 shy of his Ontario University Athletics-leading 867 season a year ago.

Pizzuti grabbed two touchdowns during the Homecoming game, which held a little extra significance for him. In last year’s Homecoming defeat to the Lancers, Pizzuti had a touchdown taken away from him as Laurier was trying to come back. The referees ruled that his feet were not in bounds in the corner of the end zone.

On Saturday, Fracas ran two similar plays when the Hawks had the ball inside the 10.

“When they made the call, I kind of had a good feeling in my stomach,” said Pizzuti.

“Coming in I had a little bit of a chip on my shoulder, ‘thinking you know what, I better make it count this time.’ I’m happy that I got two and I am happy that we won as a team. That’s all that really matters.”

In their three victories, the Hawks have outscored their opponents 150-20, with some inspired play from their defence.

Against the Ravens, they were able to limit wide receiver Nathanial Behar to just 27 yards— a week after he picked up 276 against the Gee Gee’s.

Defensive end and top Canadian Football League prospect Chris Ackie had 5.5 tackles on the day.

He is pleased with the effort the defence has been bringing, and has no plans to let up against York next week.

“Even last year when we were at 1-7 we surprised a lot of teams, so York can surprise us as well. We can’t take any team lightly. We are going to prepare for them like they are Western or [McMaster] or any team that is higher up,” he said.

The York Lions have not won a game this year in five attempts and have been outscored 266-12 over the course of the season.

Dillon Campbell alone has rushed for 850 yards, which is more than the entire Lions offence this year, as they sit at 784 total yards.

That being said, Faulds is not going to be making any changes in preparation.

“We have to come out here and execute and continue to play Laurier football regardless of the opponent coming in because we know we are going to get their best shot,” he said.The Lions make their way to University Stadium on Saturday Oct. 4 at 1 p.m.

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