Hawks win in blow-out

Another team from Toronto, another lop-sided victory.

The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks football team won their second-straight game on Saturday afternoon, crushing the York Lions 68-14. For the Hawks, the win marked the seventh consecutive victory over York. For the Lions, it extended their three-year long losing streak to 23 games.

“Our goal was to play and compete for 60 minutes and we did that,” said Laurier manager of football operations and head coach Gary Jeffries. “We haven’t been a good football team yet [this season] and I thought today, we showed up. That’s the group I saw on Aug. 18. That’s the group I saw coming out of camp.”

The Hawks started the scoring parade early in this contest as quarterback Evan Pawliuk, who was starting for the injured Shane Kelly, hit Mark Surya for a 42-yard touchdown just 1:48 into the game. Pawliuk would throw another touchdown pass to Dillon Heap, while Anton Bennett, Josh Pirie, Shamawd Chambers and Isaac Dell would each add rushing majors, with Bennett reaching the end zone twice.

Pawliuk was making his second start in relief of Kelly this season. In week two versus McMaster, Kelly was nursing a foot injury, while this week a dislocated shoulder kept the American pivot out of the lineup.

“I’m just going to do what the team asks me to,” said Pawliuk, who started six games last year after Luke Thompson tore his ACL. “I’m just going to come out and perform, do what I can and let everything work itself out.”

Kelly was confident that he would be back in the lineup next week when the Hawks take on the Guelph Gryphons.

Defensively, the purple and gold held the Lions to just 130 yards and 9 first-downs, after York quarterback Nick Coutu left with an injury in the early in the game.

The Laurier defence also made big plays as linebacker Mitchell Bosch got into the end zone after a blocked punt and starting quarterback-turned-back-up safety Thompson added an interception.

Thompson wasn’t the only non-starter to see action today, as the wide scoring margin allowed players who wouldn’t normally see a lot of playing time to get on the field.

“We played everybody,” said Jeffries. “We’ve got so many good kids and so many of them made plays today. It was fun to watch.”

One of the back-ups who had a stand-out performance was running back Rashad La Touche. La Touche, who is listed third on the team’s depth chart, ran for 75 yards on 12 attempts, getting the bulk of the carries in the second half.

“It felt really good to get in there,” said La Touche. “I feel like I was really able to get my legs under me and show the coaches that I can run the ball and help this team win.”

The Hawks will have a much stiffer test on their hands next Saturday, when they host the 3-1 Gryphons on Laurier’s Homecoming.

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