Head coach Faulds’ first game ends in 21-7 loss to Guelph Gryphons

Austin Reusche attempts a tackle on James Ingram during Sunday's 21-7 loss. (Photo by Heather Davidson)

Austin Reusche attempts a tackle on James Ingram during Sunday’s 21-7 loss. (Photo by Heather Davidson)

Head coach Michael Faulds walked over to his players at the end of the game with a smile on his face.

While the scoreboard read 21-7 in favour of the home team, the visiting Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks escaped a blowout, and proved that there are things to be proud of on their team.

“What I learned [today] was how strong our defence is,” Faulds said. “So we didn’t do much offensively, but our defence didn’t give them anything. They battled, and they battled really hard.”

The game began rough for the Hawks, as there was minimal movement down the field. Running back Dillon Campbell was able to gain a few yards down the middle, but not enough for any offence to build.

Around the ten minute mark of the first, Guelph’s strong offence powered by Jazz Lindsey would find the endzone, as Keith Walker scored their first touchdown of the season.

However, kicker Guiliano Tropea would go wide ride on the conversion to leave the score at 6-0. A missed field goal minutes later by Tropea would only pick up a rouge to bring the score up to 7-0.

With less than two minutes left in the first quarter, the Hawks would find offence from their defensive line, as fifth-year Felix Odum would pick off a pass and run 38 yards into the endzone. Third-year kicker Ronnie Pfeffer would make the conversion, and the score was tied going into the second quarter.

With Jazz Lindsey hurt, backup Lucas Nangle filled in, scoring a touchdown midway through the second quarter on a 1-yard run. Guelph would include a safety that Pfeffer conceded to round out the first-half scoring.

The second half would be much the same, with a field goal coming from Guelph’s inconsistent kicking with six minutes left in the third quarter, and a rouge late in the fourth would finish off the scoring for the game.

First-year quarterback Julien John finished 10-for-29 in his first career start after a couple years on the bench for Laurier. Nerves proved to get the best of him, however John still has faith in his young offence.

“It was exciting,” he said. “When we got out there, I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be. I felt calm, I just got to put the ball where it needs to be, clean up my reads a little bit, but we’re going to stay the course, and this offence is going to progress.”

Defensively, the Hawks were sound, while special teams executed well throughout the game. Pfeffer finished the game with 529 yards, with his longest punt being a 44-yarder.

Faulds mentioned that the game was just the first in a long season, and will work to mend the mistakes in the upcoming weak in preparation for Sept. 2’s home opener versus the Toronto Varsity Blues.

“Defensively we’re really strong, offensively we’re really young obviously and we’ve just got to get up,” Faulds said. “I told the guys in the huddle when we just broke them down, that we’ve got seven more of these games. Where we are right now is going to be a lot different than where we are Monday night when we play [Toronto] at home.”

Sept. 2’s home opener will be the orientation week game, with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.

 

 

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