Laurier defeats Carleton 17-16

Photo by Marco Pedri.

Photo by Marco Pedri.

The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks upset the No. 4 Carleton Ravens 17-16 at MNP Park this afternoon. The Hawks, nationally-ranked at No. 7 in the matchup, reignited their offence in the second half of the game and came from behind, erasing a 8-point deficit to upset the Ravens on their home soil.

The win improved the Hawks’ overall record to 3-0 and extended their unbeaten streak to three. The Hawks also extended their unbeaten streak to five over the Carleton Ravens, with their last loss coming in 1965 when the Ravens won 27-12.

“Well it’s really good, really good,” head coach Michael Faulds said after the game. “Defensively, we’ve been unbelievable all year. [Carleton] is a really high-powered offence, so holding them down to 16 points is pretty incredible.”

The Laurier offence struggled in the first half, with starting pivot Julien John struggling to get the passing game going. By the end of the first quarter, the Ravens scored two points when second-year kicker Nathan Mesher conceded a safety. Carleton added to their lead with a 32-yard field goal by Ravens kicker Michael Domagala and another Laurier conceded safety to take a 7-0 lead with four minutes remaining in the second quarter.

But a timely interception by Scott Hutter turned into a pick-six as the second-year defensive back ran 54-yards into the Carleton endzone, tying the game 7-7 by  halftime.

Photo by Andreas Patsiaouros

Photo by Andreas Patsiaouros

A quarterback change combined with the wear on the Carleton defence sparked the Laurier offence. Laurier put first-year quarterback Michael Knevel into the game and, with the help of fifth-year running back Eric Guiltinan, the Laurier offence marched down the field. The Hawks scored their first touchdown of the game — a 1-yard run by Darian Waite, to cut the deficit to two. Previously, the Ravens added another safety and a touchdown from wide receiver Kyle VanWynesberghe to take a 16-7 lead.

But the Hawks stuck together. Faulds said that he is proud of the way the Laurier offence played, because although they struggled in the first half, the run plays that weren’t as successful in the second half combined with the quarterback change and the wear-and-tear of the Carleton defence started to work.

With renewed energy and only two points behind, the Laurier defence went to work. A forced fumble by fourth-year defensive lineman Kwaku Boateng on the Carleton 10-yard line was scooped up by Hutter. With six minutes remaining, Mesher kicked an eight-yard field goal through the uprights to take a one-point lead, their first lead of the game.

That was all the offence needed. With the Laurier offence threatening, Knevel ran out the clock and completed the upset, defeating the Ravens by a single point. Guiltinan finished the day with 23 carries for 200 rushing yards. Guiltanin said that the win against Carleton was a great team win and although the Laurier offence started out slow in the first half, it really shows how tough the team is for sticking with it for four quarters.

“It would have been easy for our defence to give up, but it shows how great our team is,” he explained.

Knevel finished the game completing 4-8 pass attempts, for 40-yards, while John finished the game 2-9 with 6 passing yards and an interception. Ravens quarterback, Mills, completed 19-36 pass attempts for 202 passing yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. Carleton’s favourite rushing target Jayde Rowe, carried the ball 24 times for 161 yards.

Next, the Hawks return home to host the Waterloo Warriors on Homecoming weekend. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday September 23 at University Stadium.

Photo by Andreas Patsiaouros

Photo by Andreas Patsiaouros

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