Laurier’s winning streak comes to an end
The Laurier football team said goodbye to their winning streak this past weekend as they dropped to 4-1 following a 45-26 loss to the Western Mustangs. The game was within reach until a third quarter outburst by the Mustangs.
Head coach, Michael Faulds, was quick to point out, “We’re going to build off this.”
“I don’t think it’s anything that went wrong. I think it’s what they were keying on. Obviously they know we run the ball a lot so they were really stacked at the box,” said Faulds, after the loss.
Star player, Eric Guiltinan, was limited to 22-yards by the Mustangs, and Laurier held Mustangs running back, Alex Taylor, to only 15-yards.
This, however, wasn’t enough for the Hawks to take the win.
Nakas Onyeka, one of the key pieces to the stout defence, offered perspective on the loss and how to right the ship going forward.
“We know the first step is no self-loathing. We understand we lost. We understand we lost to a good team but we got to pick it back up,” Onyeka said.
Onyeka had a field day, totaling with 9.5 tackles and a forced fumble.
“We had to adjust. We told our receivers we had one-on-one coverage. Michael made some really good throws in the first half. We just weren’t quite connecting. We had Curly on a deep one that was a bit overthrown. We had Curly in the end zone that went kind of through his hands. And then in the second half, those completions we started to get … but it was a little bit too late,” Faulds said.
Both teams going into this game were more comfortable racking up yards on the ground than throwing the ball. But Laurier quarterback, Michael Knevel, moved the ball very well through the air. His highlight of the match was throwing a 41-yard strike to Brentyn Hall for his first touchdown. This brought the score to 21-14 in the second half. This was Hall’s first touchdown in his career with Laurier. Knevel finished the game 11-for-30 for 243 yards and two touchdowns.
“He had a very big height advantage against 27 for Western. 27 is a really fast player so we close in terms of the coverage, but we were telling Michael, if you can throw it up to Brentyn, being a big 6’3” target, we can have our chances,” Faulds said about the big play to Hall.
Faulds was also pleased with his quarterback’s play. “He and I chatted after the game and only two throws we want to have back. So, in terms of where he was going, where he was attacking them.”
After this game, it’s clear that Knevel has shown consistency at the position.
Quarterbacks that can add another dimension to the offence can change the way the defence plays. Knevel is a strong passer, but will not hesitate to tuck the ball and run, if the defence lets him.
“[It] definitely helps, because then when we know that we’re going to pass the ball if everyone backs out into coverage. He can use his legs to get a first down,” Faulds said about Knevel.
This game, as well, featured another defensive touchdown for the Hawks. Defensive lineman, Rashari Henry, scored Laurier’s fourth defensive touchdown this season, rupturing a fumble for 33-yards. The score came in the second quarter and was the Hawks’ first touchdown of the game.
The Hawks will be looking to redeem themselves this Thursday as they face the Toronto Varsity Blues. at Varsity Stadium in Toronto. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.