HAMILTON, Ont. - Ontario University Athletics (OUA) returns to The Score Television Network on Sat., Sept. 12 as the defending Yates Cup champion and Vanier Cup finalist Western Mustangs host the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks in a rematch of their OUA semifinal game last November.
It is the first of 10 OUA football games to air nationally on The Score in 2009, commencing with the 102nd Yates Cup presented by Pioneer Petroleums on Sat., Nov. 14. Western has claimed North America’s oldest football trophy each of the last two seasons and a record 27 times in its history.
Mustangs fifth-year quarterback MICHAEL FAULDS
of Eden Mills, Ont. is a pre-season favourite for the Hec Crighton Award, coming off back-to-back Dalt White trophies as Yates Cup most valuable player after leading the nation with 2,596 passing yards during the 2008 regular season. Faulds is within striking distance of the elusive 10,000-yard plateau for his career, and will look to get off to a good start against the Golden Hawks.
The game will be a homecoming for Laurier quarterback Luke Thompson
of London, Ont. who is looking to erase the memory of a 36-28 playoff loss at TD Waterhouse Stadium back on Nov. 1. Thompson was intercepted five times in that contest; a sour end to what had been a breakthrough season for the third-year pivot. He threw for over 1,800 yards and 19 touchdowns during the 2008 regular season.
On Sat., Sept. 19, the Battle of Waterloo takes centre stage as Laurier hosts its cross-town rival Waterloo Warriors. The game will mark the first time Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) and OUA rookie-of-the-year Jordan Verdone of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. will perform in front of the nation. His 52.5 total tackles and 44 solo tackles were good for second place in OUA and top six in the nation in 2008.
A rematch of the 2007 Yates Cup will take place on Sat., Sept. 26 as the Guelph Gryphons host the Western Mustangs. The Gryphons are led by fifth-year quarterback Justin Dunk of Guelph, Ont. who is 111 passing yards behind Faulds entering the 2009 season and will challenge in the Hec Crighton race. Not to be excluded is Guelph running back Nick Fitzgibbon of Puslinch, Ont. who was second in OUA rushing yards in 2008.
The final three regular season telecasts are reserved for games with playoff implications and will be announced at a later date. University Rush games will air on The Score on Oct. 3, Oct. 17 and Oct. 24.
The Score will broadcast four of five OUA playoff games in 2009, beginning with a quarter-final game on Sat., Oct. 31. Both OUA semifinal games will be showcased as part of a University Rush doubleheader on Sat., Nov. 7. The OUA football season concludes on Sat., Nov. 14 with the 102nd Yates Cup presented by Pioneer Petroleums.
Play-by-play announcer and 2009 OUA Media Award winner Tim Micallef returns for an eighth season calling games on Saturdays and will be joined by former OUA and CFL star Mike Morreale who is back in the booth for his sophomore season.