LONDON, Ont. – Shamawd Chambers pulled in a touchdown pass with 21 seconds left as the number six ranked Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks narrowly avoided a shutout to the number two Western Mustangs, 30-7.
Laurier avoided being shutout for the first time in 25 years with the play late in the contest as 8,781 fans watched at TD Waterhouse Stadium.
“We played tremendously on defence and didn’t quit,” said manager of football operations and head coach Gary Jeffries. “We kept battling despite the score and the field position. We had no offence - it’s that simple. We have to be better.”
Golden Hawks were only able to put up 208 yards of offence compared to Western’s 435.
Chambers, a second year receiver from Markham, Ont. was able to pull in a ball from quarterback Evan Pawliuk (Kingston, Ont.). Pawliuk took the helm late in the fourth after Luke Thompson (London, Ont.) finished his day 11 of 21 for 71 yards and an interception. Pawliuk completed three including the touchdown and was picked off twice.
Western took control early in the game and by the half was holding a 17-0 lead.
Laurier’s defence saw over 33 minutes of playing time in the game and made some great plays as they restricted D’Shawn Thomas to only 57 rushing yards. Linebacker Giancarlo Rapanaro (Niagara Falls, Ont.) led the team with 2.5 sacks as well as nine tackles. Just behind him was safety Courtney Stephen (Brampton, Ont.) with 7.5 tackles. Linemen Stephen Cormack (Waterloo, Ont.) and Kyle Ardill (Mississauga, Ont.) also caused some trouble for the Western quarterbacks as they added three sacks and 6.5 tackles.
“With a quarterback like Faulds, any small mistake you make they are able to take advantage of,” said Rapanaro post game. “They are a good football team but I know we are better than what we showed today.”
Aaron Handsor’s 63-yard interception off of Pawliuk for a touchdown was the only turnover for the Golden Hawks that led to Mustang points. The Hawks had a total of seven in the contest including three fumbles and a turnover on downs.
Western quarterback MICHAEL FAULDS finished the day 21 of 30 for 315 yards and two touchdown passes including a 77 yard pass and run to Thomas. Nathan Riva had the remainder of the Mustang offence with 86 yards on the ground and a major.
The Golden Hawks did however improve on one area they focused on over the last week and that is penalties. Compared to last week’s 125 yards against, this week the purple-and-gold only saw 10 yards against them.
Wilfrid Laurier hosts their first game of the season next
week as they welcome their cross-town rival, the Waterloo Warriors at University
Stadium for a 1:00 p.m. kickoff. Tickets for the game are available on www.laurierathletics.com and the
gates open at noon.