WATERLOO, Ont. – The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (6-2) defeated the no.2 nationally ranked Queen’s Gaels (7-1) 25-13 to finish in second place in the OUA and earn a first round bye in the provincial playoffs.
Laurier took the lead from the opening kickoff with a single by Chris Mamo (London, Ont.). It would be the first of 13 points for the kicker/punter who set the Laurier career scoring record with 270 points. Mamo hit three field goals, two converts and had another single to move past former teammate Brian Devlin who had previously held the scoring title with 261 points.
In addition Mamo’s three field goals were from 45, 37 and 33 yards. The 45 yarder is the longest field goal he has hit in his career at Laurier.
After the opening kickoff the Hawks’ defence stepped with a Giancarlo Rapanaro (Niagra Falls, Ont.) interception on Queen’s Danny Brannagan. Laurier then marched down the field and quarterback Evan Pawliuk (Kingston, Ont.) connected with Shamawd Chambers (Markham, Ont.) on a 44-yard reception for the home team’s first touchdown.
Pawliuk was 20 for 30 on the day for 273 yards and one major.
“I took what they gave me, but they have a very good defence,” said Pawiuk following his best performance of the season. “We were focused on our goal, which was to get more points than they did.”
“Pawliuk showed us last week after four interceptions he was mentally tough when he helmed our team to the win,” said Manager of Football Operations and head coach Gary Jeffries. “Our game plan this week was to get some pressure on Brannagan and not give him much time.”
In the race for the CIS all-time passing record, quarterback Danny Brannagan of Burlington, Ont., fell just shy of the all-time mark finishing second to Western’s MICHAEL FAULDS who threw for 550-yards against Toronto. Brannagan finishes his career No. 2 on the all-time list with 10,714 while Faulds first at 10,811.
For a short-time, Brannagan held the all-time mark surpassing Matt Connell (McGill) on a 23-yard pass to Scott Valberg of Kingston, Ont., late in the second quarter. Starting the game, Brannagan needed only 31-yards to pass Connell’s career mark of 10,455.
Brannagan was 25 for 45 finishing with 289 yards and no touchdowns in the game.
“Coming into the game and we were ready on defence,” said Scott Mccahill (Kingston, Ont.) who picked off Brannagan for a game changing 110 yard interception return for a touchdown. “We made some adjustments in the game during the second half and they worked.”
The 110 yard interception return tied the third longest in OUA history.
The Golden Hawk’s defence was led by safety Courtney Stephen who had 6.5 tackles (5 solo, 3 assisted) in the game. Giancarlo Rapanaro and Mitchell Bosch also had strong performances each with five tackles apiece. In total the Laurier defenders knocked down seven Brannagan pass attempts.
The Gaels defence was led by Shomari Williams (Brampton, Ont.) who had a nine solo tackle effort and a half sack. Osie Ukwuoma (Mississauga, Ont.) also contributed 1.5 sacks.
“We have some nice momentum certainly, but our goal was to get the bye and we got it,” concluded Jeffries.
Laurier will now have a bye week before they host the OUA semifinal at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 7th at University Stadium. For more information on the game stay tuned to www.laurierathletics.com