WATERLOO, Ont. – Nathan Riva (LaSalle, Ont.) rushed for 279 yards and an OUA single game record 42 carries as the University of Western Mustangs defeated the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks 26-16 at University Stadium in front of 3474 fans. Western will now advance to their third consecutive Yates Cup to take on the Queen’s Gaels in Kingston.
The Mustangs held the Hawks to just 252 yards of offence while they exploded against Laurier’s no. two ranked defence in the province for 547. Western dominated Laurier in time of possession holding the ball for 36:04 while the purple and gold had it for just 23:56.
A 30 yard pass from Evan Pawliuk (Kingston, Ont.) to Josh Bishop (Mississauga, Ont.) for a major to close out the first half helped Golden Hawks to a 9-6 first half lead. The Mustangs came back out in the third quarter and rolled over Laurier for 17 unanswered points. The Hawks scored another touchdown late in the fourth on a seven yard reception from Dillon Heap (Waterloo, Ont.), but it was too little to late for the home team.
Evan Pawliuk went 13 for 32 and threw for 156 yards and two touchdowns.
Dillon Heap led all Hawks with 116 all-purpose yards with 29 receiving, 37 on kickoff returns and 50 on punt returns.
On the defensive side of the ball, Scott McCahill (Kingston, Ont.) led all players with 10.5 tackles (8 solo, 5 assisted). Courtney Stephen (Brampton, Ont.) and Jordan Van Horn (Burlington, Ont.) followed him up with eight tackles a-piece.
Laurier held CIS all-time passing yardage leader MICHAEL FAULDS to a modest 14 for 29 and 238 yards.
The defence also made several big stops, forcing the visitors to kick for field goals. Darryl Wheeler was 4-4 on the day, hitting two 34 yarders.
For the Mustangs, John Surla led the team with five solo tackles while Craig Butler had four solo and two assisted.