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MFOOT loses heartbreaker on Homecoming
Laurier: 25 Windsor: 26

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WATERLOO, Ont. (September 28, 2013) - The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks had a potential game-winning field goal blocked during the first overtime possession as the Windsor Lancers walked away with a 26-25 victory on Homecoming weekend.

After Windsor kicker Dan Cerino of Stoney Creek, Ont., had missed a 37-yard attempt on the Lancers possession to open overtime, Lauriers Ronnie Pfeffer of Kitchener, Ont., had a chance to win the game if he could connect from 42 yards. However, a strong push from the Lancers enabled them to get a hand on the ball sending the Hawks to their fifth loss of the season.

"I'm proud of our guys how we battled back," said Head Coach MICHAEL FAULDS following the loss. "All you can ask for is a chance at the end of the game and we definitely had that. Our defence did a great job in that first overtime of stopping them and we had a chance to kick a field goal at the end. Windsor, give them credit, they made a great play and blocked the kick."

In a thrilling back-and-forth game in front of 8,114 fans at University Stadium, the Lancers jumped out to a 8-3 lead after the opening quarter on the strength of a 23-yard touchdown reception by Mitch Dender of Amherstburg, Ont.

The second quarter belonged to the Hawks as Pfeffer made it 8-6 with his second field goal of the game before quarterback James Fracas of Waterloo, Ont., found Anthony Pizzuti of Hamilton, for a 14-yard major. A field goal from Cerino as time expired in the half sent the teams to the locker rooms with the Hawks lead 13-11.

A quiet third quarter featured a lone Laurier safety setting the stage for a wild fourth quarter.

Windsor got things rolling with touchdowns on consecutive possessions from Clark Grace of Windsor, Ont., and Dender to grab a 25-15 lead. 

With things looking bleak for the Hawks, the team rallied behind the strong support of their fans and cut into the lead when Fracas connected with Dillon Campbell of Whitby, Ont., on a 53-yard touchdown reception. 

Trailing by three, the Hawks had a chance to tie the game with 1:22 left in the game but Pfeffer missed a 42-yard field goal.

Laurier's defence stepped up, forcing a 2-and-out, giving Fracas and the offence one last chance. The Hawks rookie pivot drove Laurier to Windsors 20-yard line where Pfeffer made up for his earlier miss to tie the game with no time left on the clock. 

With momentum on their side, the Hawks appeared to have the perfect chance to win with the Cerino miss but it would be for not as they fall to 1-5 on the season. Windsor improves to 4-2 with the victory.

"It's a tough loss, no doubt," commented Fracas. "We really stuck together as a team and I feel like we put a very good effort forward. It's very tough losing but there's a lot to build upon. We get into film tomorrow and we'll be up and ready for Queen's next week."

Leading the way for the Lancers was running back Dender as the fifth year veteran rushed for 155 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, and added two receptions for 31 yards and a score through the air.

Lancers quarterback Austin Kennedy of Windsor, Ont., clearly hobbled by a knee injury, finished the game 16-of-24 for 189 yards and two touchdowns but only ran the ball eight times for seven yards.

As for Laurier, Campbell and Fracas led the offensive attack. Campbell finished the day with 193 all-purposes yards, including picking up his fourth consecutive 100 yard rushing game with 127 yards on 26 carries. Meanwhile, Fracas had his best statistical game as a Hawk, completing 23-of-33 passes for 313 yards and two touchdowns. Isaac Dell of Niagara Falls, Ont., was his favourite receiver making seven catches for 112 yards.

Up next for the Hawks, they will travel to Kingston, Ont., for their final road game of the season where they will face the No. 3 Queen's Gaels (4-1) on Saturday, October 5. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Richardson Stadium.

NOTES: Rookie linebacker Brandon Calver of London, Ont., led Lauriers defensive effort with 9.5 tackles and a pass breakup...kick returner William Pitt-Doe of Mississauga, Ont., finished the game with 45 yards and is now just four shy of Dillon Heaps all-time single season Laurier record of 493 yards
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