Laurier: 34 Queen's: 40
KINGSTON, Ont. (October 5, 2013) - For the second consecutive week, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men's football team experienced a heartbreaking overtime loss as they fell 40-34 to the No. 5 Queen's Gaels on Saturday afternoon.
After failing to score on their first overtime possession, the Hawks looked to have stopped the Gaels when Laurier's special teams unit blocked a game-winning field goal attempt. However, in a wild sequence, the ball was booted into the endzone and recovered by the Gaels Aaron Gazendam of Kingston, Ont., for the touchdown and the victory.
"We said at the start of the season, regardless of what our record is going to be, we're going to be the toughest team [to play]," commented receiver Greg Nyhof
after the game. "We've worked hard to earn that reputation and I think we have earned that reputation. We came into this game knowing that this team didn't really respect us and I think it's safe to say they do now."
"Our emotion is amazing. It's been like that all year from the first practice to our last game," added Head Coach MICHAEL FAULDS
. "Our guys are fighting and they're never going to give up. We were just saying this is the best 1-6 football team in the country and no one wants to play us right now. We're a dangerous football team whether its Western, its Windsor or its Queen's, we're going to come out swinging."
Both Laurier (1-6) and Queen's (5-1) put on a show for the 9,037 fans in attendance at the Gaels first Homecoming game since 2008. The hometown team got the start it wanted thanks to a 54-yard touchdown run by Ryan Granberg of Sherwood Park, Alta., and led 8-3 after the opening quarter.
The Hawks responded in the second as quarterback James Fracas
of Waterloo, Ont., connected on 22- and 56-yard touchdown passes to Greg Nyhof
of Georgetown, Ont., and Scott Campbell
of Cambridge, Ont. Those scores gave Laurier a 20-9 lead at the half.
After a quite start to the third quarter, the two teams traded majors late in the quarter. Touchdowns by Queen's Daniel Hislop of Scarborough, Ont., and Lauriers Rashad La Touche
of Whitby, Ont., meant the Hawks led 27-16 after three quarters of play.
In the fourth, the Gaels began chipping away at the Hawks lead. A field goal would make the score 27-19 and then Queen's tied the game with under three minutes to play thanks to a Scott Macdonell (Montreal) touchdown and a successful two-point conversion.
On their next possession, Jesse Andrews of Arnprior, Ont., scored the Gaels second rushing major of the day to take the lead. However, the purple and gold did not fold and Fracas guided the Hawks into Queen's territory. The Hawks pivot would finish off an eight play, 81-yard drive with 15 seconds left as he connected with Nyhof for his second major of the game to tie the contest at 34.
However, as was the case last week against Windsor, a win wasn't in the cards for Laurier in this game as the wild overtime sequence clinched Queen's their fifth win of the season.
The running game proved to be the difference for the Gaels on the afternoon as the Hawks effectively shutdown McPhee, limiting him to just 10 completions and 204 yards. Queens backs combined for 248 yards, led by a 100-yard effort from Granberg.
For Laurier, Fracas continued to improve his stats and for the second straight week, threw for more than 300 yards. He finished the game 23-of-35 for 359 yards and four touchdowns. Running back Dillon Campbell
of Whitby, Ont., led the Hawks' rushing game with his fifth consecutive 100-yard effort, finishing the game with 107 yards on 20 carries.
With the loss, the Hawks are officially eliminated from post-season contention for the first time since 2002. Laurier will wrap up their 2013 season at home on Saturday, October 12 when they host the McMaster Marauders (3-3). The Hawks senior players will be honoured before the game and fans can purchase five-dollar tickets with the donation of a non-perishable food item.
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at University Stadium.
NOTES: Kick returned William Pitt-Doe of Mississauga, Ont., set a new Laurier single-season record for kick return yards late in the third quarter thanks to a 71-yard return...the rookie defensive back now has 560 yards on the season which ranks him fourth all-time in OUA history...rookie linebacker Nakas Onyeka
of Brampton, Ont., finished the game as Laurier's leading tackler with 6.5 tackles in the contest