WATERLOO, Ont. (September 13, 2014) – Led by a nearly unstoppable rushing attack, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s football team shutout the Waterloo Warriors in their home opener on Saturday afternoon as they posted a 44-0 victory.
“It’s good to go in to a bye week having won a game because then you would have two straight weeks of practice if we had lost,” said head coach MICHAEL FAULDS following his first win at University Stadium. “We played well, kudos to our defence getting the shutout. Offensively, we were a little inconsistent but our run game was phenomenal.”
Leading the way on the ground for the Golden Hawks once again was Dillon Campbell of Whitby, Ont. The fourth year back, and leading rusher in the CIS, recorded his second 200+ yard rushing game of the season as he piled up 204 of Laurier’s 385 yards on the ground. He also finished the two touchdowns, brining his season total to five.
“Definitely credit to the O-Line,” said Campbell following another big day for the draft-eligible player. “After we figured out what they were doing, their weird little stance up front, we started to run and move the ball.”
Also starring for the puple and gold on the day was kicker Ronnie Pfeffer of Kitchener, Ont. The graduate of Cameron Heights CI was good on five of his six field goal attempts, tying the school record for most field goals in a game. He also broke his own school record, which was shared by former Laurier kicker John Wintermeyer, when he connected on a career-long 50-yard attempt in the third quarter.
“Ronnie has been absolutely phenomenal, he’s kicking the ball like you wouldn’t believe,” said head coach MICHAEL FAULDS of his record-setting kicker. “He’s worked really hard this last year so it’s good to see it paying off.”
In a game that was controlled by the Hawks from start to finish, Laurier built up a 10-0 lead in the opening quarter of play thanks to a Pfeffer field goal and Ethan Loft’s (London, Ont.) first career touchdown.
Campbell then took over the game in the second thanks to his outstanding running ability. On his first touchdown run of the day, he capped a drive which saw him accumulate 48 of Laurier’s 50 yards by plunging into the endzone from one-yard out to give Laurier a 21-0 advantage.
On the Hawks’ next possession, Campbell shook off a number of Warrior defenders before scampering 36 yards to cap off Laurier’s scoring in the half, giving them a 28-0 lead through two quarters.
While the second half was relatively quite for Laurier as the team rested a majority of their starters, including quarterback James Fracas of Waterloo, Ont., some new faces for the purple and gold got a chance to shine. Among them was running back Chucks Okafor of Calgary, who ran 10 times for 62 yards and capped off the scoring with his first career touchdown late in the contest.
The Hawks strong showing on offence was complimented by a bounce-back effort from the defensive unit. A week after allowing 39 points against the Windsor Lancers, Coach Ron VanMoerkerke and his group limited the Warriors to just 227 total yards, including a stingy 37 rushing yards on 19 attempts. Two sacks, two interceptions, seven pass breakups and a blocked field goal were key aspects of Laurier’s well-rounded play on defence.
Laurier will now rest for their bye week before they return to action on Saturday, September 27 when they host the Carleton Ravens in their annual Homecoming game. Kickoff in that contest is at 1 p.m. and tickets for the game can be purchased at tickets.laurierathletics.com.
NOTES: Pfeffer also climbed his way up Laurier’s all-time scoring list as his 20-point effort gives him 212 for his career, fourth best in school history…Fracas, who played less than three quarters for the Hawks, finished the game 10-for-18 for 99 yards and a touchdown…his replacement, Eric Morelli of Burlington, Ont., was 2-for-6 for 16 yards and also rushed twice for 54 yards…defensive back Austin Reusch of Burlington, Ont., led the Hawks defensive effort with 6.5 tackls and two pass breakups…attendance on Saturday was 1,528