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Kurleigh Gittens Jr is on the verge of a pair of single season records this Saturday (Credit: Kha Vo)
Kurleigh Gittens Jr is on the verge of a pair of single season records this Saturday (Credit: Kha Vo)
PREVIEW: MFOOT hosts McMaster on Seniors Day
Game Date/Time: Saturday, October 21 - 1 p.m.
Game Location: University Stadium, Waterloo
TV: Rogers Waterloo Region (Cable 20)
Radio: 570 News (Kitchener-Waterloo), TSN 1150 (Hamilton)
Live Webcast/Stats: OUA.tv
Live Audiocast: RadioLaurier.com
Tickets: tickets.laurierathletics.com

THE SKINNY
Second place in the OUA will be on the line on Saturday as the No. 7 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (5-2) host the No. 5 McMaster Marauders (6-1) on Seniors Day.

FAN INFORMATION
- Fans can get their tickets for tomorrow’s game at 50% off all day Friday ending at 11:59 p.m.
- the Golden Hawks graduating seniors will be recognized prior to kickoff in an on-field ceremony

NEED TO KNOW
- Laurier needs a victory over the Marauders, and for Ottawa to lose to Western, to clinch second place in the conference for the second straight season and earn a bye to the OUA Semifinals on Saturday, November 4
- McMaster just needs to win to secure second place
- a Laurier loss would mean the Hawks would finish anywhere from third to fifth in the standings and play an OUA Quarter-final game on Saturday, October 28
- Laurier receiver Kurleigh Gittens Jr. needs 9 catches to match the U SPORTS single season receptions record (74) and 77 yards to match Laurier’s single season receiving yards record (916)
- Laurier defensive lineman Robbie Smith needs one sack to tie Laurier’s all-time single season record of 9.5
- Saturday’s game marks the third time in four weeks that the Hawks have faced a Top 10 opponent and they are 0-2 in their previous two matchups (Western, Guelph)

ALL-TIME SERIES
Laurier leads the all-time series against McMaster with a 41-18-1 record. These two teams last met in the OUA Semifinals a season ago when they Hawks pulled out a 21-19 victory. The win gave Laurier two consecutive victories over McMaster, both playoff results. The Marauders, however, own a six-game winning streak in the regular season against the purple and gold dating back to the 2010 season.

MEET THE TEAMS
Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (5-2) - No. 7 in Canada

The Golden Hawks head into their final game of the regular season looking to bounce back after a tough loss to the Guelph Gryphons last weekend.

Laurier’s vaunted offence, ranked third in the country in points per game, was limited to just 14 points against the Gryphons and the group will be searching for a better performance against McMaster as they look to gear up for the playoffs.

As has been the case all season, look for the purple and gold to lean on their playmakers, including receivers Kurleigh Gittens Jr. of Ottawa, and Brentyn Hall of Toronto, along with running back Levondre Gordon of Mississauga, Ont. Gittens Jr., on the verge of both U SPORTS and Laurier single season records, and Hall are both ranked in the Top 10 in the OUA for receiving yards this season while Gordon sits fifth in the nation for rushing yards.

The group will have their work cut out for them against a McMaster defence that ranks second in the country in points allowed, passing yards allowed and sacks.

On the opposite side of the ball, the purple and gold had one of their best showings of the season against the Gryphons, holding Guelph out of the endzone and giving up just 15 points, all on field goals. Laurier will look to put up a similar effort against a Marauders team that ranks seventh in the OUA in points per game this season.

McMaster Marauders - (6-1) No. 5 in Canada

To put it simply, the Marauders have been dominant on defence all season. The team has allowed 10 or more points on just two occasions this season and at one point, went three games without allowing a touchdown.

Defensive lineman Mark Mackie of London, Ont., and defensive back Nolan Putt of Caledonia, Ont., are just two of the players to watch on defence for McMaster. Mackie, in his fifth year for the Marauders, has a team-high five sacks to go along with 24.5 tackles while, Putt just in his second year, leads the conference in interceptions with four.

The offence has been the Marauders weak spot though in 2017, scoring more than 30 points on just two occasions, but has been stabilized as of late with the emergence of rookie quarterback Jackson White of Cambridge, Ont. White has thrown for 1407 yards this season along with nine touchdowns to just four interceptions since taking over the starting duties. Veteran receiver Dan Petermann of Stoney Creek, Ont., who will go head-to-head against his younger brother, Laurier rookie Nicholas Petermann, on Saturday, leads the team in receiving yards with 331.

On the ground, Jordan Lyons of Burlington, Ont., will get the majority of carries for McMaster as he averages over 95 yards rushing per game and has three touchdowns this season.
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