September 16, 2017
Waterloo 45 Carleton 43
The Waterloo Warriors football team could have just enjoyed 3-0 while it lasted.
They were already leaps and bounds ahead of the external expectations: 3-0 for the first time in a decade, after back-to-back 0-8 seasons. And they were already behind the adversarial eight-ball on Saturday afternoon in Ottawa: On the road, in a hostile homecoming environment, against the Carleton Ravens – a team that's received at least one vote in 18 of the last 21 national top-10 polls. And they were already dealing with some gameplan-changing injuries: one half of the ultra-effective quarterbacking platoon, rookie Tre Ford (Niagara Falls/), was inactive due to an injury, as was veteran fullback Mitch Kernick (Elmira/).
Then, at halftime, they were already behind – and behind big – on the scoreboard. There were poorly-timed penalties. Costly turnovers. A freight train in the Carleton backfield named Nathan Carter, who rushed for 224 yards in the half. So, trailing 30-10 after two quarters, the Warriors could have just enjoyed 3-0 while it lasted.
But they were already orchestrating a program-defining comeback for the ages.
When the dust settled on a frenetic second half, the Warriors had roared all the way back to claim an impossible 45-43 victory over the Ravens at MNP field, moving to 4-0 for the first time since 1998.
"We had a terrible first half," said Waterloo head coach Chris Bertoia. "(But) our players answered the challenge in the second half. It validated our staff's belief in their ability and their character. These guys are playing for each other, while believing in their own abilities."
Taking every snap in the absence of Ford, veteran Lucas McConnell (Waterford/) played likely his finest game in four years as a Warrior, connecting on 29 of 43 passes for 477 yards and three touchdowns, while adding a major score on the ground. Behind McConnell, Dion Pellerin (Abbotsford/) exploded in the second half, scoring on runs of 52 and 60 yards – in back-to-back drives – en route to 138 yards rushing.
Receiver Tyler Ternowski (Hamilton/) returned from injury to haul in 10 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown, while Richmond Nketiah (Brampton/) caught 7 balls for 114 yards and his league-leading fourth receiving touchdown of the year. On the defensive side of the ball, Michael Reid (Sault Ste. Marie/) and Kurtis Gray (Waterloo/) were wrecking balls from the linebacker spot, notching a combined 14.5 tackles.
Meanwhile, the Ravens lost their chance to claw back to .500, dropping to 1-3 on the season. Carter finished with a single-game school record 274 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns, but was held to just 50 yards and no scores in the second half. Carleton pivot Michael Arruda went 20-39 for 348 yards and 3 TD, while Phil Iloki made 5 catches for 147 yards and a score in a losing cause.
Buried in the gaudy stat lines and comeback narratives was a dominant first half from the Ravens. Waterloo was not without its chances, but when the youthful Warriors made mistakes, Carleton was quick to capitalize. In a three-drive span overlapping the first and second quarters, the Ravens' defence turned three turnovers (one via downs and two via fumbles) into 17 unanswered points.
Nketiah's 6-yard touchdown reception made the score 20-10 with two minutes to play in the half, but Carter took exactly one play – an 87-yard touchdown run – to steal back the momentum. Another turnover on downs and a field goal later, and the Warriors were down by 20 at the half.
After the clubs combined for three punts to start the third quarter, Waterloo turned the contest on its head. In a game that included 1,314 offensive yards, none ended up being bigger than the eight that McConnell earned on a do-or-die, third-and-goal scramble to the goal line to make it 30-17. It opened the floodgates for Waterloo, and was the catalyst to an outrageous stretch of offensive football that rendered MNP park silent.
On the next Waterloo drive, it was two straight catches from Ternowski – a 49-yard jaw-dropping juke clinic, followed by an 8-yard TD grab to cut the lead to 6. Then, it was Pellerin's two thunderous TD runs – sandwiched around a 72-yard bomb from Arruda to Iloki – to make the score 38-37 Waterloo. And finally, it was Lam Diing (Kitchener/), climbing the ladder and snatching a 23-yard McConnell lob in the endzone.
The final tally on the Waterloo explosion: Five drives, 10:57 of possession, 24 plays, five touchdowns. In a span of 19:57, the Warriors had outscored the Ravens 35-7.
Still, though, the game hung in the balance through 59 minutes and 48 seconds, when a last-minute touchdown catch from Wilson Birch set up Carleton to attempt a game-tying two-point conversion. But just as they did a week ago against Toronto, the Warriors defense made the game-deciding play – this time, it was Lautaro Frecha (Sault Ste. Marie/) who burst into the Carleton backfield and sacked Arruda before he could get the ball off, cementing Waterloo's fourth straight victory.
Source: Waterloo Warriors
Western 59 Windsor 7
Under mostly sunny skies the game kicked off at 1:02pm with Western wasting no time in getting on the board, opening the game with a 12-yard field goal. The Mustangs would then rattle off nine scoring plays throughout the first half.
Western quarterback Chris Merchant found his running back Cedric Joseph for a 15-yard touchdown pass midway through the first quarter.
The Mustangs would find the end zone twice more in the second quarter, with back-up quarterback Stevenson Bone finding pay dirt on a sneak from one yard out. Minutes later, Cedric Joseph would force his way into the end zone from a yard out as well.
Windsor Safety Matt Gayer Intercepted Western's Chris Merchant with 1:55 left in second quarter.
The Lancers conceded four safeties while Western scored three touchdowns as well as a rouge to make the halftime score an impressive 33-0.
The Mustangs would continue their dominance into the second half, finding the end zone twice in the third quarter as well as picking up a safety. Western's Chris Merchant took off in the third quarter for a 54-yard touchdown run, the longest run of the day.
Windsor's Marcus Kentner would finally get the Lancers on the board with a goal line touchdown run with 3:15 left in the fourth quarter.
Source: Windsor Lancers
Ottawa 7 McMaster 24
McMaster`s Jackson White of Cambridge, Ont., threw for two touchdowns and 255 yards to lead the No. 9 McMaster Marauders to a 24 -7 win over the No. 8 Ottawa Gee Gees in OUA football action.
McMaster exploded for 22 points in the second half, including 15 in the third quarter to secure their second win of the season. McMaster is now 2-1 with four points, good for fifth place in the OUA standings. The loss is Ottawa's first of the season, with their record falling to 3-1 for fourth place.
White, appearing in his first career start for the Marauders at quarterback, had a slow start, tossing two interceptions in the first half. He rebounded in the third quarter, moving the ball much more efficiently and leading to a 15-point outburst.
The first-year quarterback was also a dual threat on offence, rushing for a game high 76 yards on the ground on 16 carries.
McMaster's defence continued its dominant play, holding Ottawa to four points until it's offence was able to settle down and find its groove in the second half. As a team, the Marauders broke up a season-high seven passes, recorded four sacks (for a 25 yards) and limited Ottawa to just 138 total offensive yards, including just 70 in the first half.
Nolan Putt of Caledonia, Ont., intercepted Ottawa's Alex Lavric of Mississauga, Ont., giving him two for the year. He is tied with Robbie Yochim of Kelowna, B.C. for the team lead.
McMaster`s Dylan Astrom of Peterborough, Ont., also contributed a touchdown on the ground with a one-yard quarterback sneak in his only play at pivot.
Source: McMaster Marauders
Laurier 40 Queen’s 17
Robbie Smith (Brampton, Ont.) set a Laurier record while Michael Knevel(Brantford, Ont.) had another career day as the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s football team beat the Queen’s Gaels 40-17 Saturday afternoon.
On a hot, muggy day at Richardson Stadium in Kingston, the Golden Hawks dominated the time of possession battle, wearing down the Queen’s defence as Knevel threw for 399 yards, setting a new career high for the third straight week. The Laurier quarterback also threw four touchdown passes, marking another career best.
Defensively, Smith racked up 4.5 sacks on the day, setting a new Laurier single-game record, breaking the previous mark (four) set by Kwaku Boateng in 2014. The Laurier defence picked up eight sacks on the day, holding Nate Hobbs and the Queen’s offence to 241 net yards and shutting out the Gaels in the second half.
The win keeps the Hawks’ perfect record intact, moving them to 3-0 on the season, while the Gaels drop to 0-3.
Laurier opened the scoring mid-way through the first quarter when Brentyn Hall (Toronto, Ont.) caught his first touchdown of the season, winning a jump ball in the endzone on a 23-yard pass from Knevel. Hall finished the game with 111 yards on eight catches, leading all receivers.
After Laurier went ahead, the teams traded touchdowns as the Gaels’ Jaeden Washington scored on a one-yard touchdown run before the Golden Hawks responded with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Knevel to Kurleigh Gittens Jr.(Ottawa, Ont.).
Queen’s would take the lead following a Nick Liberatore 42-yard field goal and a 27-yard touchdown catch from Chris Osei-Kusi, which was set up by a Laurier fumble — the Golden Hawks’ first turnover of the season.
But the Hawks grabbed the advantage back before halftime when Osayi Iginuan (Hamilton, Ont.) ran it from four yards out with less than a minute on the clock. Nathan Mesher (Waterloo, Ont.) hit a career-long 52-yard field goal as the second quarter expired to give Laurier a 26-17 lead at the half. Mesher finished the game 2/3 on field goals.
After the teams traded field position through the third quarter, Laurier’s Brendan McCracken (Kitchener, Ont.) made a spectacular one-handed touchdown catch with just over a minute left in the frame to put the Golden Hawks ahead 33-17.
The Laurier defence snuffed out any hopes of a Queen’s comeback when Scott Hutter (London, Ont.) intercepted Hobbs early in the fourth quarter, leading to Gittens’ second touchdown catch of the day, making the game 40-17. Gittens finished with 90 yards on seven receptions.
In addition to Smith’s record-setting day, the Hawks got sacks from Rashari Henry (Ottawa, Ont.), Trevaughan James(Whitby, Ont.), Alfred Green (Ajax, Ont.) and Sam Acheampong (Brampton, Ont.).
The win improves the Golden Hawks’ all-time record against the Gaels to 10-11 (including playoffs). Laurier has now won three straight over Queen’s, including last year’s 37-18 win in the season opener.
Next week the Golden Hawks visit the 4-0 Waterloo Warriors for the latest instalment of the Battle of Waterloo. Laurier owns an all-time record of 41-14-1 against Waterloo and have won the last 13 meetings. But the Warriors have had a resurgence this year in head coach Chris Bertoia’s third season at the helm and are fresh off a 45-43 win over Carleton.
This season the two occupants of University Avenue have added some extra intensity to the cross-town rivalry. The university with the best record from all contests between the Hawks and Warriors in baseball, basketball, football, hockey and soccer will be awarded the inaugural Battle of Waterloo trophy. So far the two schools are deadlocked with the Laurier-Waterloo men’s and women’s soccer games last weekend both ending in a draw.
Next Saturday’s contest on the gridiron will put one school ahead in the season-long competition. Kick off at Warrior Field is 1 p.m.
The Golden Hawks’ next home game will come Sept. 30 when the Western Mustangs visit University Stadium for a Yates Cup rematch on Laurier Homecoming.
Source: Laurier Golden Hawks
Guelph 43 Toronto 6
With the Gryphon football team having now officially reached the halfway point of the regular season, things are certainly trending in the right direction following a second straight lopsided victory. With the Gryphons 2017 Homecoming clash versus McMaster now just seven days away, it's a good time to be clicking on all cylinders.
Saturday afternoon (Sept. 16) at Varsity Stadium in Toronto, the Gryphons improved to 2-2 on the season with a convincing 43-6 victory over the University of Toronto Varsity Blues (1-3). The Gryphons, who entered the game fresh off of an 81-10 win over Windsor, finished the day with 500 yards of offence while limiting U of T to just 157.
"We were able to make some good things happen today in all three phases," said Gryphons head coach Kevin MacNeill. "We had tremendous focus today and I thought our defence really set the tone and allowed us to settle in as a team."
The Gryphon defence forced a total of four turnovers on the day (2 INT, 2 fumbles) and held the Varsity Blues to just 21-yards rushing and 142 yards passing. Fourth year linebacker Luke Korol finished the day with a team-high 9 tackles to go along with 1 sack and 1 fumble recovery. Derek Drouillard and Nick Parisotto both came up with interceptions in what was a defensive clinic from the Gryphons from start to finish.
Offensively, fifth year receiver Jacob Scarfone provided the game's biggest plays. Scarfone hauled in a 36-yard touchdown in the 1st quarter to give the Gryphs an early 10-0 lead. Scarfone would later provide the exclamation point on the victory by connecting with quarterback James Roberts for another long touchdown, this time a 55-yarder, which pushed U of G's lead to 43-5. Scarfone, who finished the day with 4 catches for 110 yards and 2 touchdowns, was one of two Gryphon receivers to eclipse the 100-yard plateau, with second year standout Kian Schaffer-Baker leading the team with 9 receptions for 132 yards. Roberts finished the day with 333 yards pass, just 58-yards shy of matching a career-high. Roberts now has 9 touchdown passes on the year, most amongst quarterbacks in the OUA.
On the ground, Johnny Augustine and Jamal Hooker combined for 159 yards rushing, with Augustine twice finding the end zone.
For Gryphons kicker Gabe Ferraro, a new career-high was reached on Saturday afternoon as the All-Star kicker connected on a personal best five field goals on the day, with the longest coming from 43 yards out.
The Gryphons (2-2) will now prepare to host the McMaster Marauders (2-1) on Saturday, September 23. Tickets for the Gryphons annual Homecoming game are available online with the game broadcast live on TV on Rogers Cable 20 and online at www.oua.tv. Kickoff is set for 1pm at Alumni Stadium.
Source: Guelph Gryphons