OUA Football Roundup Week 5

Phot By: Kha Vo / Laurier Golden Hawks
Phot By: Kha Vo / Laurier Golden Hawks

September 23, 2017

Toronto 16 York 41

The York University Lions football team claimed its first Argo Cup since 2012 on Saturday afternoon with a dominant 41-16 victory over the rival Toronto Varsity Blues in the 48th annual Red & Blue Bowl at Alumni Field.
Fifth-year receiver Adam Adeboboye, playing in his final game against his city rivals, made sure his team was victorious on Saturday, returning from injury to set a new Red & Blue Bowl record with 14 receptions, gaining 140 yards and scoring a pair of touchdowns.
Both scoring passes came from third-year quarterback Brett Hunchak, who had his best game of the season going 19-of-27 for 244 yards, with three touchdown passes and no interceptions. He also picked up 22 yards on the ground on three carries.

"It feels great!," said head coach Warren Craney about the result. "I'm really proud of how our guys played today. All in all, I think we dominated almost every aspect of that football game. We made a lot of correctable mistakes, but it's a good leap forward to the second half of the season."

The game did not begin the way the Lions would have hoped. On the first drive, a long return was negated by penalty and they started on their own six-yard line, going 2-and-out and ultimately conceding a safety. But it was all York after that.
The Lions stuffed the Blues on a third-down attempt on Toronto's first drive and then rookie kicker Dante Mastrogiuseppenailed a 34-yard field goal for York's first points of the game. Toronto's next drive ended with a 43-yard interception return by rookie defensive back Talik Ehouman, and two drives later the Lions scored their first touchdown of the afternoon, an eight-yard catch by Alex Daley to make it 10-2, the score after the first quarter.
Third-year running back Jesse Amankwaa extended the lead in the second with a two-yard touchdown run that capped a seven-play, 100-yard drive highlighted by the play of the game. Facing first-and-10 from their own 49-yard line, Hunchak was wrapped up around the waist but somehow escaped and then found Daley a few yards down field. Daley turned and sprinted 59 yards before he was tackled right before the end zone.
Two plays after Amankwaa's score the Lions got on the board again with a 10-yard fumble recovery touchdown by second-year defensive end Rossini Sandjong-Djabome that he picked up after a huge strip-sack by second-year linebacker Damian Jamieson. That made it 24-2, a lead the Lions carried into halftime.

The Lions' offence struggled to get anything going in the third quarter and Toronto scored the only points of the frame, a two-yard touchdown run by quarterback Clay Sequeira.
The offence came to life again in the fourth when the Lions began the frame with an 11-play, 90-yard drive that ended with Adeboboye's first touchdown.
The Blues had a big play on the next drive, an 85-yard touchdown by Jaykwon Thompson, but soon after Adeboboye found the end zone again with a great individual effort to reach over the goal line and add to the Lions' lead. Another field goal by Mastrogiuseppe rounded out the scoring.
Sequeira finished the game 10-of-19 for 225 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. Toronto starting quarterback Connor Ennis went 5-of-9 for 54 yards.
The Lions improved to 1-3 with the victory, and the Blues now have the same score after the loss.

 Source: York Lions 

McMaster 29 Guelph 9

It took awhile to get rolling, but the McMaster football team went into a hostile environment at Guelph's Homecoming and spoiled the party with a 29-9 victory.   The win moves Mac to 3-1 in the OUA, while Guelph slips to 2-3.

The Marauder defense had another dominant effort, and it was needed in the first quarter as the Mac offense struggled out of the gate.  Twice Guelph brought the ball into the redzone, but the staunch Maroon defenders kept the Gryphons out of the endzone, only giving up two field-goals to trail 6-0. 

But the second quarter saw Jackson White and the Marauder offense find their legs, and after a field-goal brought the score to 6-3, the rookie QB engineered a scoring drive that saw Tyson Middlemost with his first career touchdown catch, as Mac took a 10-6 lead.   The Gryphons got a late field goal to close within 10-9 at the intermission.

Receiving the kick-off to start the second half, Mac's Justice Allin had a big 48-yard return to give McMaster great field position.  On the second play from scrimmage after the big return play, White hit Tommy Nield for a 64-yard touchdown and the momentum was all Maroon. 

Playing without starting quarterback James Roberts, who left the game late in the first half, the Gryphons struggled to move the ball behind back-up Theo Landers.   Conceding a safety, Guelph faced a 19-9 deficit after three quarters.

In the fourth quarter, another Adam Preocanin field-goal bumped the Mac lead to 22-9, and late in the game with the Gryphons desperate to close the gap, Landers tossed an interception to Marauder Nolan Putt, who returned it to the Guelph 6-yard line.  Jordan Lyons carried it into the endzone on the next play to close out the scoring, and send the Gryphon faithful heading to the exits.

In all three of the team's wins so far, the Mac defense has not allowed a touchdown, and has only allowed two major scores in four games.   The Marauder defense had four sacks, including two from Mark Mackie, while Jake Heathcote had an interception to go along with the one by Putt.

Source: McMaster Marauders 


Laurier 71 Waterloo 24

Throughout the 2017 OUA football season, the Waterloo Warriors have served notice that they're a changed program. But on Saturday afternoon at Warrior field, the Laurier Golden Hawks served notice that they're still the defending Yates Cup champions.

The Golden Hawks used an explosive third quarter to pull away from the upstart Warriors in the 2017 Battle of Waterloo, as Laurier toppled the Warriors 71-24 on a scorching afternoon at Warrior field in Waterloo.

The Warriors, ranked ninth in the nation, stuck with the defending champions early in the matchup of undefeated teams, trailing by as few as four points late in the second quarter. But the fifth-ranked Hawks started rolling in the closing minutes of the half, and continued their onslaught in the third. All told, Laurier scored 38 straight points in a span of 10:26 straddling halftime, putting the game out of reach.

Hawks QB Michael Knevel helped push his team to 4-0 with 270 yards passing, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Meanwhile, Warriors pivot Lucas McConnell (Waterford/) went 12-23 with 195 yards and 2 TD in a losing cause. Rookie QB Tre Ford (Niagara Falls/) returned from a one-game injury hiatus to complete 2 of 5 passes for 44 yards and an interception, while adding 86 yards on 10 carries.

The Laurier rushing attack was punishing all day, led by Levondre Gordon's 106 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground. Osayi Iginuan added 93 yards and a pair of scores, including a 66-yard gallop in the third. Not only were the Hawks able to run the ball, but they were able to hold the Warriors' rushing attack – ranked 2ndin the nation coming into the game – in check all afternoon. Laurier outrushed the Warriors 282-142 on the day, controlling the line of scrimmage.

On the defensive side of things, the Hawks were in Waterloo's backfield all day – Laurier finished with 8 tackles for losses, including 4 sacks. For the Warriors, veteran Brandon Corelli (Sault Ste. Marie/) had a big day with a pass breakup and 5.5 tackles, while Michael Reid (Sault Ste. Marie/) added an interception.

Despite the slanted boxscore, though, the Warriors were very much in the game throughout the first half. The Hawks raced to an early 12-0 lead, but Waterloo receiving touchdowns from Brandon Loewen (Waterloo/) and Richmond Nketiah (Brampton/) made the score 19-15 late in the second quarter.

After failing to convert on a third down late in the half, Knevel and the Hawks drove 76 yards, capped off by an Iginuan 3-yard touchdown scamper to make it 26-15 Laurier. It looked like that would be the score entering the half, but, following a Waterloo 2-and-out, Kurleigh Gittens Jr returned a punt 65 yards with no time left on the clock to flip the momentum firmly on the Hawks sideline after two quarters.

Fuelled by the late return score, Laurier erupted in the third: a Gordon 1-yard run, Iginuan's 66-yarder, and a Brentyn Hall screen pass-turned-89-yard touchdown meant the rout was on. Hall finished the day with 144 yards receiving on just 3 catches, 2 for touchdowns.

Source: Waterloo Warriors


Windsor 14 Ottawa 39

The uOttawa Gee-Gees football team rode a strong start to a commanding 39-14 victory over the visiting Windsor Lancers on Saturday afternoon at Gee-Gees Field. The win moves Ottawa to 4-1 and into a four-way tie for first place in the OUA.

First-year starting quarterback Alex Lavric broke the 300-yard passing barrier for the first time, finding Carter Matheson for a team-high of 88 yards on four catches. Lavric finished 20-31 with 309 yards.

The Gee-Gees pulled out to a 30-0 lead on the strength of two receiving touchdowns thrown by Lavric, a one yard punch-in from running back Bryce Vieira and an interception returned 41 yards by Cody Cranston. The interception was the third of the season for the third-year from Winnipeg, and the first touchdown of his Gee-Gees career. 

"Coach JB puts us in positions to make plays which is nice and I'm feeling more comfortable this year," notes Cranston. "Playing on the field as opposed to the boundary half has opened some stuff up for me and I enjoy playing in the system. My strength is reading the field and seeing the space which is where I've seen improvement in my game."

Ottawa as a team now has eight interceptions, which is tied for the OUA lead.

Windsor scored its first major just before halftime and added its second at the end of the fourth quarter. The Lancers relied on running backs Marvin Gaynor and Marcus Kenner for 97 and 74 yards, respectively, of the team's 259 total yards.

Penalties for Ottawa took back big plays such as a would-be Kalem Beaver TD punt return in the first half, a 40-yard sideline strike to Matheson midway through the fourth, and a Rashad Spooner interception late. The Gee-Gees finished the game with a season-high 127 penalty yards against.

"I congratulated the team and I'm proud of the fact that they won, but we are making too many mistakes. We cannot be the team we need to be if we are going make those mistakes," said head coach Jamie Barresi, who noted that the team's youth was apparent at times.

The special teams unit was a bright spot again for the Gee-Gees with Jackson Bennett providing a 91-yard return while the punt coverage team provided excellent field position. Lewis Ward provided the final nine points for uOttawa and added to his program record for field goals made in a career, which now stands at 81.

With four games remaining, Ward is within reach of the all-time U SPORTS record, 91. His next field goal will move him into third position in the all-time national rankings.

Source: Ottawa Gee-Gees


Queen's 10 Western 48

 Alex Taylor ran for 184 yards and racked up three touchdowns to help lead the Western Mustangs to a 48-10 win over the Queen's Gaels on Saturday night at TD Stadium.
"It was our best, most complete game," said Mustangs head coach Greg Marshall. "I thought offensively that Chris [Merchant] was really good. He made good decisions, took down the ball at good times and took off with it. It wasn't perfect, it never is.
"There were a couple drives we didn't finish off, we took some chances and that happens some times. I thought overall when we didn't finish, Marc [Liegghio] got points on the board for us which was very important."
It was Blackout night at Western and the Mustangs certainly dressed for the occasion, donning black pants and uniforms for the first time in decades to the surprise of a crowd of more than 4,700 fans.
"The jerseys worked well tonight. There's always that risk when you go off the beaten path, you do black they better work or you're going to hear 'it was the black jerseys that lost the game,' so it was good to get a big convincing win with those jerseys," said coach Marshall.
With the win, Western now moves to 5-0 on the year and remain atop the OUA standings, while Queen's falls to 0-4.
Taylor's season high 184 yards rushing came on only 13 carries, giving him an average of 14.2 yards per attempt, including one 35-yard touchdown run. The Winnipeg native found the end zone twice more in the win, catching touchdown passes of nine and three yards to go along with five catches and 50 receiving yards.
"I felt a lot more fresh, I don't know if it showed a bit, but I've been talking about it with Tom Marshall and some of the coaches and I just felt that I was due for a couple of big runs. I've been trying, been chipping away all season, and finally I got a couple today so it felt good."
Chris Merchant had another strong outing for the Mustangs, completing 18 of 29 passes for 306 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He also added another 43 yards on the ground on seven carries, including the Mustangs first major of the day, a six-yard run on Western's first drive.
Kicker Marc Liegghio had an outstanding game on Saturday night, going six for six on field goals to tie the Mustangs single game record for field goals in a game. Liegghio connected on four field goals from 40-yards or longer including two from 45-yards.
"When I got out there and made the first kick, went one-for-one, then two-for-two, and as I got to the sixth one I thought I could do something big here and I just did it all for the team," said Liegghio. "I thought I kicked really well today. I thought my punting could have been better, but my field goals were on point today."
Defensively, the Mustangs were led by linebacker Nick Vanin who recorded 10 tackles, seven solo, in the win. Hakeem Johnson provided the defensive highlight of the day with an impressive interception on the Mustangs one-yard line to stop a Gaels drive just before halftime.
The Mustangs didn't wait long to put points on the board, as Merchant capped off Western's opening 85-yard drive with a six-yard touchdown run to put the home side up 7-0 just over two minutes into the contest.
Western continued to roll on the next two possessions, with Merchant connecting with Taylor on touchdown passes of nine and three yards to give the Mustangs a 23-0 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Nick Liberatore put the Gaels on the board with a 34-yard field goal so start the half, before Liegghio answered back with his first of the night to maintain the Mustangs 23-point lead.
Nate Hobbs cut into the Mustangs lead late in the second quarter, finishing off a seven play, 73-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown pass to Alex Zulys to record the Gaels lone major of the day.
Liegghio notched his second field goal of the evening on the Mustangs next drive, giving Western a 29-10 lead at the half.
The Mustangs continued to control the play over the final two quarters, with Liegghio adding another four field goals, while Taylor scored on a 35-yard run to give the Mustangs a 48-10 victory.
Next up for Western is a rematch of the 109th Yates Cup against the Laurier Golden Hawks on Saturday, September 30. Although most would expect that the Mustangs would be looking to avenge last year's heartbreaking loss, that's not the case according to coach Marshall.
"Laurier's a good football team. We're going to put last year behind us and just concentrate on winning it for the 2017 team.
"Football's an emotional game. You try and put those things out of your mind, but it'll be in the back of our kids' minds and we said at the time that you don't forget the things that happened in the past – you have to learn from them. We need to learn and finish off games. I thought today we did a good job of finishing off the game and we'll need to do that next week."


Source: Western Mustangs