Impressive offences, young defences looking to shine again in Golden Hawks, Gaels clash

Impressive offences, young defences looking to shine again in Golden Hawks, Gaels clash

Kingston, Ont. – After coming off convincing early season victories, a pair of playoff contenders are ready to continue their quest for the Cup in Kingston in Week 2, as the Laurier Golden Hawks will visit the Queen’s Gaels to make up this week’s Marquee Matchup, powered by Planters.

Both teams flexed their offensive muscle in the opener, putting together balanced attacks en route to their high-scoring victories. For the Golden Hawks, who defeated the Ottawa Gee-Gees 39-21, it was a mix of both the ground and aerial attack that led to the endzone, with Levondre Gordon (Mississauga, Ont.) doing much of the damage in the running game (109 yards, 2 TDs) and Kurleigh Gittens Jr. (Ottawa, Ont.) anchoring the receivers, reeling in eight catches for 129 yards in the season opener.

In Queen’s victory over the York Lions, 42-21, it was the dynamic duo of Nate Hobbs (Mississauga, Ont.) and Chris Osei-Kusi (Brampton, Ont.) who led the charge, with the pair connecting on six passes for 108 yards. Hobbs would go on to toss for 320 yards in the contest, along with three touchdowns, while also receiving a strong effort from the backfield behind Jake Puskas (Thunder Bay, Ont.) and his 81-yard, 1 TD performance.

There is no doubt that both teams will look to come out firing once again in their encore performances and will do so against defences that are both looking to cement themselves after losing some key pieces in the offseason. For Laurier, they are looking ahead without CFL draftees Godfrey Onyeka and Isaiah Guzylak-Messam, among other departees, but still have several impactful players in place. The likes of Robbie Smith (Brampton, Ont.), Scott Hutter (London, Ont.), and Trevaughan James (Whitby, Ont.), among others, are still wreaking havoc on the line and in the secondary; something that the Gaels will need to be mindful of if they want to come out victorious on Sunday.

For Queen’s, it is a young group that will be looking to stand strong alongside the team’s veteran offence this season, as the Tricolour lost 11 players from their starting group last year. The group was able to settle in more and more as their Week 1 game progressed, and after surrendering 12  points in the first half, they held the Lions to just a field goal for the vast majority of the second before a last second touchdown rounded out the scoring.

With both teams doing well to secure success not only in Week 1, but over the last several seasons, they have certainly had their fair share of competitive, high-scoring meetings. In recent years, the purple and gold have had the Gaels’ number, earning the win in the previous three outings, but Queen’s will no doubt be looking to flip the script for the first time since 2013.

In their most recent matchup a season ago, the Golden Hawks soared to victory over the Gaels thanks to a dominant passing performance from Michael Knevel, who connected with returning receivers Gittens Jr. and Brentyn Hall () for 147 and 111 yards, respectively, to go along with three majors. Laurier was also able to limit the high-flying Gaels offence in the second half, keeping them off the scoreboard to secure the 40-17 victory. Hobbs led the Kingston squad in rushing in the game, while Osei-Kusi and Jeremy Pendergast (Kingston, Ont.) topped the Gaels’ receivers.

Both teams are entering on a high, and will be looking to carry their impressive play to return trips to the postseason this year. The early season head-to-head will be a strong measuring stick as to how each squad stacks up against their fellow playoff-hopeful combatants, and you can catch all the action on Sunday, September 2 at 6:30pm.

For fans not in attendance, be sure to tune in to for all the action in this week’s OUA Marquee Matchup or download the app to watch on Amazon Fire, Android TV, Apple TV, or Roku. 

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