The York University Lions football team earned its first win of the season after taking down the Waterloo Warriors by a score of 23-14 on a very wet Saturday afternoon (Sept. 19) at Warrior Field in Waterloo, Ont.
Rookie running back Jesse Amankwaa (Etobicoke, Ont.) was tremendous throughout the contest, finishing with a game-high 131 yards on 24 carries and a pair of touchdowns. He scored the first major of the game on a nine-yard run to the corner of the end zone midway through the opening quarter, the first touchdown of his CIS career, and added another at 8:30 in the second on a four-yard rush straight up the middle.
Despite driving rain and windy conditions, Amankwaa's two touchdowns as well as a 33-yard field goal by Nick Naylor (Abbotsford, B.C.) and a conceded safety by the Warriors gave the Lions carried an 18-0 lead into the half. They added another two points on another conceded safety at 5:58 in the third quarter before the Warriors finally got on the board on the last play of the third frame, scoring on a 93-yard touchdown catch by Mitch Kernick.
The Warriors added a single point on a kick into the end zone on the ensuing kick-off, and then the two teams played defensive football for much of the final frame. Naylor added a 22-yard field goal with two minutes remaining and the Warriors made it interesting late with a 52-yard touchdown catch by Lam Diing with 33 seconds left, but the Lions held on for the victory.
Another York rookie, quarterback Brett Hunchak (Calgary), earned the win in his first career CIS start. He finished 15-of-26 for 198 yards and threw three interceptions. He also rushed for 34 yards on four carries.
The team's leading receiver was another first-year player in Nathaniel Pinto (Toronto), who caught six balls for 66 yards.
On defence, defensive end Hussein Hazime (Toronto) led the way with 7.5 tackles, while rookie lineman Reid Jeffs (Mississauga, Ont.) had his best game in red and white with four tackles, including three for loss, as well as one sack and one pass break-up.
Rees Paterson (Sherwood Park, Alta.) had one of the team's three interceptions on the day and another three pass break-ups, while Connor Pritty (Markham, Ont.) and Ian Lawrence (Paris, Ont.) added the other picks.
Waterloo starting quarterback Lucas McConnell finished 12-of-33 for 296 yards with the two touchdowns and three interceptions. Ryan Di Risio was the leading rusher with 116 yards on 23 carries.
The win was the first for the program since a 50-34 victory over the Carleton Ravens on Sept. 21, 2013. It also avenged a pair of one-point losses to the Warriors in each of their last two meetings, including in the season finale last year.
Next up for the Lions is another road trip in Week 5, this time to Hamilton, Ont., to face the No. 6 nationally-ranked McMaster Marauders. Kick-off is set for 1pm at Ron Joyce Stadium.
Source: York Lions