October 5, 2017
Waterloo 17 Queen’s 68
KINGSTON, Ont. (October 5, 2017) – The Queen's Gaels (2-4) crushed the Waterloo Warriors (4-3) in a 68-17 game that saw four touchdowns from Jake Puskas (Thunder Bay, Ont.) at Richardson Stadium on Thursday night in front of 3,109 fans.
Under a full moon and stadium lights, the Queen's Gaels toppled the Waterloo Warriors 68-17 during the first-ever night game hosted at Richardson Stadium.
The Gaels defence came out flying against the Warriors, forcing a two-and-out to have Waterloo concede a safety and take an early 2-0 lead.
While the Gaels had an unfavourable field position on their five-yard line, it didn't seem to matter as long as Puskas had the ball. The third year running back ran for 57 yards, bulldozing his way deep into Waterloo territory.
From there, the Gaels were able to get on the scoreboard when Nate Hobbs (Mississauga, Ont.) tossed the ball to an open Alex Zulys (Mississauga, Ont.) in the end zone for the first touchdown of the game. Nick Liberatore (Dartmouth, N.S.) secured the extra point to give Queen's an early 9-0 lead.
It wasn't long before the Queen's Gaels were on the scoreboard again. This time, it was Chris Osei-Kusi (Brampton, Ont.) on the end of a Hobbs throw, who tore through the Warriors defence with a burst of unmatched speed to clinch his fifth touchdown of the season.
As the veteran Gaels defence stood their ground, Waterloo conceded another safety to make it 18-0 by the end of the first quarter.
The second frame saw more offensive pressure from the Gaels after another reception from Osei-Kusi put the Gaels within field goal range. Liberatore did not disappoint as he kicked a 22-yarder to push the score to 21-0.
The Gaels defence continued to shine as Cam Lawson (Caledon, Ont.) came up big, sacking Warriors quarterback Tre Ford.
Minutes later, the Gaels found themselves in good scoring position again. From the two-yard line, Marquis Richards(Brampton, Ont.) hammered forward for his first career U SPORTS touchdown.
The last possession before the final seconds of the half saw Jake Firlotte (Abbotsford, B.C.) make a substantial point-saving play, as he intercepted a Warriors receiver in the endzone.
Going into halftime up 28-3, Queen's had standout performances from Puskas and Osei-Kusi, who combined for a total of 226 yards offensively.
The third frame saw the Warriors run their first touchdown into the Gaels end zone to climb 28-10. Queen's responded soon after with a big reception from Matteo Del Brocco (Kingsville, Ont.) that left the Gaels on the two-yard line.
From there, Puskas was unstoppable as he bulldozed his way into his second career touchdown and boosted the score to a 25-point game at 35-10.
After Waterloo was able to get another score, the Gaels answered back with a big return from rookie Benjamin Arhen(Brampton, Ont.), followed with a 15-yard penalty from Waterloo to begin their drive in great position on the 52-yard line.
Driving forward, Hobbs found Puskas for his second touchdown of the game as he barreled through the black and yellow.
The fourth quarter saw Puskas add his third touchdown of the game, followed by a returned fumble for a touchdown from Wesley Mann (Almonte, Ont.). Puskas tacked on his fourth and final touchdown for a total of 175 rushing yards, and Jason Shamatutu (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) picked an interception to end the game 68-17 in the Gaels favour.
With back-to-back wins, Queen's moves to 2-4 on the season.
BY THE NUMBERS
3 – Third straight 100+ yard game for running back Jake Puskas
5 – Five different Gaels with touchdowns during the game
2 – Sacks from Nelkas Kwemo
4 – A career-high four touchdowns for Puskas
379 – Passing yards from Nate Hobbs
6th – Sixth most points in a game in Gaels history with 68
"The offensive line is really starting to click perfectly, and we're all happy about it. I'm very excited, but it wasn't just me I have to hand it to the offensive line they played a hell of a game along with the quarterback and receivers." - Jake Puskas
McMaster 43 Toronto 6
The McMaster Marauders got off to a much better start offensively and the defense provided its usual solid effort in a 43-6 win over the Toronto Varsity Blues, on Thursday night at Varsity Stadium.
The Marauders scored four first-half touchdowns, including two quarterback sneaks at the goal line from Dylan Astrom, and long TD completions from QB Jackson White to Dan Petermann and Justice Allin to account for the scoring. Toronto scored a second quarter touchdown from Wil Corby, which snapped the McMaster run of not allowing a major score for 13 straight quarters. Despite that score by the Blues, the Maroon held a commanding 28-6 lead at the intermission.
The second-half saw McMaster give some rest to the starters and the back-ups were able to maintain the advantage and add to the lead. After a safety conceded by Toronto, the Marauders got two field goals from Adam Preocanin and another major on a one-yard plunge by Allin to complete the scoring. Likely not pleased about giving up the major score in the second quarter, the Mac defense held the Blues scoreless over the final two quarters.
McMaster improves to 5-1 in the OUA, tied with Laurier for second-place in the league standings. The Marauders will now enjoy some extra time off over the Thanksgiving weekend, and then get back to work for the final home game of the season versus Windsor on October 14th at Ron Joyce Stadium. The 1-pm kick-off will also see the program salute the graduating seniors on this year's team.
Laurer 53 York 31
The York University Lions football team had top receiver Colton Hunchak in the line-up for the first time this season and his presence sparked the offence in a 53-31 loss to the No. 5 nationally-ranked Laurier Golden Hawks in their home season finale on Thursday night at Alumni Field.
Hunchak suffered an injury in the team's pre-season game against Sherbrooke in mid August and returned on Thursday night to catch 14 balls for 170 yards and two touchdowns. Both of the scoring passes came from his older brother Brett Hunchak, who had his best game of the season going 34-of-49 for 388 yards and one interception. He also added another 50 yards on the ground on five carries and scored a rushing touchdown.
The Lions moved the ball all night, picking up 519 total yards on 75 offensive plays. The Golden Hawks, meanwhile, ran only 56 plays but averaged more than a first down per snap thanks to a number of big plays.
The defending champion Golden Hawks got off to a quick start in the first quarter and led 14-0 less than six minutes into the game. But the Lions settled down after that and slowed the Laurier offence while picking up yardage of their own. The Hunchak-to-Hunchak connection put the Lions on the scoreboard for the first time with 5:47 remaining in the second quarter, and Laurier carried a 22-7 advantage into halftime.
The Golden Hawks added to their lead on their first drive of the third quarter, but on the ensuing kick-off Kadeem Hemmings found some space and returned it 96 yards for the touchdown to cut the deficit to 29-14.
Kurleigh Gittens Jr. and Brentyn Hall each scored their second touchdown of the game early in the second half, but the Hunchak brothers both found the end zone to cut Laurier's lead to 12 points at 36-24. However, that was as close as the Lions would get and the defending champions improved to 5-1 with the victory.
Daniel Bennett rounded out the scoring late in the contest with a 43-yard touchdown. York rookie kicker Dante Mastrogiuseppe and his Laurier counterpart, Nathan Mesher, also both kicked a field goal from 34 and 24 yards, respectively.
Gittens Jr. finished with eight catches for 210 yards, a whopping 26.3 yards-per-catch average. Starting quarterback Michael Knevel was 21-of-29 for 431 yards and five touchdowns.
Thursday's game was the last of the season at home for the Lions, who will close the year with a pair of road games against the Queen's Gaels and Windsor Lancers. Up first is a trip to Kingston, Ont., for the Queen's Homecoming next Saturday, Oct. 14 at 1pm.
October 6, 2017
Carleton 14 Western 51
LONDON, Ont. – The Western Mustangs have secured the top spot in the OUA once again, defeating the Carleton Ravens by a 51-14 score on Friday night at TD Stadium to guarantee a first place finish in the OUA standings.
"Good win, resilient win for our team," said Mustangs head coach Greg Marshall. "I think it was a really good win to give our guys confidence. I knew our guys were confident going in, but they knew Carleton was a good football team."
The win moves the Mustangs to 7-0 on the year, and secures home field advantage throughout the OUA playoffs, as well as a bye into the semifinals. Carleton falls to 2-4, and are tied for seventh place alongside the Queen's Gaels.
Western put up 699 yards of offence in the win, utilizing a balanced attack that gained 336 yards through the air and another 363 on the ground, all while holding the Ravens to less than 400 total yards.
Three hundred of those passing yards came from Chris Merchant who completed 20 of 34 passes with two touchdowns and two interceptions in the victory.
Alex Taylor racked up his third consecutive 100+ yard game, rushing for 142 yards on 15 carries with one touchdown. He also caught four passes for 50 yards and one score.
Western's other receiving touchdown came at the hands of Harry McMaster, who hauled in a 46-yard pass from Merchant on the Mustangs second drive of the game. McMaster finished with five catches and 114 yards to lead all players in both categories.
"I think the offence played great today," said Cedric Joseph, who recorded two touchdowns and 81 rushing yards on 10 carries. "The offensive line had another great day, we did a good job establishing the run game, and I think it opened up the pass game pretty well to let Merchant and the receivers do their thing through the air."
The Mustangs offence weren't the only ones putting points on the board though, as Marc Liegghio continued his stellar season, going 5-5 on field goals to make it 18 consecutive attempts without a miss. Along with his impressive streak of success, Liegghio now holds the Western record for field goals in a season with 25 and is one off the U SPORTS mark established by Guelph's Daniel Ferraro in 2014.
Defensively the Mustangs held a Ravens offence that had been averaging nearly 500 yards a game to just 358 yards. A key part of the defensive effort was stopping the Ravens vaunted rushing attack, with the Mustangs holding the OUA's leading rusher Nathan Carter to a season-low 23 yards.
"We take a lot of pride [in stopping the run]," said Mustangs linebacker Jean-Gabriel Poulin, who led the Mustangs with 6.5 tackles and one sack. "Last week against Laurier they ran the ball a bit, so this week there was a lot of emphasis on making sure that they can't do it anymore."
Much like they had in each of their first six games, the Mustangs picked up points on their first drive of the night, with Joseph running it in from three yards out to give Western an early 7-0 lead.
The purple and white offence continued to roll on their next possession, with Merchant tossing a 46-yard pass to McMaster to extend the Mustangs lead to 14 points less than five minutes into the contest.
That score would remain the same until the early moments of the second quarter when Joseph finished off a six-play 63-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run. Just as they did in the first quarter the Mustangs added another seven points on their second drive of the frame, with Merchant finding Taylor on a 10-yard touchdown pass to make it 28-0 midway through the second quarter.
Despite the deficit, the Ravens continued to battle and responded with their first major of the day on their next possession, with quarterback Michael Arruda connecting with Kyle VanWynsberghe on a four-yard pass to cut the Western lead to 28-7.
Liegghio extended that lead to 31-7 on the final play of the half, hitting a 46-yard field goal to send the Mustangs into the locker room with a 28-point lead.
Western would go on to add another 19 points in the second half thanks to a one-yard touchdown run from Taylor and four field goals from Liegghio before the Ravens rounded out the game's scoring on a 12-yard touchdown pass to Phil Iloki to make the final 51-14 in favour of the Mustangs.
With week seven of the schedule now behind them, Western now heads into a much-deserved bye week before taking on the Ottawa Gee-Gees during the final week of the regular season.
"I think the bye week is going to be really big for us, especially for people who are banged up a bit," said Poulin. "It's been a long stretch of seven games so I think having a week off like that is going to help us a lot."
Game time for Western's Homecoming contest is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 21, at TD Stadium. Fans can tune in live on Rogers Cable 13 and OUA.tv, or on Radio Western 94.9 FM and Newstalk 1290 CJBK with Tom McConnell and legendary Mustangs coach Larry Haylor calling all the action.