WATERLOO, Ont. (October 12, 2013) - The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men's football team had their season come to an end on Saturday afternoon at University Stadium as they lost 28-5 to the No. 9 McMaster Marauders.
In a relatively low scoring contest, it was the Marauders' defence that stood tall throughout the game. They limited the Golden Hawks to their lowest point total of the season, which included preventing the Hawks from finding the endzone on three different drives when they purple and gold were inside the McMaster five yard line.
"They're a good football team," said Head Coach Michael Faulds on the Marauders after the game. "They came in 3-3, but we know that they're a better team than a .500 team. We had three drives inside their five yard line that we went for on third down and couldnt punch it in."
Despite the scoreline, the Hawks got off to a quick start as a six play, 57-yard drive ended in a 22-yard field goal for Ronnie Pfeffer of Kitchener, Ont., that gave Laurier the early lead.
From that point forward though, it was all McMaster. The Marauders grabbed the lead on their next drive, which was capped by a 12-yard touchdown reception by Michael DiCroce of Hamilton.
Leading 7-3 after one quarter, the Marauders took control of the contest in the second quarter, scoring 18 points. Tyler Loveday of Kitchener, Ont., and Wayne Moore of Etobicoke, Ont., both scored touchdowns while kicker Tyler Crapigna of Nepean, Ont., accounted for the other four points on a 40-yard field goal and a rouge that gave McMa ster a 25-3 lead at the half.
The second half featured almost no scoring as both defences held strong. The Hawks forced an interception and also blocked a Crapigna field goal attempt while the Marauders stuffed Lauriers offence inside the red zone three times. A conceded safety by McMaster and a second Crapigna field goal were the only points to find the board, making the final score 28-5.
Both teams recorded almost identical offensive numbers as McMaster had 318 total yards while the Hawks had 316. Marauders quarterback Marshall Ferguson of Kingston, Ont., finished the game 13-of-29 for 197 yards and two touchdowns with Loveday being his favourite target, making four catches for 76 yards and one major.
For the Hawks, Fracas threw a career-high 45 pass attempts, completing 27, for 243 yards. Running back Dillon Campbell of Whitby, Ont., fell just shy of his attempt at six consecutive 1 00-yard rushing games as he finished the day with 95 yards on 25 attempts.
Fifth-year receiver Isaac Dell of Niagara Falls, Ont., playing in his final game in the purple and gold, led Lauriers receiving core with eight catches for 61 yards.
Third-year linebacker Aram Eisho of Hamilton, led McMaster's defensive effort with an impressive 12 total tackles while Sam Montazeri of Richmond Hill, Ont., had six total tackles.
"I think a lot of guys emerged this year," commented Faulds when asked what the team will take with them from this season. "James [Fracas] emerged this year as quarterback and Dillon Campbell finished the season as the leading rusher in the OUA. He's a really good player. Ese's [Mrabure-Ajufo] really good playing on the d-line so we have a lot as we get ready for 2014.
With the loss, the Hawks end the year with a 1-7 mark, th e first time that has happened since 2002, which also happens to be the last time the team missed the playoffs.
NOTES: Attendance at University Stadium was 1,188...three other Hawks suited up for their final game including running back Rashad La Touch of Whitby, Ont., defensive lineman Tommy Griffiths of Richmond Hill, Ont., and defensive back Felix Odum of Pickering, Ont....Pfeffer moved into fifth place on Laurier's all-time punting yards list as he finished the game with 303 yards on eight attempts, pushing his career total to 6,558.
Source: Laurier Sports Info