LONDON, ON – Western waltzed through the first half of this game carrying a 27-0 lead heading into the break. Laurier marched all the way back erasing a four-score deficit, taking a 28-27 lead heading into the fourth quarter. It was Western backup quarterback Jerome Rancourt hitting Savaughn Magnaye-Jones on an out route for the eventual game-winning score. Western survived to earn the playoff bye winning 33-29.
The Mustangs dominated the early goings of this matchup of undefeated squads. Their first score came midway through the first, and Rancourt punched it in capping off a 10-play drive. Next quarter, Evan Hillock linked up with Brayden Misseri on a 21-yard touchdown. Even the special teams got in on the fun, Daniel Kubongo took a punt all the way to the crib.
Laurier came out of the break on a mission. The Golden Hawks on their first possession of the half scored their first points of the game. Taylor Elgersma hit Ethan Jordan on the deep post route for a 40-yard touchdown. Just two minutes later, Tyriq Quaison picked up a blocked punt for a house call making it just a two-possession game.
Elgersma continued to find Ethan Jordan, they hooked up once again for another touchdown strike. The receiver finished with 172 yards receiving on eight catches.
Laurier’s defense came up huge, intercepting Hillock. On the ensuing drive, the Golden Hawks get points off the turnover. Quentin Scott finished off a four-play drive with a six-yard run.
After gaining a 28-27 lead and erasing a four-score deficit, the offense stalled. Laurier’s couldn’t continue their third-quarter explosion. The Golden Hawks went scoreless on the next six drives.
A two-and-0ut from Laurier set up Western with excellent field position. Adding to the calamity, an unnecessary roughness penalty advanced the ball further into Golden Hawk territory. This drive ended in the eventual game-winning score with the Magnaye-Jones touchdown.
The Mustangs fended off The Golden Hawks while being shorthanded. They were missing two huge pieces to their running game, Keon Edwards only had three carries and Keanu Yazbeck did not play.
Western earned themselves a first-round bye and will host the OUA semi-final. Laurier finishes the season in second and will host the Waterloo Warriors in the first-round.