Canada – In a real-life “Clash of the Titans,” the Western University Mustangs held their ground atop U SPORTS football after a heart-pounding 33-30 win over the Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks.
Western took a 27-0 lead heading into halftime, but Laurier came storming back in the third quarter, scoring 28 points to take a one-point lead with just under five minutes remaining in the frame. After the Mustangs defence held the Golden Hawks from scoring any more points, their offence finally responded with less than two minutes left in the game when backup quarterback Jerome Rancourt hit Savaughn Magnaye-Jones for a 25-yard touchdown that would prove to be the game-winner.
Western’s win came at a cost, though. Star running back Keon Edwards suffered a broken foot in the first half, and starting quarterback Evan Hillock left the game with a possible concussion. Edwards is likely out for the rest of the season, while Hillock’s head injury leaves his playoff hopes uncertain.
“[Edwards] is that silent leader on our team: he didn’t need to say much, but everyone has so much respect for him,” said Mustangs head coach Greg Marshall after the game. “He’s such a great kid. His injury will impact our guys. I know they will go out and play hard for him.”
The Carleton University Ravens squeaked their way into the OUA football playoffs with a 29-27 come-from-behind victory over the University of Guelph Gryphons. With just over one minute remaining in the game, Guelph was winning 27-14 — it appeared as though the Gryphons would eliminate the Ravens from postseason contention. But in just 47 seconds, Carleton scored 15 unanswered points — including a 50-yard touchdown pass with 12 seconds remaining — to win 29-27 and end Guelph’s season in disbelief.
The University of Waterloo Warriors and University of Toronto Varsity Blues also had playoff berths on the line this weekend. Toronto took an early 14-3 lead in the first half, but Waterloo came back to win a close battle 26-21 and clinch a playoff spot.
The Queen’s University Gaels finished with a winning season after a 12-8 win over the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees. The University of Windsor Lancers also closed their regular season on a strong note, shutting out the York University Lions 69-0.
Western will have the first round bye to heal their injuries while six other OUA teams battle next weekend: Ottawa will play at Queen’s, Waterloo will play at Laurier and Carleton will play at Windsor in the first round.
Calgary shocks Canada West again
After starting their season 0-5, the University of Calgary Dinos have defeated two of the best teams in Canada West in two straight weeks to keep their postseason hopes alive. Calgary downed the reigning back-to-back Hardy Cup champion University of Saskatchewan Huskies 13-12 on the back of a staunch defensive effort. Three Dinos defensive backs intercepted Huskies quarterback Anton Amundrud — Isaiah Smith, Nate Beachemin and Jordan Chizda.
“I think all the boys are just having faith in one another. Trust across the board,” Calgary defensive back Jacob Biggs said about his team after the game.
Calgary will need to defeat the University of Manitoba Bisons this weekend to get to the playoffs.
The University of Alberta Golden Bears stayed in first place in the conference with a 35-25 win over Manitoba. Alberta running back Ope Oshinubi was the star of the show, rushing for 192 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries, averaging 12.8 yards per rush.
The University of British Columbia Thunderbirds eliminated the University of Regina Rams from Canada West football playoff contention this weekend after a 31-20 win. UBC quarterback Garrett Rooker finished the game with 346 passing yards and three touchdowns.
Laval dominant in front of over 14,000
After getting shut out by the University of Montreal Carabins a week ago, the Laval University Rouge et Or responded with a 27-7 victory over the Sherbrooke University Vert et Or to close out the regular season in front of over 14,000 fans. Laval receiver Isaac Gaillardetz had the biggest day, catching five passes for 140 yards.
The Concordia University Stingers won their fourth football game of the season, defeating the McGill University Redbirds 40-23. Both teams passed for over 290 yards, but Concordia quarterback Oliver Roy outplayed McGill, throwing for 328 yards and five touchdowns with just one interception.
Mount Allison outlasts Saint Mary’s
The Mount Allison University Mounties won a close 13-11 football game against the Saint Mary’s University Huskies on Saturday afternoon. Despite a strong Huskies air attack, the Mounties held off Saint Mary’s in the final five minutes of the game after Mount Allison kicker Graeme Maither scored a game-winning field goal with 5:07 on the clock.
The Bishop’s University Gaiters kept the wins rolling this weekend with a 22-10 victory over the Acadia University Axemen. Gaiters receiver Oliver Burnett caught the bulk of passes this weekend, recording 137 receiving yards and a score on seven catches.