LONDON, ON – The Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks scraped by the University of Windsor Lancers 21-14 this weekend in a tight playoff victory that saw Laurier down 14-7 in the fourth quarter, punching their ticket to the OUA Yates Cup.
With just over eight minutes to play, Laurier running back Quentin Scott caught a four-yard touchdown pass out of the backfield to tie the score. The Golden Hawks scored a go-ahead touchdown about five minutes later when receiver Raiden Thorne caught a 22-yard pass.
With 21 seconds on the clock, Windsor running back Weabge Mombo caught a 22-yard pass and fought his way to the endzone, but the play was called back on a controversial offensive holding call on the Lancers. Windsor quarterback Nick Dimovski proceeded to throw two consecutive incomplete passes on second and third down, giving Laurier the ball back to end the game.
“It was a really tough way to end the game and it will sting for a long time,” Lancers’ head coach J.P. Circelli told the Windsor Star after the game.
Laurier will play the Western University Mustangs this coming Saturday in their first OUA Yates Cup meeting since 2017. Western ended the Queen’s University Gaels’ season for the third consecutive year this weekend, winning 47-20 at home.
The game stood at a tight 19-17 for the Mustangs coming out of halftime, but in true Western fashion, the purple and white heavily outscored their Tricolour foes 28-3 in the second half. The Mustangs have tied their own OUA Yates Cup appearance streak conference record, as this will be their eighth straight season in the OUA championship — Western had an eight-season streak from 1988 to 1995, and are the only team to be in the OUA Yates Cup for this long.
Laval advances to Dunsmore in dramatic double-overtime win
The Laval University Rouge et Or almost missed their first Dunsmore Cup in over 20 years when they narrowly defeated the Concordia University Stingers in double overtime 34-27.
By the midway point of the third quarter, Laval held a 17-3 lead, but Concordia would steadily climb back to tie the game at 24 apiece in the final two minutes. Both teams exchanged field goals in the first overtime period before the Rouge et Or scored a crucial touchdown to take the lead. The Stingers couldn’t match it, ending their season.
The University of Montreal Carabins had an easier path to the RSEQ championship, soundly defeating the Sherbrooke University Vert et Or 54-3. Montreal’s defence allowed just 150 total yards, recording six sacks and turning the ball over for their offence three times — two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
Laval and Montreal will face off in the Dunsmore Cup once again.
UBC comes from behind against Manitoba
With just under four minutes to go before halftime, the University of Manitoba Bisons scored a 41-yard touchdown run — courtesy of running back Vaughn Lloyd — to increase their advantage to 17-3. But the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds didn’t give up, scoring a touchdown in the final minute of the first half and outscoring Manitoba 19-4 in the second half, escaping to the Hardy Cup.
The University of Alberta Golden Bears will meet UBC in the Canada West championship following Alberta’s convincing 40-17 win over the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. Around the start of the second quarter, the game was within a single point at 11-10, but the Golden Bears turned on the jets, scoring 23 unanswered points in the frame to take a 34-10 lead into halftime.
Saskatchewan could only muster up a single touchdown in the second half, ending their season and hopes of going to their third consecutive Vanier Cup.
St FX, Bishop’s to meet in Loney Bowl
The St Francis Xavier University X-Men and Bishop’s University Gaiters ended their regular seasons at the top of the AUS, and they will end their conference playoffs in the same way — meeting in the Loney Bowl for one last chance to prove who the kings of the atlantic are.
St FX eliminated the Saint Mary’s University Huskies 36-20 on Saturday. X-Men quarterback and 2023 AUS football MVP Silas Fagnan threw for 362 yards and four touchdowns — two to receiver Ben Harrington who finished with 145 receiving yards — while giving up a single interception.
Bishop’s also had a high-scoring victory, beating the Mount Allison University Mounties 34-15. Both teams struggled in the air, but it was the Gaiters who took advantage on defence, scoring two touchdowns via interceptions from Yani Gouadfel and Mathieu Dery. Bishop’s quarterback Mason McGriskin also scored two rushing touchdowns — to go along with his single touchdown pass — to add to the Gaiters’ total.
Featured image: Christian Bender/Laurier Golden Hawks Athletics