Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks scuttled their own comeback attempt as they dropped a 30-19 decision to the Guelph Gryphons in one of three Ontario University Athletics football games played Monday.
Playing at Guelph, the Hawks, 1-1, closed to 30-17 early in the fourth quarter when Dillon Campbell capped a six-play, 90-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run. Laurier then drove into the red zone with its next two possessions, only to have them both die when quarterback James Fracas threw an interception, in each case to Guelph defensive back Nicholas Parisotto.
“In the end it came down to execution,” Laurier coach Michael Faulds said. “The guys know their assignments but we just weren’t executing. It took us until basically the third quarter until we got it rolling offensively and that’s too late against a good football team like Guelph.”
After missing the first game of the season due to injury, Fracas completed 33 of 48 passes for 324 yards, but on a day when Campbell would be held to just 67 yards rushing, it wasn’t enough to overcome the Gryphons.
For Campbell, it was the first time in 11 games that he failed to gain at least 100 yards on the ground but, oddly, he caught seven passes for 104 yards in the first 100-yard receiving game of his career.
James Roberts went the distance at quarterback for Guelph, throwing for 295 yards. Jacob Scarfone caught eight passes for 137 yards and a touchdown, while A’Dre Fraser had nine catches for 110 yards, but missed his best chance for a touchdown in the second quarter when Laurier’s Ronald Kinga ripped the ball out of his hands inside the Hawks’ five-yard line.
Gabriel Ferraro kicked field goals of 25, 42, 13 and 27 yards for the Gryphons, who improved to 2-0.
Elsewhere Monday, the Western Mustangs scored 33 points in the first quarter en route to trimming the York Lions 74-10, and in a game where it appeared there was no team capable of winning, the Toronto Blues prevailed over the Windsor Lancers 8-7.
On Sunday, the Carleton Ravens thumped the Waterloo Warriors 57-0 and the Ottawa Gee-Gees opened their season with a 41-17 win over the visiting Queen’s Golden Gaels (http://www.sportkingston.ca/index.php/articles/view/3359.html)
Harry McMaster, a third-year player from Niagara Falls who had but one catch in his intercollegiate career going into Monday night’s game in London, had touchdown receptions of 41 and 27 yards in the first six minutes of the game to send Western on its way to its second victory of the season.
He finished the game with seven catches for 142 yards.
Western, which led 54-3 at halftime, amassed 744 yards of offence, including 405 yards along the ground. Alex Taylor, Cedric Joseph and Adam Sinclair each had 94 yards rushing for the Mustangs. Will Finch completed all but one of his 15 pass attempts for 304 yards before giving way to Josh Beach at the start of the second half.
York’s only touchdown, by Nathaniel Pinto on a nine-yard pass from Eric Kimmerly with less than seven minutes to play, was answered rudely by the Mustangs, as Taylor returned the Lions’ subsequent kickoff 107 yards for a touchdown.
At Toronto, the Varsity Blues defeated Windsor for the first time since 2001 in a game where neither team scored a touchdown and a safety touch ultimately doomed the visiting Lancers.
Coming early in the third quarter, the two points cut Windsor’s lead to 6-5 and Anthony Iafrate’s field goal midway through the period put the Blues into an 8-6 lead. In the final 22 minutes of the game, the only score was a punt single by Windsor’s Anthony Malandruccolo.
In a game characterized either by sterling defence—or dreadful offence, depending on your point of view—each team ran 60 offensive plays or more, yet the Lancers, 0-2, and Blues, 1-1, managed to generate just 274 and 309 yards of offence, respectively.
In Ottawa Sunday, Carleton led 35-0 at the half as the hapless Warriors were pummeled for the second time this year, having allowed Western to score 78 points in their previous game. The Ravens, 1-1, had 488 yards and they allowed Waterloo to move the football just 190 yards, including a scant 32 yards on the ground.
Carleton quarterback Jesse Mills completed 12 of 15 passes for 220 yards. Jahvari Bennett rushed for 70 yards and three touchdowns for the Ravens, who got their final touchdown from Tunde Adeleke, who returned a punt 81 yards early in the fourth quarter.
McMaster enjoyed the Labour Day weekend bye.
This Saturday, McMaster and Ottawa will meet in a battle of undefeated teams in Hamilton, Waterloo visits Queen’s, Windsor entertains Carleton, Guelph plays at York and Laurier hosts Western.