Dillon Campbell rushed for a school-record 295 yards Saturday as the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks upset the defending Yates Cup champion McMaster Marauders 29-15 in an Ontario University Athletics football quarter-final game in Hamilton.
The win gives the Hawks a berth in a conference semifinal Saturday in London against the undefeated regular season champion Western Mustangs. In the other semifinal, the Guelph Gryphons will host the Carleton Ravens, who also defeated the home team in a quarter-final Saturday, ousting the Queen’s Golden Gaels with a 39-8 victory (http://www.sportkingston.ca/index.php/articles/view/3462.html ) in the final game to be played at Richardson Stadium in Kingston (http://www.sportkingston.ca/index.php/articles/view/3464.html ).
Campbell finished the day just 32 yards shy of the OUA single-game playoff rushing record of 327 yards, set by Ottawa’s Davie Mason in 2008. Campbell did, however, establish a new conference record for rushing attempts, as he carried the ball 40 times against the Marauders.
It was Laurier’s first playoff victory since 2010, but the Hawks’ fourth in a row over McMaster in post-season play, dating to 2004.
Laurier jumped to a 10-0 lead and though McMaster got close a couple of times, the Hawks never trailed. A 66-yard touchdown pass from Asher Hastings to Dan Petermann late in the first quarter cut the McMaster deficit to 10-7, and after the Hawks took a 20-7 lead in the second quarter on an eight-yard TD run by quarterback Eric Morelli, the Marauders climbed back to 20-15 when when Hastings and Dan Vandervoort connected for a touchdown late in the third quarter.
For McMaster, which finished the regular year 6-2—and overcame an early 14-0 deficit to defeat Laurier 30-21 in the penultimate game of the regular year—the game was lost at that point.
On the subsequent drive, Hastings was sacked, fumbled and lost the football. On the possession that followed, Morelli engineered a drive that ended with a six-yard touchdown pass to the veteran Greg Nyhof.
On the next series, McMaster threatened again, driving to the Laurier 18-yard line, only to have Petermann drop what appeared to be a sure touchdown pass in the end zone. From there, McMaster turned the ball over on downs, and did so twice more in the fourth quarter, managing to get into Laurier territory just once in four possessions.
Laurier’s defence had a strong game, though McMaster had 394 yards of offence. The Marauders were held to just 116 yards on the ground, and the Hawks sacked Hastings four times.