Two teams coming off Week 1 victories square off in Guelph as the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks battle the Guelph Gryphons at Alumni Field.
NEED TO KNOW
– The Golden Hawks opened their season with a 38-21 victory on the road against the York Lions
– Guelph also opened their 2015 campaign on the road as they defeated the Waterloo Warriors 78-7
– The Gryphons have won the last three matchups against the Hawks, with two of those games being decided by less than a touchdown
– Laurier’s last victory against the Gryphons came back on Oct. 22, 2011 in Guelph when they recorded a 15-10 win
Laurier owns an all-time record of 41-16-0 against Guelph dating back to 1963. Despite losing the last three against the Gryphons, the Golden Hawks have won six of the last 10 meetings against the two teams.
MEET THE TEAMS
Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (1-0)
The Golden Hawks got off to the start they needed to in 2015 as they knocked off the York Lions in Week 1 of the regular season.
Despite missing five regulars due to injury, Laurier was solid in their regular season opener thanks to the play of QBEric Morelli of Burlington, Ont., who was making his first career start. Morelli, who threw for 258 yards and three touchdowns, while running one in for himself, is expected to get the call once again under centre for the Hawks on Monday against the Gryphons.
Morelli’s successful starting assignment was helped by the fact that he utilized the talent surrounding him. RB Dillon Campbell of Whitby, Ont., rushed for over 100 yards for the 10th consecutive game while eight different receivers recorded a reception in the game, highlighted by a five catches for 60 yards and a touchdown from Greg Nyhof of Georgetown, Ont.
Defensively, the Hawks will be looking to tighten things up against a Guelph team that put up big points in Week 1. Laurier’s front four will need to play a big role in Monday’s contest as they look to get into the Gryphons backfield early and often. Look for Kwaku Boateng of Milton, Ont., who was held without a sack against the Lions, to step up his performance in Week 2.
Guelph Gryphons (1-0) – No. 6 in Canada
Following last year’s trip to the Yates Cup and another 7-1 season, the Guelph Gryphons will be looking to get over the hump in 2015 as they push for a championship.
The Gryphons did suffer some significant losses in the offseason, losing QB Jazz Lindsey, RB Rob Farquharson, K Daniel Ferraro and DL Cam Walker, however, they still have a number of weapons that the Hawks will need to contain.
Leading the pack is return specialist Ryan Nieuwesteeg of Niagara Falls, Ont., who started off his fourth year with a touchdown and 164 punt return yards against Waterloo.
On offence, second year QB James Roberts of Cambridge, Ont., will guide the team with the help of third year RB Johnny Augustine of Welland, Ont., and fourth year REC A’dre Fraser of Halifax, N.S. Roberts threw for 325 yards and three touchdowns in Week 1 while Augustine had 149 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Fraser contributed 114 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, keep an eye on veteran linebackers John Rush of Niagara Falls, Ont., and Curtis Newton of London, Ont.