The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (1-3) look to bounce back from a tough loss on Homecoming when they travel across University Ave. to take on the Waterloo Warriors (0-4) in the 55th edition of the Battle of Waterloo.
NEED TO KNOW
– Saturday’s meeting between the Hawks and Warriors is the 55th all-time as the OUA celebrates Rivalry Week featuring some of the best rivalries in the league
– Both teams come into the game looking to snap losing streaks as the Hawks have lost three straight games while the Warriors have lost all four of their games in 2015
– Laurier’s playoff hopes took a hit when they lost to Windsor at Homecoming last week but a win on Saturday will put them right back in the thick of the playoff race
– The Hawks have shutout the Warriors in two of their last three meetings, including a 44-0 win at University Stadium last season
– Laurier will be look to spoil the Warriors Reunion Weekend as a large crowd is expected for Saturday’s game
The Golden Hawks lead the all-time series against Waterloo with a record of 39-14-1. The purple and gold have won the last 11 meetings with the Warriors dating back to the 2003 season and have not lost against Waterloo on the road since 2001.
MEET THE TEAMS
Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (1-3)
The Golden Hawks went back to work this week following a tough loss on Homecoming to the Windsor Lancers. The story of that game was penalties and head coach Michael Faulds vowed his team would be more disciplined moving forward.
Despite the loss to Windsor, the Hawks had a few bright spots from the game, including running back Dillon Campbell of Whitby, Ont., who ran for over 100 yards. In total, the Hawks put up over 200 rushing yards in that contest and currently rank fifth in the league in average rushing yards per game.
The other bright spot was the Hawks kicking game as rookie kicker Nathan Mesher of Waterloo, Ont., earned OUA Special Teams Player of the Week honours following a perfect 4-for-4 day kicking field goals.
However, the key for Saturday’s game for Faulds and his team will be finding the endzone. The Hawks have gone two games without being able to celebrate a touchdown and Laurier will be looking to end that drought early against Waterloo.
Waterloo Warriors (0-4)
Following Windsor’s win last week over the Hawks, Waterloo enters Week 6 of the season as the only winless team left in the conference. The Warriors have struggled on both sides of the football, averaging a league-worst 10.1 points per game while allowing a league-high 51.3 points per game. However, despite those numbers, the Warriors always get up for the Battle of Waterloo and the Hawks should expect nothing less than Waterloo’s best effort this season.
Leading the Warriors under centre is Lucas McConnell of Waterford, Ont. The second year pivot has thrown for 1,026 yards this season while throwing more touchdowns (5) than interceptions (4). He is supported in the backfield by running back Ryan Di Risio of Burlington, Ont., who has rushed for 259 yards this year.
McConnell’s favourite target this year has been second year receiver Mitch Kernick of Elmira, Ont., who is averaging over 23.4 yards per reception and leads the Warriors in receiving yards with 327.
Defensively, Laurier will need to be aware of defensive backs Lucas Merlin of Burlington, Ont., who leads Waterloo in tackles this season with 21, and Christian Mahler of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., who has a team-best two interceptions.