Game Date/Time: Saturday, August 20, 2016 – 1 p.m.
Game Location: CEPSUM Stadium, Montreal
Live Webcast/Stats: None
The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks kick off the 2016 season with a non-conference match-up against the 2015 Dunsmore Cup champions, the Montreal Carabins.
NEED TO KNOW
– Saturday’s game marks the first time Laurier and Montreal have faced each other on the gridiron since 1966
– last season, the Hawks met the Saskatchewan Huskies in the preseason where they lost 33-10 on the road
– for Montreal, this is their fifth straight season hosting a non-conference game and they are 4-0 over that stretch, including a 36-3 win over the Ottawa Gee-Gees last season
– Laurier will be d ressing 70 players for Saturday’s game as they look to test out the depth of each of their positions
The Golden Hawks and Carabins have squared off just once in their history, all the way back in 1966 when then-Waterloo Lutheran earned a 36-7 victory on home soil. That victory 50 years ago was one of seven that season for the Hawks who went undefeated that year and eventually competed in the College Bowl.
MEET THE TEAMS
Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (4-4, 2015)
Saturday’s game marks the Golden Hawks first test of the season as they will be attempting to put into place everything they have learned over the first five days of training camp.
On offence, five quarterbacks and seven running backs are making the trip as head coach Michael Faulds starts to officially audition who will fill two of the biggest holes left in the lineup due to graduation of quarterbacks James Fracas and Eric Morelli, and starting running back Dillon Campbell. Expect returning quarterback Julien John of Oakville, Ont., and fifth year running back Eric Guiltinan of London, Ont., to start the contest before other players are rotated into the game.
For the defence, Saturday’s game will mark a great opportunity for defensive coordinator Ron VanMoerkerke to see where his group lines up against one of the best teams in the country over the past two seasons. The Hawks boast a veteran front seven which features four East West Bowl participants back in May, including defensive lineman Kwaku Boateng of Milton, Ont., and linebacker Brandon Calver of London, Ont. They will look to slow down a Carabins squad that fell just four points shy of winning their second consecutive Vanier Cup a year ago.
Montreal Carabins (6-2, 2015)
Montreal will also be using Saturday’s game as a measuring stick to see where the ir team sits after their opening week of training camp.
On offence, the Carabins will also be auditioning for a new quarterback as starter Gabriel Cousineau graduated at the end of the season. Looking to take his spot will be a trio of individuals including Samuel Caron, Eric Parr and Gabriel Archambault. At running back, the dangerous Sean Thomas-Erlington will be a focal point of the Hawks’ game plan as will receiver Regis Cibasu who tied for the team lead with 40 receptions a year ago.
Defensively, Junior Luke, a fourth year defensive lineman, should be a handful up front for the Golden Hawks offensive line while defensive back Zacary Alexis will be a tough matchup for Laurier’s receivers after he finished third on the team in tackles with 30.5 a year ago.