The No. 10 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (1-0) will look to start a season with consecutive wins for the first time since 2007 when they host the York Lions (1-0) at University Stadium on Labour Day Monday.
NEED TO KNOW
– For the third consecutive season, Laurier opened the year with a victory as they scored 21 unanswered points to down the Queen’s Gaels 37-18 in Week 1
– York opened the ir 2016 season with an emphatic 57-13 victory over the Waterloo Warriors
– the Hawks will be looking to improve to 2-0 for the first time since 2007 when they started the year with six straight victories
– the Lions haven’t won at Laurier since posting a 22-6 win over the Golden Hawks in 2002
– Laurier DB Godfrey Onyeka was named the OUA and CIS Defensive Player of the Week after posting 4.5 tackles, one interception, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one pass breakup last week against the Gaels
The Golden Hawks own an all-time record of 37-6-0 against the York Lions dating back to 1969. Heading into the contest, Laurier has won two consecutive games against the Lions and nine of their last 10 meetings. The last time these two teams met in Waterloo, the Hawks came away with a 27-10 victory back in October of 2014.
MEET THE TEAMS
Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (1-0) – No. 10 in Canada
The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks will look to build on a strong defensive effort and try to kick start their offence as they head into Week 2 against the York Lions.
Defensively, the purple and gold showed last week against Queen’s why they are one of the best units in not only the province, but perhaps the country. In total, the Hawks limited the Gaels to just 201 yards of offence as they forced six turnovers, including two interceptions and three fumbles, as well as sacking Queen’s quarterbacks nine times. While Godfrey Onyeka received much of the recognition for the team’s effort, other standouts from the game included his cousin LB Nakas, who had nine tackles and two sacks, DL Kwaku Boateng, who had four tackles and two sacks, and DB Malcolm Thompson, who had 8.5 tackles.
Offence was another story for Laurier as they struggled to find their game until late in the fourth quarter. Despite the loss of RB Di llon Campbell, it appears as though the Hawks won’t be abandoning the run game any time soon as the team rushed the ball 36 times for 152 yards against the Gaels. RB Eric Guiltinan saw the majority of those carries as he ran 21 times for 85 yards and a touchdown in his first career start. QB Julien John will need to clean up his game heading into Week 2 as he threw four interceptions and two touchdowns in the victory. However, the veteran pivot will be allowed to find his games as he was making his first start in nearly three years against Queen’s.
York Lions (1-0)
York heads into the second week of the season after posting one of their most impressive victories in the last number of years. A team that has struggled to get out of the bottom of the OUA basement, York put the league on notice as they put up 57 points in a big win over the Waterloo Warriors.
Leading the way for York was QB Brett Hunchak. The OUA and CIS Play er of the Week last week, the second year pivot threw for 331 yards and five touchdowns in the victory over the Warriors. His favourite target through the air was brother Colton who had three catches for 149 yards and two touchdowns.
York was also effective in the ground game as last year’s Rookie of the Year Jesse Amankwaa had 64 yards and 12 carries while Kaden Johnson ran the ball nine time for 75 yards.
Defensively, York forced Waterloo into three turnovers in the contest and were led by LB Andrew Smith who recorded seven total tackles, one forced fumble and one pass breakup in the win.