#5 Laurier set to battle Waterloo on Homecoming

waterloo
Photo: Bruce Bell

Jamie Howieson
Laurier Athletics

Game Date/Time: Saturday, September 241 p.m.
Game Location: University Stadium, Waterloo
Live Webcast/Stats: OUA.tv
Live Audiocast: RadioLaurier.com
Tickets: tickets.laurierathletics.com or at the Hawk Desk or U-Desk

THE SKINNY

Off to their best start since 2007, the No. 5 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (3-0) look to continue their undefeated start to the season when they host the Waterloo Warriors (0-4) on Homecoming weekend.

FAN INFORMATION
– Gates will open on Saturday at 11 a.m.
– Laurier Student Homecoming packages are still available for purchase for $17. Package includes a game ticket, t -shirt and noise maker
– Tailgate tickets for those 19+ can be purchased for an additional $5 on top of your game ticket
– Access to the Alumni Tailgate Endzone for Laurier Alumni returning to campus is also available for $5 with the purchase of a game ticket


NEED TO KNOW

– the Hawks are coming off a thrilling, come-from-behind win over the nationally-ranked Carleton Ravens, 17-16 in Ottawa
– Waterloo has lost their first four games of the year, including a 35-0 shutout at the hands of the No. 7 McMaster Marauders last week
– Laurier has won 12 straight games against the Warriors, and have posted shutouts against Waterloo in three of their last four meetings
– the Hawks longest win streak against Waterloo is 18 games, a stretch of meetings that ran from 1972 to 1988
– Laurier is hosting Waterloo on Homecoming weekend for the first time since 2007 when they won 35-3 over the Warriors

ALL-TIME SERIES

The Battle of Waterloo has been decidedly one-sided in favour of the purple and gold over the last 13 years. Laurier has won 12 straight games against their cross-town rivals dating back to the 2003 season. The Hawks last loss to the Warriors came back in 2002 when they suffered an 18-16 defeat. Overall, Laurier is 40-14-1 against Waterloo since 1963.

TEAM BREAKDOWN
Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (3-0) – No. 5 in Canada

Laurier heads into their annual Homecoming game full of confidence after their victory against Carleton at their annual Homecoming game last weekend.

Defensively, it was much of the same for Laurier as they have produced this season. The Hawks limited a very potent offence to just a touchdown and a field goal as Laurier conceded the Ravens six points on safeties. On top of that, the defence recorded its third touchdown of the season which leads the OUA, one ahead of the We stern Mustangs.

One reason why Laurier’s defence has been so good so far this year is that each and every week, a different player is stepping to the forefront and making big plays. Against Carleton, it was Scott Hutter of London, Ont., returning an interception for a touchdown while Taylor Calverley of Pottageville, Ont., also had two interceptions. With five different players having recorded interceptions this season, 10 recording sacks and four forcing fumbles, it leaves the opposition struggling to decide who they will scheme against week-in and week-out.

On offence, the Hawks continue to show that they can run the football against any opponent in the league. Eric Guiltinan of London, Ont., was the star once again for Laurier against the Ravens, posting 200 yards in the victory, as he now leads the OUA in average rushing yards per game at 155.0. The work of his offensive line and full backs against a tough Ravens defence allowed Guiltinan to get his game going in the second half, propelling Laurier to victory.

However, one area that is still questionable for the purple and gold is at quarterback. Starter Julien John of Oakville, Ont., has struggled up to this point and gave way to backup Michael Knevel of Brantford, Ont., in the second half against Carleton. Knevel has been the more consistent pivot in the playing time he has received this year and may be in line for his first career start against Waterloo.

Waterloo Warriors (0-4)

It has been another tough start to the season for the Hawks’ cross-town opponent, the Waterloo Warriors. Winless in their last 12 games overall dating back to 2014, the Warriors have struggled against a difficult schedule to open the year, having played against three teams that find themselves in the national rankings. Subsequently, Waterloo has scored just 28 points through four games, while allowing a league-high 232.

Although it may not g et any easier for Waterloo this week, this group promises to be a motivated team heading into the Hawks’ Homecoming game. The Warriors will be led by promising first-year linebacker Kurtis Gray of Waterloo, Ont., who leads the conference in tackles and is fourth in the OUA in sacks. Paired with defensive back Jordan Hoover of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., who has eight interceptions in 25 career games, the two will represent a tough challenge for Laurier to manage this week.

On offence, the Hawks will be looking to slow down receiver Adam Felinczak of Hamilton, who leads the team in receptions with 12 and is second on the team in receiving yards with 142.

He is complimented on the ground by running back Dion Pellerin of Abbotsford, B.C., who is averaging 5.4 yards per carry for 196 rushing yards on the season.

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