Knevel, N. Onyeka, Mesher named OUA Football Players of the Week

Graphic: OUA

BURLINGTON, ON – The following athletes have been named Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Football Players of the Week for the period ending November 14, 2016.

OFFENCE: Michael Knevel (Brantford, Ont.) – 4th yr. – Laurier

After leading his team back from a 21-point deficit to win the 109th Yates Cup on Saturday, Laurier Golden Hawks quarterback Michael Knevel (Brantford, Ont.) has been named the OUA Offensive Player of the Week.

Knevel, a fourth-year geography major, went 22-36 for 309 yards and three touchdowns as the Golden Hawks stunned the Western Mustangs 43-40.

With his team trailing 40-19 with 11:23 to play in the fourth quarterback, the Brantford, Ont. native orchestrated one of the biggest comebacks in Yates Cup history, scoring 24 straight unanswered points to win the program’s first OUA championship since 2005.

The 6’5”, 220 lbs quarterback was also named the Dalt White Trophy winner and the Porter Airlines Player of the Game for his performance.

Next up, Knevel and the Golden Hawks will look to keep it going as they will travel to Laval on Saturday to take on the Rouge et Or in the Uteck Bowl.

DEFENCE: Nakas Onyeka (Brampton, Ont.)– 4th yr. – Laurier

Just days after receiving the President’s Trophy as the OUA Stand Up Defensive Player of the Year, Laurier Golden Hawks linebacker Nakas Onyeka (Brampton, Ont.) showed the Mustangs first hand just how dominant he can be.

Onyeka, a fourth-year communications studies student-athlete, has been named OUA Defensive Player of the Week after he had 8.5 tackles, 0.5 sacks and a forced fumble and recovery in the Golden Hawks thrilling 43-40 win over Western in the 109th Yates Cup, presented by lululemon.

The forced fumble will stand as one of the biggest plays of the game as it set up the Golden Hawks game-tying drive late in the fourth quarter.

In the regular season, Onyeka led OUA with 51 solo tackles, while he ranked fourth in several defensive categories, including: total tackles (59.5), tackles per game (7.4), sacks (5.5) and sack yards (40), all of which are career highs the dynamic 6’0″, 210 lbs linebacker.

Now Onyeka will look to shift his sights to making life absolutely miserable for Laval as the Rouge et Or and the Golden Hawks clash Saturday in the Uteck Bowl.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Nathan Mesher (Waterloo, Ont.) – 3rd yr. – Laurier

Laurier kicker Nathan Mesher (Waterloo,Ont.) has been named the OUA Special Teams Player of the Week after he completed the Golden Hawks comeback in Saturday’s 109th Yates Cup, presented by lululemon.

Mesher, a third-year business major, was a perfect 5-for-5 on field goals, converting kicks from 22, 37, 18, 27 and the game winning 26 yard field goal with no time remaining in Laurier’s 43-40 victory.

In the biggest game of his Golden Hawks career, the Waterloo, Ont. native didn’t shy away from the spotlight as his five field goals not only match his total from the regular season, they also tie the team record for most field goals in a game.

The Laurier faithful will hope that Mesher can keep it going on Saturday against the Laval Rouge et Or with a berth in the 52nd ArcelorMittal Dofasco Vanier Cup on the line.

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