Laurier’s fourth quarter comeback shocks Western to win Yates Cup

Photo: @OUASport

James Sebastian-Scott
570 News

The Laurier Golden Hawks men’s football team continued their fairy tale season with a huge win over the Western Mustangs to capture the 109th Yates Cup, Saturday afternoon.

Nathan Mesher sealed the deal with a 25-yard field goal as the clock ticked to zero.

This is Laurier’s first Yates Cup championship since 2005 and will send them to the Uteck Bowl next Saturday against the Dunsmore Cup champions, the Laval Rouge et Or. The winner of the Uteck Bowl will advance to the Vanier Cup.

Down 40-19 in the fourth quarter, the Golden Hawks responded with 21 unanswered points.

Quarterback Michael Knevel showed why he has been Coach Faulds’ guy since week five of the OUA schedule.

“I am probably the only one crazy enough to think it could actually happen,” said head coach Michael Faulds after capturing his first Yates Cup as a coach to go along with the two he won as a player. “I tell the players that and they gave me a nod. But I truly did believe.”

Knevel threw three touchdown passes to tie the game and set up the winning field goal.

Knevel found receiver Brentyn Hall for a 29-yard strike with eight minutes left to cut the deficit to 40-26. A 23-yard touchdown from Carson Ouellette five minutes later made it 40-33 and Kurleigh Gittens Jr., caught a three-yard TD pass to tie the game with just over a minute to play.

Knevel finished with 309 yards and was 22 for 36 with the three touchdowns and was named the Dalt White Trophy winner.

Knevel also took home Player of the Game honours.

“The thing I’ve noticed about Knevel since day one, is that he doesn’t get nervous at all, said Coach Faulds on his quarterback. “No matter how big the situation is, he just simply doesn’t, and from that, you can see the guys around him get more and more confidence.”

Golden Hawks running back Levondre Gordon scored a rushing touchdown in the first half and Mesher was good on all five of his field-goal attempts.

Western quarter back Chris Merchant threw for 281 yards with touchdowns to Harry McMaster and George Johnson. Merchant was also intercepted once.

Western running back, Alex Taylor managed three touchdowns against a Laurier defence that was ranked third place in rushing defence in the OUA.

This was the Golden Hawks first playoff win against Western on the road since 1991.

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