WATERLOO, ON – The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s football team has announced its Players of the Week following the squad’s 40-17 win over the Queen’s Gaels Saturday afternoon. The victory improved the Hawks to 3-0 on the season.
Receiver Kurleigh Gittens Jr. (Ottawa, Ont.) is this week’s offensive player of the week, while defensive end Robbie Smith (Brampton, Ont.) takes home the honours for defence and linebacker Daniel Fitzgerald (London, Ont.) is recognized for his contributions on special teams.
Gittens caught nine passes against Queen’s for a career-high 147 yards, also catching a pair of touchdowns. The third-year speedster has now gone over 100 yards receiving in each of the Golden Hawks’ three games to open the 2017 season. A two-time OUA all-star, Gittens currently leads the conference in receptions, with 28, and receiving yards per game, with 129/game. His 387 receiving yards through three contests put him second in the OUA, only behind Jacob Scarfone of Guelph, who has played one more game.
On defence, Smith put his name in the Laurier record books Saturday, picking up 4.5 sacks to set a new all-time Golden Hawks mark for sacks in a game. The previous record was held by Kwaku Boateng who had 4 sacks in a 2014 game versus the University of Toronto. Smith was consistently in the Gaels backfield Saturday, pestering quarterback Nate Hobbs all afternoon, contributing to a defensive effort that saw Laurier shut Queen’s out in the second half. In addition to his 4.5 sacks, Smith led the Hawks in tackles with 7 and added a forced fumble and a pass breakup. The third year’s huge performance Saturday moved him in to second in the OUA in sacks with 5.5 on the season and gives him 10.5 in his career.
On special teams, Fitzgerald was a force on the Hawks’ kick coverage units all game. The rookie forced a fumble the Golden Hawks recovered and added a special teams tackle as the purple and gold kept the dangerous Gaels returners in check.
The Laurier Football Players of the Week are presented by OneCard and the Laurier Bookstore.