KINGSTON, ON – The No. 4 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks controlled play from start to finish on Sunday night as they defeated the No. 9 Queen’s Gaels 44-18 at Richardson Stadium in a battle of Top 10 teams in Canada.
The Golden Hawks (2-0) were in charge from the opening kickoff, scoring on their first three possessions of the game while holding Queen’s (1-1) to four consecutive two-and-outs.
From there, the Hawks’ balanced offensive attack, which featured five players finding the endzone, wore down the home side. The purple and gold led 23-7 at half and a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter put the game out of reach.
MORE COVERAGE: Golden Hawks dominate Gaels under the lights
When the final whistle blew, Laurier would wind up with 621 yards of offence, compared to just 296 for the Gaels, cruising to their fourth consecutive victory over Queen’s and evening up their all-time record against the Gaels at 11 wins apiece.
– QB Tristan Arndt (London, Ont.) had the best game of his young career in just his fourth start, completing 24 of 30 passes for 313 yards and three touchdowns
– REC Kurleigh Gittens Jr. (Ottawa) had a field day with the young Queen’s defence, making 12 catches for 178 yards and a touchdown
– For the second straight week, RB Levondre Gordon (Mississauga, Ont.) had over 100 yards in the first half and would finish the game with 120 yards on 17 carries
– DB Malcolm Thompson (Windsor, Ont.) continued to show that he hasn’t lost a step after missing 2017 due to injury. He led the team in tackles with four and recorded the first sack of his Laurier career
– RB Rasheed Tucker was one of the few brights spots for Queen’s, rushing seven times for 36 yards and a touchdown
– LB Spencer Giffin posted a game-high 7.5 tackles and a tackle for a loss to lead the Gaels defence
CLIMBING THE RECORD BOOKS
– K/P Nathan Mesher moved into fourth place on Laurier’s career scoring list in the first quarter with his first of three field goals on the night. The Waterloo, Ont., native now has 229 points with the Hawks and trails Ronnie Pfeffer by 25 points for third overall
– DL Robbie Smith (Brampton, Ont.) notched his second sack of the season, moving him into a tie for second on Laurier’s career list, three behind all-time leader Kwaku Boateng
– Gittens Jr.’s evening leaves him in the Top 5 at Laurier for single game performances, sitting fifth all-time for receiving yards in a game (178) and tied fourth for receptions (12)
GAME OF FIRSTS
– Arndt eclipsed the 300-yard passing mark for the first time in his career
– Both REC Ente Eguavoen (Oakville, Ont.) and REC Esson Hamilton (Toronto) found the endzone for the first time wearing the purple and gold – QB Jacob Spinella (Ottawa), coming in late in the fourth quarter to close out the win, found Hamilton for a 75-yard catch and run for his first passing TD with Laurier – FB Cal Taylor (London, Ont.) caught three passes for 30 yards marking his first receptions with the Hawks
COACH’S QUOTES – Michael Faulds
Overall thoughts on the game
“In the first quarter we suffocated them with possession. We were able to run the ball, pass the ball and get a number of two-and-out. We’ve had a lot of success on opening drives of games and tonight was no different.”
On the play of Arndt
“You could really see his development from Week 1 to Week 2 tonight. Even though Kurleigh finished the game with 12 catches, he did a great job spreading the ball around, finding all of his receivers and not just looking for Kurleigh on every possession. He really let his players make the plays, got great protection from his offensive line and let his running backs do their job.”
What to work on moving forward
“There’s still a lot to work on. There’s the situation where we thought we took our foot off the gas midway through the third and fourth quarter. We also don’t want to give up that many points, even if many of them came in garbage time. It’s a good solid road win but at the same time, there’s a lot of stuff we can clean up. It’s the best football game we’ve played in a while but we definitely haven’t peaked.”
Sitting tied atop the OUA standings, the Golden Hawks now head into their bye week. Laurier will be back in action on Saturday, September 15 when they host the Waterloo Warriors (2-0) in the annual Battle of Waterloo showdown. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at University Stadium.