At the newly renovated Knight-Newbrough Field, the No. 8 ranked Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks reopened the stadium in style with a 36-26 win over the No. 9 ranked McMaster Marauders in Ontario Universities Athletics football on Labour Day.
With McMaster leading 19-12 going into the fourth quarter, the Golden Hawks scored 17 points in a span of two minutes and 32 seconds.
Laurier scored on a Chris Mamo (London) field goal at the 3:08 mark of the fourth quarter, a 26-yard fumble recovery touchdown by Luke Pinder (Kitchener) at 3:26, and a two-yard touchdown run by Michael Montoya (Burlington) at 5:40 putting the purple and gold ahead 29-19.
McMaster climbed back into the game with Rob Serviss (Waterloo) snaring three Adam Archibald passes leading to a one-yard touchdown run by Devin Brown (Barrie) with 2:29 remaining to cut Laurier’s lead to three points.
At the 2:00 minute mark, with the Golden Hawks facing second down and long, deep in their territory, Laurier quarterback Ian Noble executed a perfectly timed bootleg to gain a first down, and squash the Marauder’s momentum. Montoya would score a touchdown with 1.10 remaining in the game to give Laurier its win in the season opener for both teams.
Archibald, Marauders fifth year quarterback, turned in a stellar performance, completed 26 of 37 passes (70%) for 361 yards with no interceptions and ran for another 23 yards.
Mac’s top receivers were Mike Bradwell (Toronto) with eight receptions for 132 yards and two touchdowns; Rob Serviss turned in an excellent game with five receptions for 109 yards.
McMaster was limited in its ground attack gaining a meagre 53 yards on 22 carries (2.4 yards per carry).
Laurier was led by Ryan Lynch (Waterloo, ON) who had 190 yards on 24 carries (most in the fourth quarter) and a touchdown behind a very strong Laurier Offensive line.
Laurier starting quarterback Ian Noble (West Vancouver) was solid in his first university start completing 17 of 26 passes for 199 yards and one interception.
Defensively, McMaster was led by Jason Arakgi (Toronto) with 6.5 tackles and one interception. OUA All-Star, Simon Binder (Almonte, ON), playing out-of-position at outside linebacker had 6.5 tackles, and True Rookie Ryan Chmielewski (St. Catharines, playing middle linebacker had 6.5 tackles. Rookie Jeff Hodge (Waterloo), added five tackles for the Marauders.
McMaster kicker Paulo Faiazza contributed eight punts for 314 yards (39.25 average), and kicked a 16-yard field goal and three converts.
Laurier’s Anthony Maggiacomo (Waterloo) had 7.5 tackles and Luke Pinder and Jahmeeks Beckford (Kitchener) contributed five tackles.
McMaster will host former Marauder coach Greg Marshall and the No.7 ranked University of Western Ontario Mustangs on Saturday (Sept. 8) at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are available via Ticketmaster by phone at (905) 481-4444 Ticketmaster online at www.ticketmaster.ca and all Ticketmaster locations.