November 19, 2005
Source: Wilfrid Laurier University:
Laurier Golden Hawks win Uteck Bowl and advance to Desjardins Vanier Cup
Posted by Ari Grossman (Sports Information Coordinator)
HALIFAX – After a fourteen-year hiatus from the national championship, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks are making their second appearance at the Desjardins Vanier Cup following a 31-10 victory in the Uteck Bowl over the Acadia Axemen.
The nationally #2 ranked Golden Hawks have not seen the National Finals since 1991, when they defeated Mount Allison 25-18. The Hawks have attended the Uteck (formerly known as the Churchill Bowl) four times previous to this appearance, only once pulliImage 1 from Hawks Win National Semi-Finalng out the victory, again in 1991. Prior to 1973, Laurier made three Vanier Cup appearances as Waterloo Lutheran.
"We were as good as we’ve been in all three parts of the game," said Manager of Football Operations and Head Coach Gary Jeffries. "The offense, defense and special teams came together and had their best performance of the season."
Ryan Pyear was named the Player of the Game for the National semi-final, as he finished completing 15 of 20 for a total of 329 yards. The Belleville native passed for all four Laurier touchdowns, including three of which to Burlington’s Bryon Hickey.
"We had a good game," said Pyear. "The defense came up big when we needed it to. Our job isn’t done yet, we’ve still got one game to go."
Acadia opened scoring with a 19-yard field goal four-minutes into the first, Laurier responded less than a minute later with a 70 yard Pyear pass to Hickey and there was no looking back for the Hawks. Hickey scored his Image 2 from Hawks Win National Semi-Finalsecond at the end of the second quarter and then kicker Brian Devlin of Sarnia put a field goal through the uprights to make the score 17-3 at the half. Hickey and Burlington’s Dante Luciani scored the remaining Golden Hawk touchdowns.
While the offense put the points on the board, Laurier’s defense forced seven Axemen turnovers. Gavin Cond, of Sault Ste Marie, Ont., who was questionably starting at the beginning of the game, made 11 tackles had a forced fumble and one of Laurier’s four interceptions. The other three were made by Joel Wright, Bobby Kootstra and Jesse Alexander.
Acadia’s Chris Judd was just over 50% in completions with 19 of 35. The lone touchdown came from Ivan Birungi on a 34-yard pass. In total, Acadia’s net offense was 373 with only 79 yards on the ground.
Hickey finished the game with only three receptions – all for touchdowns, for a total of 104 yards. First team OUA all-star Nick Cameron carried the ball 20 times for 97 yards in the offensive attack totaling 463 yards.
The Golden Hawks now have two weeks to prepare for the Desjardins Vanier Cup against the Saskatchewan Huskies at Ivor Wynne Stadium in Hamilton. Game time is set for 3:00PM EST. Both teams have never played each other and each own an undefeated record this season.