The Laurier Golden Hawks football team removed any doubts about not making the playoffs this weekend, clinching not just a spot in the post-season but home field advantage for the quarterfinals.
The Hawks traveled south to Windsor this weekend, where they put a 56-16 beatdown on the Lancers. Shane Kelly started at quarterback for the second time in as many weeks, completing 28 passes on 42 attempts for a solid 342 yards, but picked up just one touchdown throughout the air – a three-yard completion to Dillon Heap to start the scoring for Laurier.
Heap also picked up a 76-yard punt return touchdown, while Shamawd Chambers ran back a kickoff a long 101 yards for a major.
The ground game picked up Laurier’s other touchdowns, with Rashad La Touche running in two touchdowns, and Isaac Dell added the other.
On defense, Samuel Aird led the charge picking up eight tackles in the game. Overall, Laurier held Windsor to 257 yards in the contest.
The game was an important one for Laurier, who kept their playoff hopes alive the week before with a big 44-23 win over Queen’s.
“The playoffs started two weeks ago for us,” Kelly told Laurier Athletics. “We knew we had to come out here and execute and we really got it done today.”
The win for Laurier marks their first in Windsor in over ten years, with the last win at the Lancers a 49-0 blowout in 1999.
With the win, Laurier passes Guelph for the fourth spot in the playoffs, and sets themselves up for a playoff matchup against the Gryphons (4-4) Saturday.
Looking ahead to the OUA playoffs, Ottawa (7-1) and Western (7-1) both enjoy first-round byes as they finish first and second, respectively.
The other quarter-final matchup pits McMaster (6-2) at home to Queens (3-5), the defending Vanier Cup champions.
As the playoffs begin, Laurier will look to capture their first Yates Cup since 2005, the same year that they went on to become national champions.