Top 5: Laurier Golden Hawk football seasons

The 2011 Laurier Men’s football team clearly isn’t living up to their expectations. Not only are they not even ranked, but they have also started their season with a dismal 1-3 record. With the Laurier Waterloo homecoming fast approaching, we at The Sputnik have decided to countdown the best five seasons in Laurier Golden Hawk football history. This is in hopes of forgetting the poor start to this season, that could only get worse when the Ottawa Gee Gees come to town on Saturday.

5 – 1972 – Regular season 4-2. Postseason 3-1.

In 1972, the Golden Hawks won the OUA final by defeating Western 38-27. From here, they went on to play Saint Mary's in the Canadian Interunviersity Athletics Union (CIAU), now known as the CIS, semi-final defeating them 50-17. However, in the Vanier cup game, Alberta beat the Golden Hawks 20-7 to capture the trophy and title as Canada's best university football team. The 1970s were a competitive decade for the Golden Hawks, with them always being in the running. After winning the OUA in 1973, they lost in the OUA finals the next four years until winning again in 1978. However they wouldn't claim a Vanier cup until 1991.

4 – 1987 – Regular season 6-1. Postseason 2-1.

Losing their first game of the season on the road against Western, 23-9, the 1987 regular season certainly looked to be beginning on a low note. But that would be the only regular season game the Golden Hawks would lose, winning the next six and advancing to the OUA championship where they would defeat Windsor in the semi-finals and Guelph in the finals. From here, they went directly on to the CIAU finals where they were defeated in a close game by the University of British Columbia, 33-31. 

3 – 2004 – Regular season 8-0. Postseason 2-1.

The Golden Hawks started the 2004 season with a romping of the Varsity Blues 67-0 and would win their next seven games in convincing fashion, going a perfect 8-0 in the regular season.  The Golden Hawks then easily beat the McMaster Mauraders 31-19 to win the Yates cup in the OUA final. But Laval defeated the Golden Hawks 30-11 in the CIS semi-final, snapping Laurier's undefeated streak for the season and causing them to come up short one game before the CIS final. Two offensive players on Laurier’s squad, quarterback Ryan Pyear and offensive tackle Ryan Jeffrey, were named All-Canadians that year. 

2 – 1991 – Regular season 5-2. Postseason 4-0.

Losing two of their final three regular season games, Laurier limped into the playoffs during the 1991 season. Facing Waterloo in the OUA semi-finals, a team that had beaten them a week earlier 34-7, the Golden Hawks were able to turn the tables on the Warriors soundly defeating them 35-3. The next three games would all prove to be victorious for Laurier as they narrowly edged out Western 13-12 in the OUA final, beat Queens in the CIAU semi-final and defeated Mount Allison 25-18 at the  SkyDome to capture Laurier's first Vanier Cup. 

1 – 2005 – Regular season 8-0. Postseason 4-0.

The 2005 season was the perfect season, and one that still is fresh for Laurier fans young and old. The 2005 season included a perfect 12-0 record, an OUA coach of the year award for coach Gary Jeffries and 6 Golden Hawks being named All-Canadian. Fresh off the heels of their semi-final loss in 2004, the Golden Hawks came back with a vengeance, embarrassing most opponents during the regular season including a 45-0 opening day thrashing of the Queens Golden Gaels. Laurier didn't stop in the playoffs, moving past McMaster in the OUA semis and defeating Western 29-11 in the OUA finals. They then went on to beat Acadia 31-10 in the semi-final Uteck Bowl and met up with Saskatchewan in what was almost a home game at Ivor Wynne Stadium for the CIS final. Shown live on national TV and with over 16,000 fans in attendance, the Golden Hawks beat the Huskies 24-23 thanks to a field goal late in the fourth quarter by Brian Devlin. That day marked the Laurier Golden Hawks second Vanier Cup and capped off the perfect season. It also marked the last time Laurier has advanced to the CIS championship. 

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