By Ian Shalapata
(WINDSOR, ON) – For the second straight game, the visiting team opened the scoring against the Windsor Lancers at Alumni Field. This time, however, the Laurier Golden Hawks could not hang onto their lead in the face of the come-from-behind kings, as the Lancers squeaked out their first win of the season by a 39-34 score.
Despite the best efforts of Windsor’s offense, the team made it harder than it had to be. On the first play after the kick-off Windsor was assessed a 10 yard holding penalty, negating a six yard running gain. There didn’t seem to be many plays without a penalty being called against the Lancers. In total Windsor was penalized 12 times for 110 yards, often reversing big gains.
The first three scoring plays all belonged to the well-directed Laurier offense of James Fracas, the grandson of former Lancer coach and CFL great Gino Fracas. The Hawks were ahead 13-0 before Windsor running back Beau Lumley rumbled 21 yards for a major score in the 2nd quarter. Five minutes later Windsor took the lead when Austin Kennedy connected on a 20 yard pass and run with Evan Pszczonak.
Laurier regained the lead late in the 3rd with a 22 yard field goal by Ronnie Pfeffer, and then piled on the points early in the final frame, going up by 17 points, 33-16. But the script writers weren’t done yet.
Austin Kennedy directed a 7-play, 62 yard march up-field, capped by a 1 yard run into the end zone by Nick Vincent. Kennedy then scored himself, just four minutes later, on a 7 yard keeper. And then Anthony Malandruccolo put the ball through the uprights from 43 yards out to tie the game at 33 with less than 5 minutes remaining on the clock.
At the 1:41 mark, Pfeffer missed a field goal attempt, and Windsor failed to run the ball out of the end zone, giving up a single point. It seemed to be enough to take the game, but Kennedy had other plans.
Much to the delight of the Lancer fans, Pszczonak found himself on the receiving end of a 58 yard pass from Kennedy for his second touchdown of the game, and fourth of the season.
The Lancer defense was then able to grind down the final 30 seconds to bring Windsor’s record even at 1-1.
Overall, Austin Kennedy was 22-38 for 326 passing yards with an additional 58 on 10 rushes. Lumley was strong out of the backfield with 10 carries as well, gaining 61 yards. And Lumley also picked up 35 yards as a receiver, with one TD called back due to a holding penalty.
Pszczonak led all receivers with 6 catches for 144 yards and 2 touchdowns.
For Laurier, Dillon Campbell gave Windsor fits as he was handed the ball 25 times, picking up 177 yards and a touchdown. And Fracas looked good throwing 25-30 for 292 yards for the Hawks.
The turning point of the game came on a Laurier fumble forced by Windsor defensive back Tarik Bonas and picked up by Matt Gayer. The turnover helped to set up Malandruccolo’s 43 yard field goal and shifted momentum to the Lancers.
Windsor will now have a bi-week before heading on the road for two games. They next meet Waterloo on September 20 and then will be in Toronto to face the York Lions on the 26th. The Lancers will return home on October 4 as they host Guelph. The Gryphons are currently at 1-1 and are ranked Number 8 in Canada.
AROUND THE HORN
Lancer men’s soccer shut out Brock 3-0 on Saturday and then fell to McMaster by the same score on Sunday. The women’s team also put the boots to Brock by a score of 4-1. They then went on the defeat McMaster 2-0 for a perfect weekend.
The women’s volleyball team had a successful weekend at the Julie Martin Invitational tournament at Madonna University in Livonia. The squad went 3-1 in the warm up leading into the OUA season beginning October 18.
Finally, the women’s hockey program dropped a pair of exhibition games to the Toronto Aeros, of the WHA, at South Windsor Arena. They open the regular season on September 13 as they host Guelph. The puck will drop at 4:00 pm.