By Elisa Mitton
(WINDSOR, ON) – The Windsor Lancer Football team stunned the No. 6 Guelph Gryphons 33-29 in the Labour Day Classic on Monday at Alumni Field. Both teams now hold identical 1-1 records in the OUA standings.
Tarrence Crawford led the game with 123 yards rushing, 57 yards receiving, and a touchdown, while Lancer newcomer Jalen Brady led the Blue and Gold in the air with 249 yards and a touchdown, going 18-for-28 with one interception.
James Roberts finished the game with 362 yards and two touchdowns for the Gryphons.
Colton Jones opened the scoring for the defending OUA champs with a 22-yard touchdown reception just four minutes into the game to give the Gryphons an early lead. Windsor retaliated with a pair of 37-yard field goals from Clark Green to trail only 7-6 after one quarter of play.
The boisterous Lancer crowd of 3,807 were brought to their feet early in the second as defensive back Lekan Idowu intercepted a Guelph pass, and proceeded to run the ball back 62-yards to give Windsor a 13-7 lead.
Another field goal from Green increased Windsor’s lead to nine before the Gryphons replied with a field goal of their own. A rouge late in the quarter sent the Lancers into the locker room up 17-10 at the half.
The Gryphons seemed to find their stride again in the third, opening the half with an 11-0 run. Gabriel Ferraro kicked a 17-yard field goal before Jamal Hooker went 4-yards on their next drive to take a 20-17 lead. Ferraro added the game’s second rouge to make it a four point game.
With only five seconds remaining in the third quarter, Crawford finished off a 75-yard Lancer drive with a 2-yard leap into the end zone to put the home team back on top. The biggest play of the game came with 6:41 remaining in regulation when Windsor receiver Noah Akharoh hauled in a 54-yard touchdown pass to give the Lancers a 33-21 lead.
The Gryphons did not back down, however, and with 2:30 remaining, Roberts connected with receiver Thomas Bresciani for a 20-yard touchdown to once again make it a one-score game at 33-27. The Gryphons followed that up with a successful onside kick attempt, giving them the ball and the momentum.
With 1:20 left in the final quarter, Guelph appeared to score the go-ahead touchdown, but Daniel Palmer-Salmon’s 13-yard TD run was called back due to a holding call. From there, the Lancers played a solid defensive game and essentially ran out the clock to secure the win.
Defensively, rookie linebacker Daniel Metcalfe led the way with 11.5 tackles while teammate Frank Renaud kicked in 10.5.
Lukas Korol also had 10.5 tackles for the visiting Gryphons.
With a short turnaround of only five days, the Lancers will now prepare for the York Lions. Windsor will head up the 401 to Toronto and kick-off on Saturday at 1:00pm. The game can be seen live on OUA.tv.