The saying "defense wins championships" doesn't get thrown around enough these days.
For the Laurier Golden Hawks, their defense and special teams was the big story, not only holding the defending champion McMaster Marauders off the scoreboard, but also producing the bulk of the points in a 22-0 victory on the road.
Ryan Long recovered a fumble after a Dawson Hodge punt, and ran 45 yards to the house to open the scoring early in the first.
On the first play after McMaster got the ball back, it was another quick strike by the Hawks, as Patrick Burke Jr. intercepted Andreas Dueck and got the 36-yard pick six to give Laurier a 14-0 lead.
Hodge had a pair of field goals, and Laurier scored a safety in the third to round out the scoring.
All of this, while Connor Carusello made his return in the quarterback position for Laurier.
He went 16-for-25, 200 yards, two interceptions and was sacked four times.
Dueck was pulled halfway through the fourth quarter, after going 10-for-18 for just 47 yards and two interceptions. You can thank the Laurier defense for making life miserable for him throughout the game, as he was sacked eight times.
WARRIORS DROP TO .500
The Guelph Gryphons rained on the Tre Ford yardage parade, as the Gryphons rolled to a 27-10 decision at home under the lights Saturday.
Shawn Lal was productive for the home side, going 8-for-14 for 100 yards, two touchdowns and a pick.
Ford, meantime, continued to rack up the yards in the air and on the ground, but the Warriors just couldn't find the end zone until the second half, and by then, Guelph already had the points they needed to clinch the win.
Ford finished with 171 yards rushing, and got another 159 yards in the air --- he was 15-for-27 --- for one touchdown and one interception.
The highlight of the game came in the third quarter, when Guelph's Clark Barnes returned a kick 108 yards for a touchdown to make it 24-10.
Both Laurier and Waterloo are part of a four-way tie for second in the OUA West at 2-2. Western stands alone at 3-1, while McMaster fell to 1-3.
Western visits Waterloo next Saturday, October 23 for a 1:00 p.m. kickoff.
Over at University Stadium, Laurier clashes with Windsor at 2:00 p.m.