LONDON, Ont. — Michael Faulds passed for 315 yards including two touchdowns as the No. 2 Western Mustangs dominated the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks 30-7 in CIS action Saturday.
With Western (2-0) up 17-0 in the third quarter, Faulds hit running back Da’shawn Thomas with a 77-yard TD pass to effectively put the game away.
“Last week we made a lot of mental errors. This week we were more crisp,” Faulds said. “I think before this game our players had a bit of anxiety on offence. This was a lot better. The Da Riva combination opens up our passing game. It’s up to me to spread the ball around to all these weapons.
The “Da Riva combination” is the nickname given to dynamic running back duo of Thomas and Nathan Riva who combined for 143 rushing yards, including Riva’s one-yard run in the first quarter to open the scoring.
Thomas finished with 13 rushes for 69 yards and four catches for 70 yards and a touchdown.
Western’s defence, with its three interceptions, three forced fumbles and one turnover on downs, was dominant, limiting the Golden Hawks offence to 111 total yards.
Conor Elliott led the Mustangs defence with a pair of interceptions, a forced fumble and three total tackles.
“People were talking smack all week about us and we came in ready to play,” said Elliott. “Everyone has been questioning our defence and we came together today. We set a tone.”
Kicker Darryl Wheeler booted a 33-yard attempt to give Western a comfortable 10-0 lead with 12:18 to play in the second quarter.
With just 10.6 seconds left in the half, Faulds hit senior Josh Svec with a 28-yard touchdown pass to make it 17-0.
Western padded its lead in the third with Thomas’s TD catch and defensive back Aaron Handsor intercepted a Luke Thompson pass and returned it 64 yards for a touchdown with 2:30 to go.
Laurier (0-2) scored its only touchdown when their backup quarterback Evan Pawliuk hit receiver Shamawd Chambers for a 34-yard touchdown strike in the closing minutes of the fourth.
Marshall said the squad still has many things to work on, but admitted he was happy with the win.
“We were good on defence, no question, but their front four dominated us in the second half and we couldn’t do much with our running game,” Marshall said.
The Mustangs travel to play the Windsor Lancers next Saturday while Laurier host Waterloo.
In other CIS action on Saturday:
No. 1 Laval 45, Bishop’s 6
At Lennoxville, Que., Sebastien Levesque’s two touchdowns led the Laval Rouge et Or over the Gaiters.
Ottawa 45, Waterloo 11
At Waterloo, Ont., Jordan Wilson-Ross ran for 232 yards and two touchdowns in the Gee-Gees win.
No. 8 Queen’s 8, McMaster 7
At Kingston, Ont., Queen’s used a first quarter touchdown to get past McMaster in a low-scoring affair.
Guelph 66, York 8
At Guelph, Ont., James Savoie had an interception, recovered a fumble and returned a blocked field goal 72 yards to the end zone as the Gryphons beat York.
St. FX 24 No. 4, Saint Mary’s 19
At Antigonish, N.S., a fake punt by X-Men kicker Anthony Alix resulted in a 41 yard run set up the winning touchdown catch by Akeem Foster as St. FX beat the Huskies.
Acadia 58, Mount Allison 15
At Wolfville, N.S., Keith Lockwood tossed for 435 yards and four touchdowns as the Axemen got past the Mounties.
No. 3 Calgary 34, Alberta 31
At Calgary, the two combined for 40 fourth quarter points as the Dinos held on to beat the Golden Bears.
Windsor 30, Toronto 3
At Windsor, Ont., the rushing duo of Paul Lefaive and Kamar Anglin led the Lancers past the Blues.