Around U Sports: QB Taylor Elgersma has career day as Wilfrid Laurier dusts Guelph

Photo courtesy: Tiffany Luke/Wilfrid Laurier

Another week of U Sports football action is in the books, bringing with it a handful of lopsided wins and a few surprisingly close games. The offensive player of the week won’t be announced until Wednesday but don’t be surprised if a certain quarterback from London, Ont. takes home the honour after a career day against Guelph.

Around U Sports is a weekly feature on 3DownNation that takes readers across the country to summarize collegiate football action, highlighting standout performances and tracking possible playoff matchups. It will run for the full season through the Vanier Cup in Kingston, Ont. on Saturday, Nov. 25.

Saint Mary’s Huskies, 13 — Acadia Axemen, 5

If you love punting, this was the game for you as Cameron Brown and Michael Adams combined for 24 on the day. The only touchdown came late in the fourth quarter as fullback Trent Price recovered a fumble on a punt return and brought it back eleven yards for the score. Kyle Chappus, who went unselected in the 2023 CFL Draft, dominated the line of scrimmage, recording six tackles, four tackles for loss, and three sacks for Acadia.

Concordia Stingers, 30 — Sherbrooke Vert et Or, 27

The Stingers completed a shocking comeback on Friday night as they erased a 21-0 halftime deficit to send the game to overtime on the strength on a five-yard touchdown run from Franck Tchembe. The teams swapped field goals in the first round of overtime and Eric Maximuik hit a 19-yarder for Concordia to start the second. A holding penalty forced Louis Tardif to try a 52-yard attempt on Sherbrooke’s ensuing drive and he missed, continuing the Vert et Or’s winless streak to start the season.

Regina Rams, 6 — Saskatchewan Huskies, 40

The Battle of Saskatchewan wasn’t remotely close as Anton Amundrud threw four touchdown passes to help lead the Huskies to a 31-0 halftime lead, which held firm over the final two quarters. Noah Pelletier threw three interceptions for the Rams and was replaced under centre by Bryden O’Flaherty, who threw a pick on his first play from scrimmage. Third-year receiver Rhett Vavra is off to a torrid start to the season with 11 catches for 184 yards and four touchdowns in only two games.

Manitoba Bisons, 16 — Alberta Golden Bears, 37

Third-year quarterback Jackson Tachinski helped the Bisons build an early 7-0 lead before leaving the game due to injury, after which the Golden Bears took full control. Eli Hetlinger, the reigning U Sports offensive player of the week, threw for three touchdowns and two interceptions in the win, while Matthew Peterson ripped off 158 yards along the ground. If Tachinski is out long-term, that could be a death knell for Manitoba, who almost beat the top-ranked Huskies to open the season.

St. FX X-Men, 43 — Mount Allison Mounties, 8

Star running back Malcolm Bussey led the way for St. FX as he carried the ball 17 times for 93 yards and two touchdowns, including a 40-yard romp shortly before halftime. Ben Hadley, the team’s kicker, also scored a touchdown as he ran the ball in from 14 yards out following a muffed snap on a field goal attempt. James Laceby scored the lone touchdown for Mount Allison on a four-yard catch from Justin Vogels.

Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks, 60 — Guelph Gryphons, 21

Take a bow, Taylor Elgersma. The third-year quarterback had a career day against the Gryphons, completing 30-of-35 pass attempts for 440 yards and six touchdowns to extend his team’s winning streak to three games. Raidan Thorne and Ethan Jordan were his favourite targets on the day as both recorded over 100 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Tristan Aboud threw for 277 yards and one touchdown for Guelph with the score going to Vyshonne Janusas.

Windsor Lancers, 37 — Waterloo Warriors, 0

The Lancers recently made the U Sports football rankings and could move up this week after dismantling Waterloo. Danny Skelton hit Ben McJarret for a 61-yard touchdown pass, Joey Zorn ripped off a 39-yard touchdown run, and Javonni Cunningham returned a punt 52 yards for a score. The Warriors managed only 154 yards of offence as they turned over the ball twice and quarterback Nick Orr was sacked six times.

York Lions, 0 — McMaster Marauders, 71

The Marauders got their first win of the season in a big way as they racked up a 52-0 lead at halftime and never looked back. Keagan Hall threw for 300 yards and two touchdowns in less than a half of work, while Brayden Kelly ran for three touchdowns. The Lions generated only 112 yards of total offence as Owen Webb was intercepted three times, twice by Braxton Peters. York has now been outscored 207-32 amid an 0-3 start.

Queen’s Golden Gaels, 42 — Toronto Varsity Blues, 9

This game was close until Jared Chisari ran away with it after halftime as he carried the ball 17 times for 173 yards and two touchdowns. Toronto’s offence sputtered for the entire game as the team’s defence accounted for all nine of their points with a pick-six from Ryan Collins and a safety. Van Wishart was a game-wrecker for the Golden Gaels on defence as he made 4.5 tackles and 2.5 sacks.

Calgary Dinos, 15 — UBC Thunderbirds, 45

Garrett Rooker threw for 351 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception in the club’s home-opener, hitting Isaiah Knight, Brad Hladik, and Edgerrin Williams-Hernandez for scores. Knight was held in check along the ground as Williams-Hernandez finished the game as UBC’s leading rusher with only 27 yards. Gob Deng was the lone bright spot for the Dinos as he caught seven passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns.

Western Mustangs, 31 — Carleton Ravens, 21

The Ravens held a 14-10 lead at halftime but were unable to sustain it and hand Western its first regular season loss since 2021. Evan Hillock threw for 254 yards and three touchdowns in the win, while Keon Edwards had a huge performance after last week’s stumble, carrying the ball 24 times for 143 yards. Tristan Lefebvre threw two touchdown passes in the loss, while Kaseem Ferdinand threw one touchdown pass and caught another.

McGill Redbirds, 7 — Laval Rouge et Or, 48

The Rouge et Or returned from their bye week with a vengeance and overcame the absence of star receiver Kevin Mital, who was suspended one game for violating the team’s code of ethics. Arnaud Desjardins threw for 322 yards and two touchdowns in the win, while defensive lineman William Quenneville recorded 1.5 sacks. Eloa Latendresse-Regimbald threw for 186 yards and one interception for McGill, though he scored a 10-yard touchdown along the ground.

The Ottawa Gee-Gees (OUA), Montreal Carabins (RSEQ), and Bishop’s Gaiters (AUS) were on a bye this past week.

U Sports standings

Canada West (CW)

Alberta Golden Bears 2-0
No. 9 UBC Thunderbirds 2-0
No. 3 Saskatchewan Huskies 2-0
Manitoba Bisons 0-2
Regina Rams 0-2
Calgary Dinos 0-2

Ontario University Athletics (OUA)

No. 2 Western Mustangs 3-0
No. 10 Windsor Lancers 3-0
No. 6 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks 3-0

No. 8 Ottawa Gee-Gees 2-0
No. 7 Queen’s Golden Gaels 1-1
McMaster Marauders 1-2
Waterloo Warriors 1-2
Guelph Gryphons 1-2
Carleton Ravens 0-2
Toronto Varsity Blues 0-3
York Lions 0-3

Réseau du Sport Etudiant (RSEQ)

No. 1 Laval Rouge et Or 2-0
No. 4 Montreal Carabins 2-0
Concordia Stingers 1-1
McGill Redbirds 1-2
Sherbrooke Vert et Or 0-3

Atlantic University Sport (AUS)

No. 5 St. FX X-Men 3-0
Bishop’s Gaiters 1-1
Saint Mary’s Huskies 1-1
Acadia Axemen 1-2
Mount Allison Mounties 0-2

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.