by Brett Hedges
The Lance – Sports Editor
The Windsor Lancers football team lost to the visiting Carleton Ravens 62-16 this past weekend at Alumni Field.
A 78-yard punt return touchdown by Carleton’s Tunde Adeleke broke open a 15-0 lead for the Ravens midway through the first quarter and took a 37-0 lead at halftime before walking away with a 62-16 road win to push their record to 2-1.
Lancers head coach Joe D’Amore didn’t mince words when assessing his team after another disappointing loss.
“We’re not a very good football team right now,” said D’Amore. “We can’t tackle, teams are just running at will on us, we can’t score touchdowns. If you can run the ball and you can’t stop the run you aren’t going to win many football games.”
Lancers rookie quarterback Liam Putt was injected into the starting role early in the first quarter and threw his first two career touchdown passes in front of a large crowd celebrating Welcome Week at the campus stadium. Putt connected with David McDuffie and Beau Lumley for scores in the second half and completed 18-of-28 passes for 274 yards.
“In the first quarter, it wasn’t anything Casey [Wright] was doing wrong, we just needed a spark,” said D’Amore. “We had nine quarters of not scoring any points so we put Liam in and he did some good things but you still see the youth in him. Staring down receivers and making some mistakes. It’s a lot different when you’re in high school. But he learned from that and he made some plays with his feet.”
After the game, D’Amore announced Putt would be the team’s starting quarterback for the remainder of the regular season.
“He’s our future,” said D’Amore. “We’re going to move on with him in the future. He’s only going to get better by playing”
Lumley finished the game as Windsor’s leading receiver with 188 yards on six catches, pairing with Putt to complete some creative passes when the young quarterback had been flushed from the pocket. McDuffie made his presence known in multiple facets of the game, gaining 41 yards in the air, 39 punt return yards and 92 kickoff return yards for a total of 172 all-purpose yards. On the ground, Windsor was led by Tarrence Crawford with 47 yards rushing.
The Ravens built up a 51-0 lead in the third quarter before Putt connected with McDuffie on a 24 yard pass to put the Lancers on the board midway through the quarter. Early in the fourth, Putt recorded his second touchdown pass of the game with a 30-yard completion to Lumley on a hook route, who juked to make a defender miss and scored to show signs of what the Lancer’s offensive future could be. The Ravens conceded a safety late in the game to give Windsor their other two points.
Lumley said the score wasn’t what the Lancers wanted to see at the end of the game but felt he and Putt created good chemistry and the rookie showed some good things against a tough opponent like the Ravens.
“Liam showed he can get the ball into my hands, he showed he can get the ball in other people’s hands and he moved the ball around well,” said Lumley. “We have some things to iron out but at the end of the day, he’s confident . If we keep him confident, keep making plays on the offensive side of the ball and keep things rolling, we’ll be moving forward.”
With the loss, the Lancers are now 0-3 and will now travel up to the nation’s capital Sept. 19 to face the Ottawa Gee Gees, who are now 1-1 after falling to the McMaster Marauders in a 57-42 shootout in Hamilton Sept. 12.
Lumley said the mindset is simple for the Lancers team from this point forward.
“We have to play hard and ball out,” said Lumley. “We just have to come together and work like dogs. We can’t expect scores like (62-16). We have to come out hot and play some football.”