by Brett Hedges
The Lance – Sports Editor
Despite a lopsided season-opening loss at the hands of the Western Mustangs, the Windsor Lancers football team is confident in their abilities to correct their mistakes and compete with the defending OUA champion Guelph Gryphons in their home-opener at Alumni Field on Labour Day.
After breaking down the game film of their 78-6 loss at TD Waterhouse Stadium in London Aug. 28, Lancers football head coach Joe D’Amore said he saw effort from his players against Western but his team learned they cannot commit turnovers or allow multiple blocked punts in a contest and expect to come back.
“Those are the kinds of mistakes that we’re not in the position to recover from as a football program,” D’Amore said. “It’s a tough loss against a really good football team … but the big thing for us is the effort was there and assignment mistakes can be corrected.”
Windsor’s offense totaled nearly 350 yards overall while converting 23 first downs against the Mustangs defense. Quarterback Jalen Brady started the contest and threw for 137 yards on 17 of 23 passing while fourth year pivot Casey Wright put up 119 yards on nine of 19 attempts in relief. Senior running back Tarrence Crawford was Windsor’s leading rusher against Western with 55 yards on 14 carries.
“It’s hard to correct effort sometimes and it’s hard to get guys to play at a high level sometimes but I thought our guys did well, especially on the offensive side of the ball,” D’Amore said. “We moved the ball, we had 23 first downs, we had over 300 yards. We had trouble getting into the end zone but those things can be corrected as the season goes on.”
Sophomore offensive lineman Drew Desjarlais said in every loss you must take every positive you can, learn from it and simply move forward.
“We can’t keep dwelling on that game, it won’t do us any good,” Desjarlais said. “We’re just getting pumped up for our home crowd and with frosh week coming in hopefully we will have some support behind us.”
Heading into their clash with the Gryphons on home field Sept. 5, Desjarlais believes the Lancers offensive line will look to repeat their strong rushing performance from a season ago where they totaled over 300 yards on the ground against the top-ranked rush defense in the CIS.
“Guelph is good and is always going to compete but I think on the offensive line we will be able to do what we do,” Desjarlais said. “We ran the ball pretty well against them last year and I think we can take parts of our game plan last year and make big plays. I think the offensive line is doing well right now and we’re better than we have ever been.”
Kick-off is schedule for 1 p.m.