OTTAWA - Five members of the Ravens football program have been invited to the U SPORTS East-West Bowl this May at McMaster University. Headlined by veteran Ravens quarterback Tanner DeJong, the Ravens cohort features Michael Lightbody, Ifena Onyeka, Zendrew Audain and Khalik Johnson
The East–West Bowl is organized by the Canadian University Football Coaches Association (CUFCA) with the support of the CFL. It brings together over 90 of the top U SPORTS football players for a week of practices and evaluation, culminating with the annual all-star game.
For DeJong, the game will mark his return to action after suffering a season-ending leg injury in week two at York. The fifth-year quarterback from Brockville passed for 558 yards and three touchdowns before his injury. In 2019, DeJong started all eight games for the Ravens passing for 2,125 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Defensive back Zendrew Audain (Montreal, Que.) led the Ravens in tackles per game with 3.5 and assists with 16. The second-year business student thrived in a larger role on the Ravens defence more than doubling his rookie year output in the shortened 2021 season.
Offensive lineman Michael Lightbody provided stability to a Ravens pocket that saw four different pivots take time under centre. The Arnprior philosophy student turned heads in his second year providing protection to rookie QBs Reid Vankoughnett and Tristan Rinaldis after they took the reigns from the injured DeJong.
Defensive lineman Ife Onyeka (Brampton, Ont.) was a powerful force for the Ravens in 2021. The 6'4" lineman was second on the Ravens line in tackles behind only Cedrick Theriault with 7 solos and 2 assists.
Wide receiver Khalik Johnson (Surrey, BC) saw his workload increase as the season went on, finishing the regular season with a season-high 4 catches for 69 yards against the Gee-Gees in week 7. Prior to arriving at Carleton, the promising Surrey wideout was a member of the 2016 Junior National Team.
U SPORTS East-West Bowl returns for 2022 in Hamilton
April 11, 2022
TORONTO (U SPORTS) – U SPORTS is pleased to announce the return of the East-West Bowl game after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, and that McMaster University will host the 18th edition of the top prospect showcase on at 12:00 pm ET on Saturday May 7th.
This year’s event promises to be more than just a game, as it becomes a week-long celebration of amateur football.
“We look forward to presenting this year’s event as a showcase for Canadian football and to demonstrate the role U SPORTS members play in the development of our sport,” said McMaster head coach Stefan Ptaszek. “We plan on offering these elite student-athletes the showcase they deserve while creating opportunities for the next generation of coaches and officials to tap into the knowledge of current U SPORTS leaders.”
Tickets for the game are $15 and available for purchase at https://mcmaster.universitytickets.com/, with kickoff scheduled for 12:00 p.m. ET / 9:00 a.m. PT
Although the focus of the East-West Bowl is the game where U SPORTS student-athletes vie for coveted spots on the CFL Scouting Bureau Top 20 Prospects List, this year’s event offers expanded programming for football development in the community.
Details of these initiatives as well as the identity of the game’s head coaches will be announced later this week.
“U SPORTS is excited for the return of the East-West Bowl and are working with CUFCA and the Marauders football program to increase the game’s profile as well as developing future next generation of football leaders.” said Lisette Johnson-Stapley, U SPORTS Chief Sports Officer.
U SPORTS also released Monday the list of student-athletes invited to the 2022 event. The West team is mostly made up of U SPORTS football players from Canada West and OUA schools, except Carleton, Ottawa and Queen’s, which play for the East squad. The rest of the East team features players from AUS and RSEQ schools.