A huge first half was all it took as the Laurier Golden Hawks eliminated the Carleton Ravens from the OUA football playoffs on Saturday afternoon. Laurier scored four majors in the first half on route to a 41-13 victory.
The Ravens got off to a slow start on Saturday afternoon after a trio of three-and-out drives on offence were met by a pair of look-a-like drives for the Golden Hawks both created scoring opportunities.
"They came out with some momentum and they did what they had to do," said head coach Corey Grant. "We knew what we had to do to respond and we just couldn't."
For Grant, it wasn't for a lack of effort, instead, the Golden Hawks were a well-prepared team who responded to every shift the Ravens made in their approach.
Early in the game, the Golden Hawks' offence was able to connect on deep passing plays that shocked the Ravens' secondary setting up short runs paydirt.
The Laurier offence wasn't done as Taylor Elgersma unloaded another massive pass finding Ethan Jordan wide open in the touchdown for a 21-0 lead. The Ravens were never able to respond from the early shock attack of the Golden Hawks. Raiden Thorn would score with six seconds left in the first half and Dawson Hodge would kick a field goal late in the third quarter to put the Ravens down by 31.
"It's the little things," explained coach Grant. "We get the turnovers, we need to go down and score. Instead, we turn it over and they take the momentum back. In a game that's all about those momentum shifts, once they got it back, we couldn't get it back from them."
With the loss, the Ravens' storybook first season under new head coach Corey Grant comes to a close. The Ravens improved from 2-4 to 5-3, but a second consecutive first-round exit will leave something to be desired.
The Ravens now look internally for answers on how to get past the first round. "For us as coaches we know, we've just got to get better at preparing them for those moments," said Grant. "When those moments do happen and the playoffs come again, we need to make sure those lights aren't too bright."