Written by Carlos Verde, Sports Information Assistant
Photo by Valerie Wutti
(OTTAWA, ON) — Ravens Football found itself overmatched in its final game of the 2015 OUA regular season, as Carleton fell 44-12 to the visiting Guelph Gryphons.
A sloppy first half sunk the Ravens, who finished the season with a 5-3 record and are now set for a date next Saturday in Kingston against the Queen’s Gaels in the 4v5 OUA quarterfinal.
“(Guelph) are a very good team,” said Carleton head coach Steve Sumarah. “They executed when we had them in second-and-long, and when we had opportunities to move the ball, we dropped it and took penalties.”
The Ravens struggled out of the gate, with a pair of first-quarter fumbles on offence leading directly to a 17-0 Gryphons lead after fifteen minutes — a deficit from which Carleton would never recover.
“We’re still a ways away from being a great team, and unfortunately until we can put those mistakes away, we’re going to struggle against top teams,” said Coach Sumarah, whose team finished the regular season with a plus-64 point difference.
Guelph’s three-headed ground attack proved too much for the Ravens to handle, as the trio of Brandon Gordon, Johnny Augustine, and Daniel Palmer-Salmon combined for 187 yards on the ground.
In the air, Guelph QB James Roberts and his receiving corps carved up Carleton’s secondary for much of Saturday’s game. Roberts went 14-for-26, racking up 327 passing yards and throwing for four aerial touchdowns — two to his favourite target, Jacob Scarfone.
“At this point, we just have to move on (from this game),” said Coach Sumarah. “Learn what you can — there were some things we did well on defence, and our special teams were good again — but we just have to move on and go forward into the playoffs.”
On offence, Ravens QB Jesse Mills (Halifax, NS) threw for 170 yards, but was picked off twice and failed to find the endzone. RB Jahvari Bennett (Mississauga, ON) racked up a relatively quiet 142 yards on the ground, eclipsing the 1000-yard rushing milestone to cap a solid season.
Carleton was led defensively by Kene Onyeka (Brampton, ON) and Nate Hamlin (Ottawa, ON), who each registered a team-high nine tackles. Onyeka also picked up a sack in the loss.
Ravens return man Tunde Adeleke (Ottawa, ON) brought the house down in the third quarter with a 90-yard kickoff return touchdown — his third of the season.
The Ravens will now have one week to prepare for their first playoff game in modern program history, which will take place next Saturday — Halloween — in Kingston (kick-off TBD).
RAVENS PLAYER OF THE GAME:
#30 Jahvari Bennett – Running Back – 3rd year (Mississauga, ON)
OUA Playoffs – First Round
Carleton at Queen’s – Saturday, October 31, 2015 – T.B.D. (Kingston, ON)