Written by Griffin Porter
Photo by Valerie Wutti
OTTAWA, Ontario – The Carleton Ravens came into their Homecoming game against the Waterloo Warriors looking to end a 2 game slide, but fell to Waterloo by a 34-24 final.
The Ravens started strong in this one, as the offence looked unstoppable and the defence looked rock solid early on. Star RB Nathan Carter started his day off well, taking his first carry for 16 yards, and the Ravens were able to get on the board first as their first drive of the day ended in a field goal. Carter looked particularly strong all day, breaking tackle after tackle and rushing for a total of 106 yards, a season high for the OUA’s 6th leading rusher this season. Carter and QB Tanner De Jong lead the Ravens back down the field following a Warriors punt, and WR Quinton Soares caught his 3rd touchdown of the year to make the score 10-0 Ravens, which it remained until the end of the first quarter.
Unfortunately for the crowd at the raucous MNP Park, the Warriors came out in the second quarter firing offensively. They were able to unlock their deep passing game, especially to WR Gordon Lam, who finished the day with 7 catches for 158 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Carleton offence began to struggle, despite Carter’s continued strong play, and the Warriors scored 14 unanswered points to take a lead that they would never relinquish. The Ravens had momentum going on a solid drive to end the second quarter, but an interception in the red zone took away any chance they had of regaining the lead before halftime.
The third quarter looked very much like the second, as the Warriors offence combined big throws to Lam with strong runs from QB Tre Ford and RB Dion Pellerin to keep the Ravens offence off the field and put up two more touchdowns. With the score 28-10 in the fourth quarter, the Ravens got a break when Ford dropped a snap and LB Trevor Hoyte jumped on the ball to get Carleton strong field position. De Jong made several strong throws to march the Ravens down the field and completed the drive on a great play from WR Phil Iloki, who muscled his way into the end zone to make the game 28-17 in favour of the Warriors.
After the Warriors converted a field goal in response, De Jong led another impressive drive, this time finishing it on his own and getting the Ravens within a touchdown as he got the score to 31-24 for Waterloo. A strong drive from the Warriors ended in another field goal, giving the game its final score of 34-24 for Waterloo.
After the game, De Jong spoke about needing to play at the same level in all 4 quarters, saying “we’ve been good as an offence at periods of games throughout the year, but it’s the whole 60 minutes that we haven’t been able to put together yet”. When asked what he wanted to carry into next week against the University of Toronto, De Jong repeated “Playing 60 minutes, man. 60 minutes of good football”.
Carleton vs Toronto Varsity Blues
Saturday, September 28 – 1pm
MNP Park – Ottawa, ON