Ravens News

FB | 75th Anniversary of Carleton Ravens Football (1-10)

Photo by Cole Lawrence

This year marks the 75th anniversary of Carleton Ravens Football! To celebrate we will be sharing Ravens Football stories, milestones, stats & facts every day for the next 75 days.

#10) Aug. 16, 2017

It was a historic moment in Carleton history when Michael Domagala opened the scoring in the Ravens’ 2017 season opener at Queen’s.

Domagala kicked a 37-yard field goal to give Carleton a 3-0 lead in the first quarter. The field goal moved Domagala past Jeff Morris as the all-time scoring leader in Carleton history.

Domagala set almost every scoring and field goal record in Carleton history. He finished his career with 367 points, well ahead of Morris with 228. He finished with 70 career field goals, and he has the four longest field goals in Ravens history, including a 50-yarder on the last play of regulation time against Western. In 2018, he tied Morris’s record of five field goals in one game in a win over Toronto. Domagala is also Carleton’s career leader in extra points with 132.

Domagala was an OUA Second Team All-Star in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

#9) Sept. 5, 2016

“To me, this was the most memorable moment of my time at Carleton,” said Justin Howell of the 2016 Ravens 38-31 win over Western. “In our first ever game, they beat us 71-4. We remembered that game. And when we finally beat them, it was like, yeah, we’re here now.”

It was the first ever win by Carleton over Western, and it was a thriller. The Ravens jumped out to a 24-0 lead, but the Mustangs chipped away and went ahead 31-24. In the fourth quarter, Jesse Mills threw a 15-yard touchdown to Nate Behar, and then he threw a 12-yard TD pass to Wilson Birch.

The Mustangs were inside the Ravens 10 yard line with less than a minute left, but the Ravens shut the door on the Western and kept them out of the end zone.

Jayde Rowe had 174 yards and two touchdowns on the ground for Carleton. Frederik Robitaille had two sacks and Leon Cenerini had one.

“It was one of those opportunities we almost let slip away,” said coach Steve Sumarah. “We showed a lot of character and a lot of fight. I’m really proud of our guys for that.”

#8) Sept. 15, 1997

It was the biggest field goal of the year. Jim MacMillan kicked the game-winner on the last play of the game as the Ravens defeated the Laval Rouge-et-Or 13-10 in St. Foy, Quebec.

MacMillan set a Ravens record by kicking a 45-yard field goal, breaking the previous record of 44 held by Jeff Morris. But that game-winner against Laval set a record as the shortest field goal in Carleton history, as the Ravens were at the one-yard line on the last play.

Although it was the only win of the year for the Ravens, who went 1-6-1, the team was competitive and there were a number of other records set that year.

Quarterback Sean O’Neill became both the Carleton and OQIFC career passing leader with 5,668 yards on 457 completions. Jesse Mills surpassed O’Neill’s yardage total in 2016, but O’Neill still holds the completions mark. O’Neill’s 103-yard touchdown to Stephen Hadley against Queen’s remains a Carleton record for the longest completion.

Marco Dinardo, who had nine receptions and a touchdown against Laval, set a record with 51 receptions for the Ravens. Nate Behar broke the record with 57 in 2016.

#7) Sept. 7, 2013

In their second game back after the resurrection of the Carleton football program and the first game at their newly-built stadium on campus, the Ravens scored their first touchdown in 15 years.

Jesse Mills fired a 22-yard pass to Kyle Van Wynsberghe in the third quarter of a 47-8 loss to the Waterloo Warriors. Although the Ravens were outscored 118-12 in their first two games back – Western had routed the Ravens 71-4 in their first game back – everything was positive.

“We know that we can play at this level,” Van Wynsberghe told the Ottawa Citizen after the game. “It’s not a physical thing. It’s not a mental thing. We are smart football players and we are big football players.”

The Ravens went winless in their first year back, playing with mostly first year players. They know they would be better, and they did get better quickly.

Van Wynsberghe finished his career second in career receiving to teammate Nate Behar, graduating with 171 receptions for 2,084 yards. They were the first two players in Carleton history to reach 2,000 career receiving yards.

#6) Sept. 1, 2014

It was a day of celebration for the Carleton Ravens, as the team posted their first win in 16 years with a convincing 33-14 win over Waterloo at Warrior Field.

The Ravens piled up 512 yards of total offense in the win. Jesse Mills passed for 229 yards and two touchdowns and he ran for one score. Michael Domagala had a pair of field goals.

Defensively, Justin Howell, Tunde Adeleke and Josh Cardillo had interceptions while Cardillo, Leon Cenerini and Conner Pico had sacks.

#5) Sept. 11, 1971

It was a new year and a new league, as Carleton and the other CCIFC teams were now part of the OUA.

The regular season opened up with the Ravens hosting the heavily favoured University of Toronto Varsity Blues. Media reports called the Ravens 21-point underdogs for the contest.

Regardless of who decided how much better Toronto was than the Ravens, the games are played for a reason. And when the dust settled after Carleton’s 1971 home opener, the Ravens were owners of a 12-3 win and the biggest upset win in the school’s history.

In the scoreless first half, it was the punting of Chris Harber that helped keep the Blues off the scoreboard. Harber averaged 42.5 yards on 10 punts to help the Ravens with field position.

Ironically, it was Harber’s poorest punt of the day that turned into the biggest play of the game for the Ravens. Harber’s punt was mishandled at the Toronto five yard line. Tackle Mike Smith, covering the punt downfield, pounced on the fumble to put the Ravens in the shadows of the Blues’ goal line. Two plays later, Redmond handed the ball off to Reid, who hammered the ball in from the one yard line for the score. Keith Guild added the convert to put the Ravens ahead 7-0.

Keith Guild added a 10-yard field goal, and the Ravens’ defence would score another two points on a safety.

“It was assistant coaches Keith Harris and Peter Thompson who helped us win this one,” coach McCuaig told the Ottawa Journal after the game. “We had tried to run wide on Toronto in the first half and couldn’t get anything going. So I decided on going to the inside on their advice and we blew it right up the pipe.”

#4) Sept. 11, 1994

Never in Carleton football history has there been a better way to start a season. And we are not even talking game. We are talking play.

The eighth ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees won the coin toss in the 1994 Panda Game, which was moved to the first game of the season from its traditional late season date. The confident Gee-Gees wanted the wind, so they ended up kicking to the Ravens.

“When they (Ottawa) elected to give us the wind and kick to us to start the game, I took it as a personal insult,” said Jason Mallett of the Ravens to Bob Ferguson of the Ottawa Citizen. “I told the guys to give me some blocking and I’d score on the kickoff. It may have been a bit of bravado, but I lived up to my word. It really set the tone for the game.”

It marked the second time in Panda Game history the Ravens had returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Gerry Palmer housed a reverse against the Gee-Gees nearly 20 years earlier.

Mallett’s 103-yard return for a touchdown sparked a 27-15 win and gave Pedro back to Carleton after losing six straight Panda Games.

Just a couple plays after Mallett’s touchdown, Carleton’s defence forced a fumble and Bruce Cooper recovered it on the Ottawa four. Carlton QB Sean O’Neil scored on a sneak two plays later, and Carleton had jumped into a 14-0 lead just a couple minutes into the game. O’Neil would hit Dwight Miller on a 69-yard TD pass and Marco Dinardo added a field goal.

Rookie safety Andrew Carter had one of the best defensive games ever played by a Raven. He had 14.5 tackles, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble in the game. He was named OQIFC Player of the Week.

#3) Sept. 11, 1971

It was a new year and a new league, as Carleton and the other CCIFC teams were now part of the OUA.

The regular season opened up with the Ravens hosting the heavily favoured University of Toronto Varsity Blues. Media reports called the Ravens 21-point underdogs for the contest.

Regardless of who decided how much better Toronto was than the Ravens, the games are played for a reason. And when the dust settled after Carleton’s 1971 home opener, the Ravens were owners of a 12-3 win and the biggest upset win in the school’s history.

In the scoreless first half, it was the punting of Chris Harber that helped keep the Blues off the scoreboard. Harber averaged 42.5 yards on 10 punts to help the Ravens with field position.

Ironically, it was Harber’s poorest punt of the day that turned into the biggest play of the game for the Ravens. Harber’s punt was mishandled at the Toronto five yard line. Tackle Mike Smith, covering the punt downfield, pounced on the fumble to put the Ravens in the shadows of the Blues’ goal line. Two plays later, Redmond handed the ball off to Reid, who hammered the ball in from the one yard line for the score. Keith Guild added the convert to put the Ravens ahead 7-0.

Keith Guild added a 10-yard field goal, and the Ravens’ defence would score another two points on a safety.

“It was assistant coaches Keith Harris and Peter Thompson who helped us win this one,” coach McCuaig told the Ottawa Journal after the game. “We had tried to run wide on Toronto in the first half and couldn’t get anything going. So I decided on going to the inside on their advice and we blew it right up the pipe.”

#2) Sept. 9, 2017

In only his third start as the Carleton quarterback, rookie Michael Arruda passed for a Carleton record 449 yards on the road against Laurier.

Arruda broke the previous record of 427 set by Mike Sharp against Laurentian in 1968. Against Laurier, Arruda was 27 for 51 for 449 yards. He threw TD passes to Phil Iloki, Quinton Soares, Chad Manchulenko, and Wilson Birch.

Arruda finished his rookie season with 2,146 yards, second-highest passing total in Ravens history. Jesse Mills was the only other Carleton QB to pass for 2,000 yards in a season. The following year, Arruda became Carleton’s single-season passing leader by piling up 2,263 yards.

#1) Sept. 8, 1979

In the Ravens’ 1979 season opener, rookie quarterback Gary Hindley came off the bench in the fourth quarter and had the kind of first game you could only dream of.

Carleton trailed McGill 15-0 heading into the fourth quarter. Roy Gallo kicked a field goal to cut the lead to 12, and then Hindley went to work. He hit Gerry Palmer for a 34-yard pass to get the ball to the McGill nine. Three plays later, Dave Richardson went in for the touchdown. Gallo’s convert made the score 15-10.

Palmer then gave the Ravens the ball on the McGill 22 on a long punt return. On a broken play, Hindley found Gary Cook in the end zone for what would be the winning score. Fred Zlepnig, the starting quarterback, added a single on a punt, and safety Ed Jones intercepted a McGill pass to seal the win.

Ottawa Rough Riders legend Russ Jackson.

Hindley, who the year before had been the starting QB at Stanstead College, a private high school in Quebec, was cheered on by Mrs. Gene Gaines, wife of the former Rough Rider star DB and later a coach with the Montreal Alouettes.

She summed up Hindley’s performance in three words.

“Russell Stanley Jackson,” she told Jordan Juby of the Ottawa Citizen.