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FB | 75th Anniversary of Carleton Ravens Football (51-60)

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.

#60) Oct. 16, 1971

The Ravens, who had previously knocked off Toronto in their season opener, pulled off its second major upset win of the season, toppling the unbeaten Gee-Gees 28-14 in front of a then-record 15,000 fans.

“Our guys were really keen,” McCuaig said after the game. “But Ottawa U has a real fine club and have better personnel than they had last year. I would call them to beat McMaster in the playoffs.”

Not many people gave the Ravens much of a chance to beat the Gee-Gees, and that included game sponsor Carling-O’Keefe. The brewery was to award the winning team $400 after the game. When the cheque was presented to Bob Eccles after the game, it had already been made out to the Ottawa University Students Union. A corrected cheque was sent, and the money went toward team jackets for the Ravens. The mix-up triggered a brief campus boycott of O’Keefe Ale, which had been one of the most popular beers on campus.

#59) Oct. 13, 1990

The losing streak had stretched 18 games and was two weeks short of being three years.

But in the rain and mud at Carleton, the Ravens knocked off the Ottawa Gee-Gees 34-21 to give coach Gary Shaver his long overdue first win as Carleton’s head coach.

Unfortunately, only 300 spectators saw the game – the lowest attendance ever for a Carleton-Ottawa football game.

Brett Thompson threw two touchdown passes to Mark Whitton and one to Andrew Faribairn. He also scored on a one-yard quarterback sneak. Mark Senyshyn kicked two field goals.

Carleton’s assistant coaches already had victory cigars lit when Shaver returned to his office. Ottawa coach Jim Daley was gracious in defeat.

“I must say I’m very happy for Gary,” he told Rick Mayoh of the Ottawa Citizen. “You’re always happy when a team ends a losing streak like that.”

#58) Nov. 1950

The 1950 season was one to forget in many ways at Carleton. The Ravens lost all eight games – one exhibition and seven OSLIFC league games. Their second last game of the year was a 28-0 loss to the Queen’s Comets in Kingston. Following the game, not only did Ravens supporters knock down the goalposts, but they also transported them back to Carleton where they were erected at the Union extension. Queen’s supporters were few and far between in Kingston, as most of the students travelled to Toronto to watch the school’s senior team, the Golden Gaels, take on the Toronto Varsity Blues. The Ravens lost their last game at Ottawa U., and would not play again until 1952 as Carleton suspended its football program for one year in 1951.

#57) Nov. 3, 1956

After winning the second Panda Game, the Ravens ended the season with four losses. The last of those games saw a quarterback from McMaster named Russ Jackson play his first ever game at Lansdowne Park, a place that he would become linked with forever in leading the Ottawa Rough Riders dynasty of the 1960s. While Jackson is considered history’s best Canadian quarterback, some Ravens from that era say Carleton’s Gord Johnston was just as good. “Gordie Johnston was there for two years, then he was gone,” said George Collins in a 2018 interview. “That was one of the challenges Carleton faced. Engineers could only go to Carleton for two years, then they would be done or they would move onto another school. Gordie Johnston could do it all. He could run, he could pass, he could make plays. He was as good as Russ Jackson. Maybe even better.” That loss to Mac was not only Jackson’s first game at Lansdowne Park, it was Johnston’s last as a Raven.

#56) Oct. 31, 2015

It was one day shy of the 29th anniversary of Carleton’s last playoff win.

But on this day in Kingston, the Ravens put up a win with an exclamation point with a 39-8 win over Queen’s.

The Ravens finished 5-3 in 2015. It was their first winning record since they went 5-3 and only their second since Carleton was 6-1 in 1986. There were some exciting highlights, like the double overtime win in the Panda Game, Nate Hamlin’s 129-yard touchdown on a missed field goal against York that tied the record set two years earlier by his high school teammate, Tunde Adeleke. Jesse Mills set a Carleton record he would break the following year with 1,905 yards passing. Jahvari Bennett would become just the second running back I Ravens history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season, joining Mark Brown who rushed for 1,028 in 1986.

In the playoff win over Queen’s, Mills passed for 338 yards and threw touchdown passes to Nate Behar, Quinton Soares and Wilson Birch. Jahvari Bennett and Christian Battistelli ran for touchdowns. The Ravens defence registered seven sacks.

A loss to Queen’s on the last game of the 2014 season kept the Ravens out of the playoffs, and they opened the 2015 season with a loss to Queen’s.

“We played to the players’ emotions all week,” coach Steve Sumarah said. “I think the biggest thing was confidence and they really felt like they could beat Queen’s.”

#55) Nov. 1, 1986

Mark Brown had the finest day of his Carleton Athletics Hall of Fame career as he rushed for 214 yards in the Ravens’ 31-15 win over the Ottawa Gee-Gees in the OQIFC semi-final game.

Brown had rushed for 199 yards in the season finale against Queen’s, which gave the Ravens a first place finish in their league for the only time in Carleton football history. Brown, who was the top rookie in the country the previous year, became the first Raven to ever rush for 1,000 yards in a season, as he finished the year with an OQIFC record 1,028 yards.

Jahvari Bennett, Jayde Rowe and Nathan Carter had 1,000-yard seasons in 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively, but the Ravens now play an eight-game season in the OUA while the OQIFC had a seven-game season when Brown played.

Brown remains Carleton’s all-time rushing leader with 2,759 yards in four seasons with the Ravens.

#54) Oct. 31, 1964

For the second straight year, the Panda Game would be played at Carleton, even though it was a home game for Ottawa U. The crowd of 3,000 watched as the Ravens upset the heavily-favoured Gee-Gees 40-33.

Keith Harris’s high-flying offense came to life that day, rolling up 502 yards of offense and six touchdowns.

Dave Dalton ran for 171 yards on 21 carries. It was his best game to date as a Raven. Bob Amer, meanwhile, completed 11 of 23 passes for 178 yards. He also ran the ball 10 times for 113 yards.

After the game, Ottawa U. Students Union President Bob Campbell said Pedro was stored safely in a Brinks truck. He said a formal ceremony would be arranged to turn over the bear. He added that had Pedro been handed over to Carleton at the game, “he would have been torn to shreds.” There was also word that the bear would be leaving on a tour of American campuses following the next weekend’s games.

Regardless, Carleton now had Pedro the Panda. The 1964 Halloween Day win was the first in a Panda Game for Carleton since Mon., Oct. 8, 1956.

#53) Oct. 30, 1976

The Ravens ended the season with an 0-6-1 record after losing to McGill 37-32, but the game did not come without some highlights for the Ravens.

Mario Arnone set a Carleton record by kicking four field goals in the loss. He broke the previous record of three that he shared with Duke Hayes.

Gary Cook also caught two touchdown passes from Fred Pinnock, both on halfback option plays. One fo the plays covered 70 yards.

Arnone would eventually graduate as Carleton’s all-time scoring leader with 165 points, while Cook would go on to graduate as Carleton’s all-time receiving leaders with 103 receptions for 1708 yards.

#52) Oct. 29, 2016

It had been 30 years since Carleton hosted a home playoff game.

After the 2016 season, the Ravens would host the Ottawa Gee-Gees in the OUA quarter-finals.

The Ravens, who had beaten the Gee-Gees to win their third straight Panda Game earlier in the season, won this one with an exclamation point. A crowd of 3,000 jammed MNP Park to see Carleton beat Ottawa 45-9.

Christian Battistelli had 131 yards and a touchdown while Jayde Rowe had 125 yards and two TDs. Stefan Carty had two sacks and Tevin Bowen had one for the Ravens. Jay Dearborne and Guillaume Caron intercepted passes, with Caron returning his 25 yards for a touchdown.

The win was the fifth playoff victory in Carleton football history and second since the 2013 resurrection of the program.

#51) Oct. 28, 1978

– It was a big day for Carleton football as the Ravens would play in their first ever playoff game as they travelled to Kingston to take on the Queen’s Golden Gaels.

The playoff game against Queen’s was a heartbreaker, as the Ravens lost to the eventual Vanier Cup champions in overtime. It was a tough, physical game, dominated by two hard-hitting defences. Slotback Fred Pinnock scored a five-yard touchdown for the Ravens, and a blocked punt by Thompson set up a field goal. But when the fourth quarter ended, the game was tied at 10-10.

Before the current overtime shootout rules were put in, teams in Canadian football played two 10-minute halves. The teams traded singles on their first possessions. Late in the first overtime half, Lee found Cook for a 25-yard gain, and then Green ran the ball to the one. The field goal unit was sent in, but they were waved off. The Carleton offence misunderstood the overtime rules, thinking that if the 10-minute period ended, they would switch ends and keep the ball. However, All-Canadian linebacker Dick Bakker from Ottawa stuffed the goal line run, and the half expired. Carleton would not score, and they would have to kick off to start the second half. Bakker, meanwhile, would eventually become a Carleton assistant coach.

The Gaels scored and would later concede a safety, winning the game 17-13. It was by far their toughest test en route to winning the 1978 Vanier Cup. It was also one of the most disappointing setbacks in Carleton history.