Friday, October 11, 2013 | Football
Written by Mike Beasley
It was a night of firsts for the Carleton Ravens.
Carleton kicked off the Thanksgiving weekend at Ravens Field with a Friday night feast in their OUA game against the Guelph Gryphons.
In an action packed contest the Gryphons defeated the Ravens 48-12 on a beautiful autumn night in front of another boisterous Ravens crowd.
On a scale of 1-10, Friday night’s game was off the charts when it came to the entertainment value.
Mark the occasion as the first time the Ravens had a lead in a game as they went up 3-0 after a successful 26 yard field goal by Andrew Banerjee (Regina, SK) on Carleton’s first possession of the game.
Guelph took a 10-3 first quarter lead shortly after that but early in the second frame it was time for another Carleton premiere as Ravens quarterback Nick Gorgichuk (Ottawa, ON) threw his first ever CIS touchdown pass connecting on a beautiful 49 yard catch and run with Dexter Brown (Sherwood Park, AB) to tie the score 10-10.
Guelph (7-0) came into the game ranked No. 4 in the nation but Carleton (0-7) went head to head with the Gryphons on the scoreboard for the entire first half.
Statistically the Ravens kept pace for the entire contest.
Guelph led 24-10 at the half but the score was secondary compared to how the Ravens competed against one of the best squads in the CIS.
In the end, Carleton racked up 494 total offensive yards compared to Guelph’s 474.
The Ravens rushed for 206 yards, Guelph 215. Carleton had more passing yards (288) than Guelph (259).
“We (Carleton) certainly showed our offensive potential against Guelph, said Ravens offensive co-ordinator, J.P. Asselin.
“I really liked the atmosphere on the bench, the guys wanted to put points on the board every time the offence went on the field.”
Gorgichuk got the start for Carleton over Jesse Mills (Halifax, NS) and ended up playing a whale of a game. The Arts major finished the evening completing 23 of 38 pass attempts for 288 yards and 1 TD.
“It was a great feeling to get my first start as a Carleton Raven, said Gorgichuk.
“I was thinking about it before the game started but as things went along I started to feel good, get into a rhythm and began making plays,”
Gorgichuk’s favourite target on the night was Nate Behar (London, ON) who reeled in 12 catches for 152 yards.
Behar showed why he was one of Carleton’s key recruits last winter.
“It was my turn to step up and play the way I can,” Behar said
“Nick and I were working well together on Friday night he threw a lot of quality balls that I could run under and catch. “
Even though was outscored 24-2 in the second half there was another special moment for the Ravens history buffs.
At 6:53 of the third quarter, Carleton picked up their first safety touch in their new era when Tanaka Chakwesha (Sudbury, ON) tackled a Gryphons ball carrier in the Guelph end zone.
A minimal two points but a giant step in building the confidence of the Ravens defence.
“My hat goes off to our coaching staff that showed us how to exploit Guelph’s weaknesses,” said OL Matt Lapointe (Ottawa, ON), one of the very few Ravens players with any CIS experience before this season.
“We weren’t able to produce enough points to win but it was nice to see that we’re starting to show improvement and being more consistent on offence.”
Carleton closes out their inaugural season at home next Saturday against McMaster. Game time at Ravens Field is 1:00PM.