Photo by Tim Austen
TORONTO – The Carleton Ravens wasted little time getting their offence started on Saturday afternoon scoring twice in the opening four minutes on route to a 30-17 victory.BOX SCORE
The Ravens offence established a rhythm early mounting strong drives leading to an opening field goal by Brandon Forcier (Sainte-Ange, Que.) On the next York possession, the Ravens Zendrew Audain Altidor would recover a first-down fumble setting up another Ravens drive. That next Ravens drive took only one play as Tanner DeJong (Ottawa, Ont.) would find Glodin Mulali (Moncton, N.B.) for a 32-yard touchdown.
While the Ravens’ offence established its consistency, it was the York Lions who found themselves in penalty trouble throughout the first half. Midway through the second quarter Ottawa’s Tanner DeJong and Nathan Carter worked with the offence to establish a 13 play, 101-yard drive which ended in Keaton Bruggeling (St. Catherines, Ont.) hauling in a deep corner route for the Ravens second touchdown of the half.
Despite the strong offensive start, it was the Ravens’ defence that starred early and often. In the first half, the Ravens smothered the Lions, consistently forcing the Lions into two-and-out situations through a mix of pressures. By the end of the first half, the Lions had only managed 76 yards against the high pressure of the Ravens defence. In total, the Ravens held the Lions to 220 yards and only 11 first downs.
Asked about his team’s defensive play, coach Steve Sumarah would praise how prepared they were saying “It speaks a lot to the preparation that coach Polo and the defensive staff put together. And, it speaks a lot to the players and their execution.”
In the third quarter, the Ravens would pull away from the Lions when DeJong once again found Bruggeling in the left corner of the end zone for his second touchdown of the game. For the Ravens, the 81-yard touchdown drive featured Mulali pulling down a 31-yard pass in a sea of Lions defenders. As the drive continued into the Lions’ red zone, more York penalties and a strong play from Nathan Carter allowed the Ravens to extend their drive and the lead.
In the fourth quarter with first-year quarterback Tristan Lefebvre (Calgary, Alta.) in under centre the Ravens would add another Forcier field goal to establish a 30-0 lead. Looking to establish some rhythm the Lions’ offence would strike on a 41-yard touchdown pass from Noah Craney (New Market, Ont.). On the next possession, the Lions would sack Lefebvre forcing the Ravens deep toward their own goal line and forcing them to concede a safety.
With under two minutes to play, York would capitalize on a series of Carleton penalties, starting with 30 yards in penalties following a punt, to score their second touchdown of the quarter. The Lions would add a two-point conversion to cut the lead to 13. However, Carter would assert his dominance handling the remainder of the carries gaining a pair of first downs before Lefebvre would lead the Ravens into victory formation to seal the win.
The Ravens win brings their record back to .500 with all eyes now clearly set on next Saturday’s Panda Game. At 1-1, the Ravens move into a tie with idle Toronto for second in the OUA East.
The sold-out Panda Game takes place at Saturday, October 2, 2021. Fans who weren’t lucky enough to get a ticket can catch the game on OUA.tv and CBC Gem.