Football Universities

HIGH ACHIEVERS: Carleton Ravens, uOttawa Gee-Gees meet Oct. 1 in 53rd Panda Game

HIGH ACHIEVERS: Stay-Safe Edition
Keeping Local Sport Spirit High During the Pandemic

By Martin Cleary

If you’re a fan of U Sports Canadian university football and live in or around Ottawa, you’re in for a big treat during the 2022 season.

Not only are the OUA teams, which includes the Carleton University Ravens and the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees, scheduled to play a full eight-game regular season for the first time in three years, but also intercollegiate football supporters in the National Capital Region can watch one game each weekend for the entire season without leaving the city.

The only exception would be the Oct. 8-10 Thanksgiving weekend, when the Ravens and the Gee-Gees aren’t slated to run onto the field.

Carleton will open its 2022 OUA season at home on Aug. 27 against the McMaster University Marauders, who were 3-3 in the West Division last season. That game will have a special meaning for first-year Carleton head coach Corey Grant, who was the Marauders’ offensive co-ordinator for the past three years and also their receivers coach in 2010 and 2011.

A year after the OUA cancelled its 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, each of the 11 teams played a six-game schedule within its own division in 2021. The league has returned to the more traditional eight-game schedule for this fall.

While Carleton will play the McMaster Marauders at 1 p.m. at the Ravens’ Perch on Aug. 27, the Gee-Gees will make the longest bus trip in the league to face the Windsor Lancers for a 7 p.m. game at Alumni Field.

The Labour Day weekend will see the Gee-Gees play their home opener Sept. 3 against the Queen’s University Gaels, the 2021 East Division champion at 6-0, on the TD Place field at 7 p.m. Carleton has its first road game on Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues at Varsity Stadium.


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The Gee-Gees will play host to the Ravens for the 53rd Panda Game Oct. 1 on the TD Place field at noon. Ottawa has won the past three rivalry games (19-17 in 2021, 32-10 in 2019 and 38-27 in 2018), which snapped Carleton’s four-game win streak (33-30 in 2017, 43-23 in 2016, 48-45 in 2015 and 33-31 in 2014).

During the shortened 2021 OUA season, Ottawa, 3-3, and Carleton, 2-4, finished third and fourth respectively in the East Division. Ottawa defeated Carleton 24-19 in the quarterfinals and Queen’s eliminated Ottawa in the semifinals.

Here are the complete OUA regular-season schedules for Carleton and Ottawa:

CARLETON

Aug. 27
vs. McMaster
1 p.m.

Sept. 4
at Toronto
7 p.m.

Sept. 10
vs. York
1 p.m.

Sept. 17
at Queen’s
6 p.m.

Sept. 24
vs. Windsor
1 p.m.

Oct. 1
at Ottawa
Noon (53rd Panda Game)

Oct. 15
vs. Waterloo
1 p.m.

Oct. 22
at Guelph
1 p.m.

OTTAWA

Aug. 27
at Windsor
7 p.m.

Sept. 3
vs. Queen’s
7 p.m.

Sept. 10
at McMaster
1 p.m.

Sept. 17
vs. Guelph
Noon

Sept. 24
at Wilfrid Laurier
1 p.m.

Oct. 1
vs. Carleton
Noon (53rd Panda Game)

Oct. 15
at York
1 p.m.

Oct. 22
vs. Western
Noon

HOME games are in bold

Local players to participate in revived East-West Bowl

Meanwhile, the East-West Bowl will return for the first time since 2019 and will be played May 17 at noon at McMaster. The 18th edition of the football game featuring 90 of the country’s top prospects is organized by the Canadian University Football Coaches Association with the support of the CFL.

The Ravens will have five players on the East squad roster: quarterback Tanner DeJong, wide receiver Khalik Johnson, offensive lineman Michael Lightbody, defensive back Zendrew Audain and defensive lineman Ife Onyeka.

Offensive lineman James DuManoir and linebacker James Peter will represent the Gee-Gees on the East team, which also will be quarterbacked by Ottawa’s James Keenan of Queen’s.

Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for 49 years. A past Canadian sportswriter of the year and Ottawa Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement in Sport Media honouree, Martin retired from full-time work at the Ottawa Citizen in 2012, but continued to write a bi-weekly “High Achievers” column for the Citizen/Sun.

When the pandemic struck, Martin created the “Stay-Safe Edition” to provide some positive news during tough times, via his Twitter account at first and now here at OttawaSportsPages.ca.

Martin can be reached by e-mail at martincleary51@gmail.com and on Twitter @martincleary.


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