Graduating players for Carleton were honoured before kickoff it was a mix of veterans and rookies that made an impact under the lights at The Raven’s Perch as the Carleton Ravens welcomed in the Toronto Varsity Blues for a mid-season Friday night matchup.
Coming into this game, the Varsity Blues & Ravens are coming off losses as they both look to get back in the win column. The Ravens fed RB Nathan Carter the rock early on as he continued to pile onto his record-setting year. The run game would continue to be the main focus in the 1st quarter as 95% of the Ravens offence would consist of running the ball. The thrown passes did make an impact as QB Reid Vankoughnett found WR Kaseem Ferdinand in the back of the endzone to put the Ravens up on the board first.
After a few stops, the Varsity Blues got their offence rolling for a crucial drive in the 1st quarter as QB Clay Sequeira found WR Nolan Lovegrove on a nice fade route to tie up the game. Soon after, the Ravens were driving down the field, and K Brandon Forcier converted on a 30-yard field goal to take the lead 10-7.
Both teams would trade 2-and-outs as the 2nd quarter would get underway before Varsity Blues K Chris MacLean would convert a 30-yard field goal to tie the game. With the Ravens driving the ball down the field, they faced a crucial 3rd and 11 and decided to go for it. The Varsity Blues defence stood firm as they stopped the Ravens, and the offence went to work as QB Clay Sequeira connected with WR Nolan Lovegrove as those two were unstoppable. The Varsity Blues got into field goal range for a 47-yard attempt which, after a miss, resulted in a single point as the Varsity Blues took an 11-10 lead into halftime.
The action would heighten in the 3rd quarter as U of T would increase their lead to 8 points by getting on the board as QB Clay Sequeira danced into the endzone from the 19-yard line. The Raven’s offence came out firing after their score as QB Reid Vankoughnett would finish the drive 3/5 throwing to WR Danny Ferdinand and WR Kaliff Johnson with a mixture of the run game as RB Nathan Carter continued to dominate. WR Keaton Bruggeling would score from 19 yards out after he shed a tackle to run in the endzone, making it 18-17 Varsity Blues.
Toronto would open the 4th quarter as K Chris MacLean would score a 37-yard field goal to take a 21-17 lead. With a touchdown needed, Ravens QB Reid Vankoughnett answered the challenge as he managed the drive very well with a balance of run and passing. A crucial defensive pass interference penalty against Toronto would allow RB Nathan Carter to run it into the endzone as the Ravens would take a 24-21 lead. Toronto’s offence would not stop there as they marched down the field to kick a game-tying field goal. The Ravens respond with the leg of Brandon Forcier as he kicks a 24-yard field goal with 4.7 seconds left to make it a 27-24 game. “It feels good. It means I’m doing my job, right? Kicking is a fairly easy thing to criticize, so, at the end of the day, the ball went through the uprights, and the crowd went crazy. It just felt good to do my job like every other kick.” Forcier said when asked about what the crowd atmosphere meant.
The Ravens improve to 2-2 on the season as they head to Richardson Stadium for a rematch with the Queen’s Gael’s on Oct. 16.
- Defence..Defence..Defence! The Carleton Ravens defence came out to play tonight. Although they allowed the Varsity Blues to score 24 points, they made critical stops by holding Toronto out of the endzone where they may have achieved. During the game, the Ravens would bring pressure and collapse the pocket to put Varsity Blues QB.
- The offence finally woke up. Despite the questions surrounding the change at the quarterback position for the Ravens, Reid Vankoughnett played exceptionally well, having two touchdowns and going 12-18 for 185 yards. “Reid is the man. He was slinging it. We were balling around. The offence wasn’t limited by our quarterback and that was so huge.” Keaton Bruggeling said postgame when talking about the change in quarterback
- Nathan Carter. Is there much more that can be sad? Nathan Carter is a freak of nature. His masterful run game opened up the passing game for the Ravens, which led to drives ending up in field goal points or touchdowns. Nathan Carter finished the game with 109 yards on 20 attempts and 1 TD.