This time, the Carleton Ravens outdid themselves.
A year after a 55-yard, last-play touchdown gave them a victory in the annual Panda Game, they overcame an 11-point third-quarter deficit Saturday to defeat the Ottawa Gee-Gees 48-45 in the annual football game between the two teams from the Nation’s Capital.
A 17-yard field goal by Michael Domagala in the second overtime possession gave the Ravens their fourth win in six Ontario University Athletics games this year.
It was a dramatic contest, one in which the Ravens jumped to a 10-0 lead, that had seven lead changes and on two other occasions the score was tied.
The Gee-Gees enjoyed their largest lead of the game, 35-24, late in the third quarter. A 22-yard field goal by Domagala early in the fourth quarter tied the game, but Ottawa kicker Lewis Ward, the former Kingston Grenadier, put the Gee-Gees back in front at 7:13 of the final period with his second field goal of the game.
Domagala again tied the score, with a kick from 27 yards, in the game’s 56th minute and the score was knotted 38-38 when the teams went to overtime.
Carleton had the ball first, and scored a touchdown on a 15-yard pass from Jesse Mills, the hero of the 2014 game, to Wilson Birch. On its try, Ottawa got a touchdown from Bryce Vieira, who caught a four-yard pass from Derek Wendel.
In the second overtime round, the Gee-Gees failed on third-and-four when Vieira dropped a pass as he was hit by Ravens defensive back Justin Howell. That meant Carleton needed just a field goal on its possession, and when they got to the Ottawa nine-yard line, Domagala came into the game and was good from 17 yards.
The win spoiled a 542-yard passing day by Wendel, another former Grenadier, who threw for the most yards in an OUA game this year by completing 33 of 55 attempts. He was just 19 yards off the all-time OUA record for passing yards in a game, 561, set by Tom Denison of Queen's against Western in the 2002 semifinals.
Ian Stewart caught 10 of those passes for 228 yards and a touchdown, while Ben Fisher, the former Sydenham Golden Eagle, had six catches and a career-best 121 yards and a touchdown.
Stewart’s 228 yards was the best single-game receiving performance this year in the OUA.
Jahvari Bennett rushed for 175 yards for Carleton.
Elsewhere in the OUA, the McMaster Marauders defeated the Windsor Lancers 44-19, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks blanked the Waterloo Warriors 42-0, the Queen’s Golden Gaels upset the fifth-ranked Guelph Gryphons 23-15 (http://www.sportkingston.ca/index.php/articles/view/3401.html) and, on Friday night, the Toronto Blues thumped the York Lions 40-3.
At Windsor, Marauders quarterback Asher Hastings was 26-for-32 for 374 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions as McMaster won for the fourth time in five games. The visitors spotted the Lancers a 3-0 lead but roared back to lead 35-10 at halftime.
Dan Petermann was the leading McMaster receiver, with nine catches for 162 yards, while Frontenac Secondary School grad Mitch O’Connor caught five balls for 41 yards and a touchdown.
The Laurier defence permitted Waterloo to gain just 98 yards of net offence, and the Warriors possessed the ball for just 22 minutes of the game as they lost their fifth-straight this year, and their 12th straight to Laurier. The contest was relatively close at 25-0 until two Laurier touchdowns a minute and a half apart in the middle of the third quarter broke the game open.
Dillon Campbell had one of those scores, on a 29-yard run that made him Laurier’s all-time rushing leader. Marcus Arkarakas scored the subsequent TD on a 32-yard pass from Eric Morelli.
Campbell, a fifth-year senior, finished the game with 241 yards and three touchdowns, which came in handy since Laurier was able to gain just 78 yards through the air.
On a windy day, Campbell carried the ball 18 times for 148 yards in the first quarter alone. By the end of the game, Campbell had 3,069 yards in his career, eight more than Andy Cecchini’s former school record of 3,061 that he established in a career that ended in 1991.
At York on Friday night, Alex Malone, who came off the bench in the previous game against Queen’s and gained 89 yards, had a signature evening, carrying the ball 31 times for 257 yards, the best rushing game of the year in the league.
Varsity led the game 21-0 at halftime and won with just 108 yards through the air.
Two York quarterbacks were just 17-for-41, and the Lions did themselves no favours by fumbling three times and throwing two interceptions.
In games this week, Toronto, 2-3, hosts unbeaten Western and Waterloo visits McMaster on Thursday, Ottawa and Laurier, both 2-3, play at Waterloo and Carleton, 4-2, entertains York, 1-5. Queen’s, Guelph and Windsor have the Thanksgiving weekend off.