Playoff football is here, and what better way to celebrate than a couple of OUA playoff games. Here is everything needed to know for the upcoming playoff match between the Ottawa Gee-Gees and the Carleton Ravens in the OUA quarterfinal preview 1.
OUA Quarterfinal Preview 1 — the Ottawa Gee-Gees play the Carleton Ravens
In a rematch of the Panda Game, the Ottawa Gee-Gees and the Carleton Ravens battle it out in the nation’s capital in a winner-take-all scenario. Both teams are evenly matched, coming off of a 6-2 season, although the Ravens arguably had the tougher schedule, playing the McMaster Marauders and the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks, whereas the Gee-Gees had the Golden Hawks as a non-combatant. The Ravens also beat the Western Mustangs in the second week of play, shocking the OUA conference. The Ravens put up stellar numbers this year, only four years since returning to the OUA, while the Gee-Gees are returning to the playoffs after just barely missing it last year.
Both teams have strong quarterbacks inside the pivot. This game features Gee-Gees starting pivot Derek Wendel, who broke his own OUA completion record against the Queen’s Gaels, throwing 232 complete passes, up from 216 and threw for a staggering 367 yards per game. That brought him to 646 completions, the highest amount of completions in school history. Wendel also was first place in the OUA in passing touchdowns, with 22. His counterpart, Jesse Mills, was second in the OUA with 15 touchdowns and averaged 276.8 yards per game.
Here are the keys to success.
Keys to the Game
Running vs. Passing — this game will be a showcase of the more effective offence, whether it be moving the ball on the ground or through the air. The Gee-Gees’ Wendel completed 236 passes this season, with his favourite target being Mitchell Baines, who was very close to meeting the 1,000 receiving yards mark at 984. Meanwhile, the Ravens have Jayde Rowe, rushed for an average of 136.4 yards per game, finishing the season at 1094 rushing yards. Each team will have to figure out how to shut down the opposing offence’s strengths if they want to move on in the playoffs.
Quick Start — Last game, the Ravens offence surged in the second half, taking a commanding 30-13 lead in the third quarter and never looked back afterwards, defeating the Gee-Gees 43-23. With the quarterfinal game holding so much meaning, it’s imperative for either team to come out with a quick start offensively if they want to get momentum going into the later half. Both teams are evenly matched, and one momentous swing could turn the tides in their favour.
Consistency — Both teams have been moderately consistent throughout the regular season, winning the games they should be winning. The biggest surprise is still the Ravens defeating the Mustangs, but the Gee-Gees are no slouch either, defeating the McMaster Marauders 30-8 and the Guelph Gryphons 31-28 in double overtime. If both teams want a shot at a semifinal berth, they must show that consistency throughout the game.
Kickoff is set for 1p.m. at MNP Park.
Main photo is courtesy of Marc Bourget.