On October 2nd both the University of Ottawa Gee Gees and the Carleton University Ravens football teams faced off against each other under the lights at TD Place for the annual Panda Game. The game ended in a 19 to 17 Gee Gees win thanks to a Campbell Fair game winning field goal with just over a minute left in the game, but Carleton is ready to fight back in what looks to be a Panda Game rematch this Thursday at TD Place.
At TD Place, at 6:00 on Thursday the Gee Gees and Ravens will face each other once again in the shortened 2021 OUA season and the game will have a large impact on the future of both programs. The winner of Thursday’s game at TD Place will enter the playoffs for the 2021 season and test their chances at the 2021 Vanier Cup in Quebec City on December 4th.
In the Panda Game earlier this month, the Gee Gees saw running back J.P Cimankinda run all over the Ravens, carrying the rock 22 times for a total 133 rushing yards. They also had Rodney Estime, Daniel Oladejo and Tristan Park make a number of big plays for quarterbacks Ben Maracle and Matt Mahler in the passing game and for the University of Ottawa the same players are expected to make a large impact on the next game they play against the Ravens on Thursday.
This season quarterback Ben Maracle has thrown for over 1,100 yards and 2 scores in 5 games, although he has suffered some injuries taking him out of the end of two games this season it hasn’t stopped him from connecting with his receivers. Rodney Estime, Nathan Walker and Daniel Oladejo have combined for 55 receptions, 700 yards and a touchdown through 5 games while running backs J.P Cimankinda and Dawson Odei have gained over 500 yards themselves, 495 on the ground. Defensive playmakers James Peter and TK Victome have also been the face of any Gee Gees success this season, Peter making a team lead 32 tackles, 2 sacks and 3 tackles for loss while Victome has one interception and 2 pass breakups on top of 17 tackles. The two alongside Alex Douglas, Luke Griese, Michael Pezzuto and other defensive starters are expected to make some plays against the Ravens, and as for the Ravens, they’ll likely make some plays of their own on Thursday to make it a game to watch.
Although quarterback Tanner Dejong has faced injuries which have sidelined him for the majority of the 2021 OUA season, the Carleton University offence has still been able to move the ball. Breaking the school record for most rushing yards in a career, Nathan Carter has been a big piece of the Ravens offence this season, rushing for 318 yards and 2 scores on just 62 carries. Receivers Glodin Mualal and Keaton Bruggeling have led the passing attack, Mualal with 221 yards on 16 catches and Bruggeling with 3 receiving touchdowns but freshman receiver Kaseem Ferdinand is also getting some action on the offence and is showing extreme potential to be the next big thing to come from the Ravens football program. On just 9 receptions over the 5 games played this season Ferdinand has gained 157 yards and scored one touchdown. Ferdinand, despite being 5-foot-10 is a deep threat receiver thanks to his insane speed and agility. In Toronto the Ravens experimented in his deep threat ability, 101 yards and a touchdown later they may have found their number one receiver for the future and suiting up for the second time against the University of Ottawa, he may be a large part of the Ravens game plan against the Gee Gees.
On the Ravens defence, lockdown corner back and special teams demon Jonathan Edouard is expected to have a big game. In what could be his final game with the Ravens, Edouard, in front of the fans at TD Place stadium can have a good day against the Gee Gees pass game and with the Ravens struggling on offence this season without Dejong in the lineup they will need to have his help on the punt team as well. Linebacker Malik Yusuf from the Ottawa area has been a large part in the Ravens defence this year, making 16 tackles and a sack and as he faces off against some of his former teammates and rivals from youth league on Thursday against the University of Ottawa he should make some plays.
Kaseem Ferdinand’s twin Denny has also been a playmaker on special teams this year as a freshman. He has over 400 yards in kickoff and punt returning, giving the Ravens great field position on a number of occasions this season and will do so again against the Gee Gees. Along with Ferdinand, kicker Brandon Forcier has also made an impact on the special teams unit, being 8 of 8 for field goals and 8 for 8 in extra points. His longest field goal this season is 38 yards.
Tickets are on sale for Thursday’s game between the Ravens and Gee Gees at the University of Ottawa Gee Gees website. Don’t miss the big game!