The Quest for the 108th Yates Cup begins Sunday, Aug. 30 when another exciting season of OUA football season kicks off with a full slate of action around the league!
Each week will feature a Marquee Matchup that you won't want to miss, beginning Week 1 when the Carleton Ravens travel to Kingston, Ont. to take on the Queen's Gaels at Richardson Stadium at 1:00 p.m. The Ravens will have revenge on their minds as last season, the already eliminated Gaels stormed into Keith Harris Stadium and defeated Carleton 37-15, dashing their postseason hopes.
Week 2 falls on the Labour Day long weekend this season (Sept. 6/7) and a matchup between the upstart Laurier Golden Hawks and the powerhouse Guelph Gryphons highlights the schedule. Last season, Guelph defeated Laurier 41-36 in the final game of the regular season, en route to a 7-1 record and their second Yates Cup appearance in the past three seasons.
There will be no love lost Week 3 (Sept. 12) when the Ottawa Gee-Gees travel to the "Steel City" to take on the defending Yates Cup champions, the McMaster Marauders. Last season, the Gee-Gees spoiled the Marauders bid at a perfect regular season record, defeating McMaster 38-18 in the final game of the regular season. The Marauders, however, would get revenge when the teams met again two weeks later in the semifinals, defeating the Gee-Gees 42-31 to advance to the 107th Yates Cup.
Week 3 will also feature Frosh Week games on the campuses of Windsor, York, Queen's and Laurier.
Fans of OUA football will have Week 4 (Sept. 19) circled on their calendars as the aforementioned Marauders will travel to Guelph, Ont. for a homecoming meeting with the Gryphons in a rematch of last season's Yates Cup. The Marauders hoisted the Yates Cup for a third time in four seasons with a 20-15 victory over the Gryphons in a game dominated by the defences. The two teams combined for 12 turnovers, including five interceptions by the McMaster defenders. Despite some key losses on both teams, this matchup features two of the top three defensive teams in the province, with both allowing less than 22 points a game last season.
Speaking of dates circled on the calendar, Week 5 (Sept. 26) is one that a certain Carleton receiver has probably had marked down since the schedule was announced earlier this year. It will be a homecoming on homecoming for London, Ont. native Nate Behar, as his Ravens visit the Western Mustangs on Saturday afternoon. Last season, Behar who appeared in all eight games for the Ravens, averaged 104.6 yards per game and seven TDs.
Week 6 (Oct. 2/3) will be Rivalry Week across OUA featuring some of the biggest matchups and fiercest rivalries. There may not be a bigger rivalry in OUA than the one that's been brewing in the nation's capital the past couple of seasons. After the Gee-Gees won the first Panda Game since 1998 two seasons ago, Carleton proved that they wouldn't be pushed around by their crosstown rival, defeating Ottawa in dramatic fashion last season on a last second "Hail Mary."
Other rivalries around the league include the Toronto Varsity Blues heading across town to take on the York Lions for the Argo Cup, the Laurier Golden Hawks and Waterloo Warriors renewing hostilities in the Battle of Waterloo, McMaster heading to the "City of Roses" to take on the Windsor Lancers and the Gryphons in Kingston, Ont. to face off against the Queen's Gaels.
The October air might be cooler, but the action will be heating up in Week 7 (Oct. 8/9) when the Gee-Gees travel to Waterloo, Ont. for a pre-Thanksgiving meeting with the Laurier Golden Hawks. If the Gee-Gees hope to hang with the Golden Hawks, they'll have to find a way to try and slow down last season's CIS-leading rusher, RB Dillon Campbell. Campbell helped carry the Golden Hawks from a 1-7 record in 2013 to a playoff appearance last season, amassing 1458 rushing yards along the way.
During Week 8 (Oct. 17) and Week 9 (Oct. 24), "OUA Tackles Breast Cancer" games will raise awareness and funds to help battle the disease within our communities.
On Oct. 17, the Windsor Lancers and Guelph Gryphons will wear their pink paraphernalia as they take to the gridiron for a late season tilt. Last season, the two teams met on Oct. 4 with the Gyphons prevailing on the road 24-9. However, the game might have been much closer if it wasn't for the strong leg of Grpyhons' kicker Daniel Ferraro, as he converted five of six field goal attempts in the victory.
Other "OUA Tackles Breast Cancer" games include: Toronto @ Waterloo (Oct. 17), Waterloo @ Windsor (Oct. 24), Toronto @ Ottawa (Oct. 24) and Guelph @ Carleton (Oct. 24).
The craziness of the final day of the regular season ensues on Week 9 (Oct. 24), and what better way to close out the season than a meeting between perennial powerhouses, the Western Mustangs and the McMaster Marauders.
Last year, the Marauders stormed into TD Waterhouse Stadium in London, Ont. and knocked off the 2013 Yates Cup champion Mustangs 32-29 thanks to a last minute 10-yard touchdown pass. The Mustangs, who struggled with injuries last season, would like nothing more than to return the favour to McMaster on their home field to end the regular season on a high note.
Catch all of these Marquee Matchups, as well as every other OUA football game this season, live online at OUA.tv!