(KINGSTON, ON) -- They came, they saw, they conquered.
The Ravens football team announced its arrival as an OUA playoff threat on Saturday afternoon in Kingston, as Carleton pounded Queen's 39-8 for its first CIS playoff victory since 1986.
QB Jesse Mills (Halifax, NS) threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns, while a two-headed run game earned 218 yards on the ground for Carleton. Nate Hamlin (Ottawa, ON) and Kadeem Vaillancourt (Ottawa, ON) led the way on the defensive side of the ball for the Ravens, who sacked Queen's QB Nate Hobbs seven times.
"It's a big step," said Ravens head coach Steve Sumarah post-game. "[Queen's] knocked us out last year, and to be able to come in and play as well as we did on all three sides of the ball is a testament to the work the coaches and players put in this week."
The Ravens pulled out all the stops in every phase of play; Cedric Soares (Ottawa, ON) hauled in a highlight-reel 78-yd touchdown in the 4th quarter, Hamlin and co. laid bone-crunching hits throughout the afternoon, and James McCallum (Mississauga, ON) heroically blocked a 4th-quarter Queen's punt on special teams.
Carleton jumped out to a commanding 21-0 lead in the first quarter via a 2-yd rush TD from Jahvari Bennett (Mississauga, ON), a 45-yd catch-and-run for Wilson Birch (Niagara, ON), and a 42-yd TD reception from Nate Behar (London, ON), effectively silencing the Queen's crowd.
Buoyed by its consistent inside penetration — and general domination — of the Queen's offensive line, the Ravens defence had a field day on Gaels QB Nate Hobbs. Beyond the season-high seven sacks registered by Carleton, Hobbs was hurried on on a consistent basis throughout the entire game.
"All week we prepared with tons of film," said Ravens DB Nate Hamlin. "It's a credit to our coaching staff, we have excellent packages, and we created our own opportunities."
Things settled down somewhat in the remaining three quarters, with Carleton's defence coming up with hard-hitting stops on Gaels possession after Gaels possession.
The Ravens took a 29-0 lead into half-time, and only allowed Queen's a meagre rouge and consolation touchdown late in the day for largely-neutralized wideout Doug Corby.
"This is what it's all about," said Coach Sumarah, "playoff football — one game, do-or-die — and it's an exciting time to be a part of Carleton football."
With the win, Carleton earns a trip to the OUA's No. 2 seed, the Guelph Gryphons, next weekend in a second round playoff matchup.
RAVENS PLAYERS OF THE GAME:
#6 Jesse Mills - Quarterback - 4th year (Halifax, NS)
#23 Nathaniel Hamlin - Defensive Back - 3rd year (Ottawa, ON)
OUA Playoffs - Semi-Finals
Carleton at Guelph - Saturday, November 7th, 2015 - T.B.D. (Guelph, ON)
Source: Carleton Ravens