Running back Carter has great day, but Ravens fall flat in second half against Waterloo
The main topic of conversation following the Carleton Ravens Homecoming game Saturday should have been about the record-setting day by running back Nathan Carter and a winning effort by the home team.
Instead it’s about disappointment and missed opportunities as the Ravens blew a 30-10 secondhalf lead in a 45-43 loss to the Waterloo Warriors.
The Warriors, the same Warriors who were winless in 16 games over the past two seasons, scored touchdowns on their first five possessions of the second half while the Ravens defence was able to shut them down on their final two drives very late in the game.
Despite all that the Ravens had a chance to tie the game with 12 seconds left but quarterback Michael Arruda was hauled down by Warriors’ back Lautaro Frecha while trying to score a two-point conversion after throwing a 20-yard touchdown pass to Wilson Birch.
Game over, homecoming ruined.
“In the first half we came really confident and we were ready to play. We went into halftime and they had scored a touchdown and we got down on ourselves,” Ravens’ receiver Simon Beeksma said.
“They went in and game planned and we came out in the second half flat. We got complacent in the fact that we were up by 20.”
After the Warriors took a 31-30 lead on a 52-yard touchdown run by Dion Pellerin, the Ravens responded with a 72-yard touchdown pass from Arruda to Philippe Iloki to reclaim the lead and hopefully salvage a win.
Pellerin ran in another touchdown from 60-yards a couple of minutes later and then Lucas McConnell threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Lam Diing that put the Warriors up 45-37 after the conversion.
“It’s rough. To know that we lost a game we should have won. There’s not much to say. We need to do better. Mental mistakes is all it is,” said Carter, who rushed for 274 yards on 22 carriers breaking the old single-game record of 258 set last Sept. 24 by current teammate Jayde Rowe.
“I’m proud of myself. I set out to break a record this season and I did. The offence line worked extremely well and I give the credit to them.”
Carter also said he would have gladly traded in some of those yards for points on the scoreboard as the Ravens are now in a hole at 1-3 with four games left to play. Carleton Ravens QB Michael Arruda was hauled down while trying a two-point conversion.
They have a byeweek coming up before they take on the University Of Ottawa Gee-Gees in the annual Panda game at TD Place Sept. 30.
“I hope the guys can take this week to really learn from this loss. It’s going to be a grind for the rest of the season to get into the playoffs, so this bye week is going to be crucial for us to take that next step.”
McConnell had an explosive day behind centre as he completed 29 of 43 passes for 477 yards and four touchdowns.
His counterpart Arruda had 348 yards completing 20 of 39 passes and three touchdowns.
The Warriors had 679 yards of total offence while the Ravens had 635 in a very entertaining day of football.
The Warriors are now 4-0 to start the season and at worst can finish 4-4, which normally is enough for a berth in the OUA post season. The culture has changed with the Warriors under coach Chris Bertoia, now in his third season.
“Carleton is a fantastic football program and we knew we were going to have to weather a storm, but not 30-10. This team believes right now and the team that I took over two years ago would have lost 70-10. Those times have changed,” explained Bertoia.
“Overall the second half was outstanding. All we talked about was winning the second half. I didn’t even talk about winning the game, just the second half. Things started to go our way and it was nice to pull that out.”
The Warriors will try to go 5-0 when they host the 3-0 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks in the battle of Waterloo next Saturday.