CIS Football Report (Week 6)

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Rivalries are the lifeblood of university football as they are often the games that everyone is waiting for in a season.

As big as rivalries are in the pros they are something more in the CIS where players can sometimes have a little extra reason to beat them.

When recruiting teams often go from inside out as they look for the best in their city then province and nationally.

Some schools are great at finding the best in the country while others aren’t but every team looks for local talent to fill out their roster.

So when two teams are located in the same city they are often fighting for the same group of players.

The players are also looking at schools close to home and don’t always get to attend and play football at their school of choice.

So when a player wants to go to UofT but doesn’t receive any support from that school they often attend York to play. The same can be said for Laurier and Waterloo or Carleton and Ottawa.

That reality in university football means that some players play for their teams with a chip on their shoulder as the other school paid no attention to them.

It provides that little extra motivation for the players who were overlooked by the team they are facing.

It also provides the students plenty of opportunity as they too may have been overlooked by the other school and can have their voices heard on gameday.

When the rivalry is in-town fans from both sides are sure to show up and try to help their team to a win.

This week in the OUA as the season closes out for the CIS’s biggest division these rivalries took full focus.

They are not necessarily all amazing games between two good teams but they definitely had a different feeling as rivals faced off.

There was the Red/Blue Bowl where the two Toronto teams face-off in a game that has not necessarily had the best reputation.

The Blues and the Lions have not been the top teams in the OUA for years and only a few seasons ago this game marked the first and only win for whichever team won the game.

The dynamic has changed slightly as the Blues have been better and continue to challenge for the playoffs while the Lions remain basement dwellers.football-sidebar

The Blues took another win in the game with a 40-3 win for their third straight. It was a big win for the Blues who continue to look for a playoff spot as the season comes to a close while the Lions were unable to stop their rivals.

They weren’t the only two teams facing off against their crosstown rivals though as the Battle of Waterloo was underway as well.

Much like the Red-Blue Bowl the Battle of Waterloo did not have the best dynamic between Laurier and Waterloo as one team was fighting for the playoffs and the other was just looking for a win.

It ended predictably as the Golden Hawks took the 42-0 win and moved closer to the playoffs.

The Warriors came away from the game with another loss and failed once again to earn a win.

These rivalry games have not been the most entertaining in recent year but there is one that has not disappointed since it was brought back.

The introduction of the Carleton Ravens back into the OUA brought back the Panda Game between the two teams in the nation’s capital.

It is a game that has not necessarily been the best with the Gee Gees having an overwhelming winning percentage with a 33-14 series record.

It seemed to be continuing in the first game back in 2013 when the Gee Gees won 35-10.

Then 2014 hit and the Panda Game became the best regular season game of the year with the Ravens coming out on top in a last second Hail Mary that gave Carleton their first win in the game since 1994.

This year the expectations were big again as both teams faced off this week and both team did not disappoint.

The Ravens went ahead early only to fall behind thanks to a 30-point second quarter by the Gee Gees.

The Ravens kept pace though and in double overtime kicked a field goal for the win.

It is quickly becoming the game to watch in the regular season as the Panda Game once again was the most thrilling of the year so far.

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Key Scores:
Toronto Varsity Blues 40 – 3 York Lions
– It was another version of the Red-Blue Bowl but this one had some meaning as the OUA season is winding down and the Blues are looking for a playoff spot and taking the dominant win to help their cause

Mount Allison Mounties 32 – 14 Acadia Axemen
– It was a battle of the top two teams in the AUS and a rematch of the opening game but this time the Mounties came out on top as they took over first place while the Axemen were dropped to third in the conference

Carleton Ravens 48 – 46 Ottawa Gee Gees (2OT)
– There seems to be no better game every regular season than the Panda Game and for the second year in a row it was a thriller with the Ravens taking their second in a row with a double overtime effort

Sherbrooke Vert et Or 17 – 12 Montreal Carabins
– The Carabins were expecting to run through the rest of the season and meet their long-time rivals in the RSEQ finals but they were surprised this week when they lost to the Vert et Or who took the win and moved into a three-way tie for second

Next Week:
Western Mustangs vs. Toronto Varsity Blues (Thursday October 8th; 7:00 pm EDT)
– The Blues are hoping that they can find their way to the playoffs this year but on their way they will get their biggest test to see how ready they are in taking on the best team in the OUA off of a week’s rest

Acadia Axemen vs. Saint Mary’s Huskies (Friday October 9th; 7:00 pm ADT)
– The Axemen have fallen to the third place spot in the division after their second loss but they try to get back on track against the worst team in the conference who are just looking for their first win before they are eliminated from playoff contention

Ottawa Gee Gees vs. Laurier Golden Hawks (Friday October 9th; 7:00 pm EDT)
– The Gee Gees, for the second year in a row, are coming off of a heartbreaking Panda Game loss and they will try to get back on track to hold on to their playoff spot against the rising Hawks who are hoping to overtake the #6 position in the OUA

Mount Allison Mounties vs. StFX X-Men (Saturday October 10th; 2:00 pm ADT)
– The Mounties are back on track as they beat the Axemen last week to take over first place, thanks to the tiebreaker, in a tight race in the AUS and they hope to take out the second place team in the X-Men to continue a late season run

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