1970s

The Ravens football club moved from the mediocre Central Canada Intercollegiate Conference (CCIC) into the highly-competitive Ontario University Athletic Association (OUAA) in 1971. This league contained the nationally ranked University of Toronto Varsity Blues and the Queen's University Golden Gaels. Carleton's first game in the OUAA was against the Varsity Blues. Though they were the underdogs, the Ravens upset the Blues with an impressive 12-3 win. One of the highlights of the 1971 season was the Panda Game, when the number one team in the nation, the Gee-Gees, was upset by the Ravens 28-14. All in all, the 1971 season was an impressive debut in the OUAA.

The 1972 highlights included a phenomenal game against Waterloo, where the offence finally proved themselves with a 35-6 score. The Ravens seemed to score every time they touched the ball. Mike Smith, Joe Colvey, John Martin and Randy Wahab were all selected for the 1973 all star game. After shattering 21 team records, the Ravens were proud going into the 1974 season. The Ravens struggled, but secured a 10th-place national ranking, obtaining a playoff spot in the OUAA eastern division. Though the Ravens didn't take the Panda game or the playoff semi-final with Toronto, 1974 was a season where the Ravens commanded the respect of theOUAA.

1975 and 1976 were rough years for the team. Coach McCuaig left to work full time with the Athletics Department and was replaced by Brian Kealey. These two seasons were, in fact, winless, but the 1977, 1978 and 1979 seasons got the attention of the league and eventually the entire nation! Pat Stoqua, a Ravens basketball star, joined the team in 1977 and was a key contributor to the defence strategy. A whopping 61-0 exhibition win against Royal Military College gave the Ravens the spirit and confidence needed to win against the Gee-Gees, in a tremendous show of defensive skills. This was the first time in six years that the Ravens had won against their eternal foe. The Ravens were legitimate contenders in the league and the l977 Panda game was won 36-16 by Carleton.

The 1978 team won a title at the Ontario-Quebec pre-season jamboree, and was ready for anything. When Coach Kealey joined the team in 1975, he vowed that the team would reach the College Bowl by 1980, and this dream was finally looking attainable. The Panda Game was, yet again, the deciding game for a playoff spot. The Ravens repeated their stellar performance from the previous year and won 24-13.

1979 was being called the Year of the Ravens. College football forecasters predicted that the team would finish first or second in the eastern division. The dream team went on to win three consecutive games, making them the only undefeated team in the conference and third in the country, the highest ranking ever obtained by a Ravens football team. The club began to receive media attention as the newest legitimate national contender on the block. Queen's Golden Gaels became the team to beat to solidify the conference title. Sadly, the Ravens lost the semifinal against the Gaels. The last season of the decade was like a roller-coaster that ended in disappointment, yet the Ravens had much to be happy about. The club went from division doormat to well-respected national contenders and a team to be reckoned with.

Key Game - In 1978, the Ravens had made the division playoffs for the first time since 1973. The Golden Gaels were the Ravens' opponent in the sudden-death semi-final and were ranked fifth in the country, making the Ravens the definite underdog. Queen's scored the first points with a 35-yard field goal, then a 26-yard single. With four minutes left in the half, Raven Fred Pinnock crossed the goal line, making the score 6-4 with Carleton controlling the lead. Rob Gaskell kicked a 21-yard field goal, bringing the score to 9-4 for the Ravens. Carleton brought the game into overtime after punter Tom McLeod kicked a 47-yard single, tying the score. It was then, according to Charlatan reporter Mario Toneguzzi, that the "key play of the game occurred." He reports:

"With less than a minute left in the overtime, a bad punt put Carleton on the Queens 27 yard line. Quarterback Mark Lee hit wide receiver Gary Cook with a 25-yard pass and then fullback Dave Green was stopped on the one yard line. Kealey sent in his field goal kicking team, but the offence waved them off. In the confusion that followed, Carleton failed to cross the goal line and came out with no points."

The teams went into yet another overtime period and Queen's won 17-13.

Key Player - Peter Stenerson played both quarterback and wing back during his three-year career with the Ravens. Peter had many strengths, but his speed was his most definitive attribute. At 6'3", 195 lb., Stenerson moved from calling ultraconservative, predictable plays to becoming a well-polished offensive anchor. By his last year as quarterback, he chalked up 585 rushing yards in one year, running 196 yards in a single game. This was a Ravens record for the most yards gained in a single game. Stenerson went on to play for the Ottawa Rough Riders in the CFL.

Statistics (wins/loses/ties)

  • 1970 (4/1/1)
  • 1971 (4/4/0)
  • 1972 (1/5/0)
  • 1973 (5/5/0)
  • 1974 (3/6/0)
  • 1976 (0/6/1)
  • 1977 (4/4/1)
  • 1978 (5/3/1)