BURLINGTON, Ont. – Ontario University Athletics (OUA) is pleased to announce the release of the 2016 football schedule.
The quest for the 109th Yates Cup begins on Sunday, Aug. 28 with a full slate of games, including the Guelph Gryphons beginning their Yates Cup title defence at home against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues.
After heartbreak at the hands of the Gryphons in the Yates Cup this past year, the Western Mustangs will look to once again return to the top of the conference in 2016. For the second straight season, the Mustangs will open the year against the rival Windsor Lancers.
Fans will look to another opening weekend matchup to reveal a lot about their teams as the Carleton Ravens travel to the "Steel City" to take on perennial contenders, the McMaster Marauders. In just their third season back in the league, the Ravens not only qualified for the postseason but also knocked off the Queen's Gaels at Richardson Stadium to advance to the semifinals.
Other schedule highlights include:
• The action heats up on Labour Day weekend with a full schedule of games, including Western travelling to the nation's capital to take on Carleton. London native Nate Behar will hope to lead his Ravens past the team he grew up cheering for when the Mustangs stampede into MNP Park on Sunday, Sept. 4.
• Frosh week will be in full swing on campuses across the province on Saturday, Sept. 10 when the Queen's Gaels travel to Alumni Stadium to take on the Gryphons, while in Toronto, Ont., the York Lions will battle the Windsor Lancers.
• The Queen's Gaels and Western Mustangs will renew one of Canada's best rivalries when they meet in Kingston, Ont. on Sept. 17 in a Week 4 matchup. Meanwhile, at Varsity Stadium, the University of Toronto Varsity Blues host the York Lions in the battle for GTA supremacy in the Red and Blue Bowl.
• Fans of OUA football will surely have Saturday, Sept. 24 circled on their calendars as the Mustangs will head to Guelph, Ont. to take on the Gryphons in a rematch of the 108th Yates Cup. The next installment of the Battle of Waterloo also rages on Saturday when the Waterloo Warriors travel across town to take on the rival Laurier Golden Hawks.
• Pedro the Panda will up for grabs once again on Saturday, Oct. 1 as the Ottawa Gee-Gees battle the Carleton Ravens in the Panda Game. The Gee-Gees will look to reclaim the title once again after Carleton stunned Ottawa with back-to-back last minute heroics. In Hamilton, Ont., the Hwy 6 showdown between Guelph and McMaster returns to Ron Joyce Stadium with the Marauders looking to avenge their loss last season at the Gryphons Homecoming.
• Laurier will play under the lights on Thursday, Oct. 6 in a pre-Thanksgiving battle with the University of Toronto Varsity Blues. The following night, Ottawa, Carleton and McMaster will host York, Windsor and Queen's, respectively.
• Regular season play concludes on Oct. 22, with teams fighting for postseason positioning, including a marquee matchup when McMaster travels to London, Ont. to face Western with a potential first round playoff bye on the line.
The OUA quarter-finals will take place on Saturday, Oct. 29, followed by the semifinals on Saturday, Nov. 5.
The "Quest for the Cup" concludes on Saturday, Nov. 12 with the 109th Yates Cup.
The winner of the Yates Cup will represent OUA in the CIS Uteck Bowl, where they will travel to Quebec to take on the RSEQ conference champion the following week with a trip to the Vanier Cup on the line.
It's going to be another great season of OUA football, so be sure to plan your road trips and remember that every game will be broadcast live on OUA.tv!