Rematches and rivalries highlight 2022 OUA football schedule

Photo courtesy: Michael P. Hall/OUA Sports

After a successful return to the field for the 2021 season, Ontario University Athletics (OUA) has unveiled its schedule for the upcoming 2022 football campaign.

After playing through a modified schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic a season ago, including reduced games, regional competition, and a two-division set-up, the upcoming campaign will reflect what OUA football fans have grown accustomed to over the years. Each team will play eight regular season games across the nine-week schedule, with no divisional or geographical restrictions in place.

The regular season schedule officially kicks off on August 27 at 1:00 p.m., with a trio of games launching the latest quest for the Yates Cup. Waterloo will take on York, McMaster will make their way to Carleton, and the defending champions from Western will welcome Guelph in the first set of contests. The 2021 finalists, Queen’s, will get their season underway later that day when they host the Toronto Varsity Blues, before Ottawa and Windsor wrap up the Week 1 slate under the lights.

Highlights of the completed schedule include a Week 3 encounter between the Gaels and Mustangs, who after closing out the 2021 conference schedule in the Yates Cup finale will get right back at it on September 10 at 7:00 p.m.

A Labour Day tilt between the Lancers and Gryphons in Week 2 is also expected to be a marquee matchup, with the former looking to follow up on their momentous win over the latter from a season ago. Both of those teams were included in last year’s divisional standings log-jam, and the crowded crew of contenders therein will cross paths once again next season, as the Marauders will battle the Warriors in Week 3 (Sept. 10) and Guelph will take on Wilfrid Laurier in Week 8 (Oct. 15).

Some of the country’s longest standing rivalries will also earn top billing amidst the upcoming schedule.

One of the most anticipated varsity events each year, the Panda Game, will highlight the Week 6 contests, as the Ravens and Gee-Gees open up October with a 12:00pm kickoff on the first of the month. The Battle of Waterloo will give fans plenty to be thankful for when it takes centre stage the following week. As part of a condensed four-game slate ahead of Thanksgiving, the Golden Hawks and Warriors will get re-acquainted under the lights on Thursday, October 6 at 6:00pm.

Much like Waterloo did last year when twice facing the Hawks, the Varsity Blues also topped their cross-town rivals in 2021, and they’ll look to do the same in their Week 5 meeting with the Lions, in what will be the 52nd edition of the Red & Blue Bowl festivities.

Teams’ final chance to secure their playoff spots and seeding will come during Week 9, when the regular season comes to a conclusion on October 22. Making up those final five contests will be Western v. Ottawa, Queen’s v. Laurier, Toronto v. McMaster, Carleton v. Guelph, and Waterloo v. Windsor.

With the book then closing on the nine-week regular season, the quest for the cup will begin on October 29, before North America’s oldest football trophy gets awarded on November 12 at the 114th Yates Cup Championship.