A Varsity Blues receiver pounded his fist into the stadium ground on Saturday after the Blues fell to the York Lions, 66-7, in the teams’ annual meeting, also known as the Red and Blue Bowl. After playing miserably all day, blowing a chance to redeem themselves after this season’s horrible start, and losing once again to old rivals York, this frustration epitomizes the 2003 Varsity Blues football season thus far.
The game did not start off well for the Blues, as York quickly raced out to a 7-0 lead and never looked back. The first half of play saw the Blues offence sputter, resulting in a weak passing game. The York defense keyed in on star U of T running back Templar Iga who had trouble picking up yards.
A troubled offence was bad news for the Blues defense, who ended up playing too many minutes and looked overmatched by the Lions. Special teams dropped the ball for the Blues, allowing York punt returner Andre Durie to run back a kick and give the Lions a 21-0 lead. They added a field goal and touchdown to make the score 24-0 at the half.
The second half started much like the first ended, with York scoring early and often. Sitting pretty with a comfortable lead, the Lions’ running game began to take over and proceeded to further shred the Blues defense.
Double threat York running back Andre Durie played an extrememly impressive game that extended beyond his duties on special teams. Durie, a formidable force running the ball, put the final touches on the win by breaking a run of 54 yards to give York a 45-0 lead. He had six rushing attempts for 141 yards and three touchdowns by day’s end.
York would add a couple more touchdowns to make the final score 66-7. The 66 points put up by York marks a one game record total in the team’s football history.
The lone bright spots for the Blues were receivers Jason Riff and Templar Iga. Riff had nine catches for 162 yards, including the only touchdown pass from Blues quarterback Carter Livingstone. Iga continued his season’s excellent campaign by rushing for 110 yards on 27 attempts.
After the game, Iga assessed the team’s performance, commenting that he “could have played better,” and adding that he “and the rest of [his] teammates are going to continue to work hard to improve.”
“This will be the last time in my Varsity Blues football career that my team will lose to York,” the running back declared for emphasis.
A dejected Blues coach Steve Howlett concurred. “This was a poor performance,” he said, going on to remark “I am not happy with the result. We are capable of playing better, and we will.”
Next week the Blues play at Varsity Field for their homecoming game versus the upstart Windsor Lancers.