What’s special about U of T’s homecoming is its merging of the past, present and future. This year, the administration once again made the Blues football game the jewel of the festivities.
The day started with a parade down St. George Street, which saw numerous floats and bands. It was followed by a pre-game barbecue, but by 2 p.m. all else was set aside, and it was time for football.
The Varsity Blues took the field against the vastly improved University of Windsor Lancers, who earlier in the season beat Western on the road. The Blues, after jumping out of the gates early with a 7-0 lead, fell behind the stronger team for the rest of the game.
Windsor’s offence garnered much of the attention on the field yesterday, but the team’s defense cannot be overlooked. It made for a miserable day for the Blues offence, with Blues quarterback Carter Livingstone throwing for 128 yards on 24 attempts and completing only 11 of those passes.
He did add one touchdown pass, but it came at the high cost of three interceptions. Livingstone connected with senior wide receiver Ian Watson who made a beautiful catch to score the Blues second-half touchdown. Watson had a great day in this, his last homecoming appearance as a player. He caught a season high five passes for 95 yards.
The Blues running game was ineffective, as Windsor keyed in on Blues all-star running back Templar Iga. Iga rushed 15 times for 31 yards, and he was able to rush for the game’s first touchdown. The 14 points scored by the Blues was a season high for the team.
Defensively, the Blues couldn’t stop OUA all-star receiver Arjei Franklin. Franklin had five receptions for 69 yards and two touchdown catches. The all-purpose threat was also effective rushing the ball for the Lancers, and he was difficult to bring down on special teams.
After the game Windsor coach Mike Morrencie gushed about his OUA all-star. “Arjei plays every play like it’s his last,” he explained, “the work ethic on this kid is unbelievable.”
Blues coach Steve Howlett was pleased with his team play. “We are taking steps in the right direction,” he commented. Howlett was also pleased with the homecoming festivities, adding that “the university is fully committed to the program, and the alumni is important to this team and university.”
The win for Windsor puts them at 4-2, and assures the team its first winning season since 1990. The loss for the Blues drops them to 0-6.
While the Blues record looks the same as last year’s, the team play has changed dramatically. Now, the Blues play hard until the last whistle is blown. There seems to be no quit in this team, which can be attributed to coach Howlett and his staff.