If U of T fans were expecting Football to be victorious over York Saturday, a game that seemed within its reach, they once again returned home disappointed.

With a 39-11 loss at the Lions’ York Stadium in the 37th Red and Blue Bowl, the Blues (0-5) are more than halfway towards the end of another campaign still looking for their first win. This loss to the Lions (1-4) lengthens the Blues’ winless streak to 38 games. York has won the last twelve Red and Blue games.

The good news is that two of the final three games for the Blues are being held at this season’s home turf, Birchmount Stadium in Scarborough. The bad news is the games are against legitimate Ontario University Athletic title contenders. Western (3-1) visits this weekend, at Laurier (4-1) the next, and Ottawa (4-1) caps the season on October 21. Coach Steve Howlett will sit out against Western, as he serves a one game suspension for unsportsmanlike behaviour picked up during the York loss.

The game Saturday had the Blues up four to zero in the first quarter, but the team could not quell York’s 32-point response. The only offensive touchdown for the Blues came in an impressive fourth-quarter drill towards the end of the game. The score came via a quarterback option from Dave Hamilton with three minutes to go.

“We certainly had our moments during the game,” said coach Steve Howlett. “Dave really did have a good day for us. Unfortunately, our offence couldn’t keep up.”

As expected, this Red and Blue game was very emotionally charged. Taking place on a dreary afternoon, the game had moments of real emotion, including a last-second scuffle highlighted with shoving.

Hamilton was solid, converting 19 out of 32 pass attempts for 194 yards and not recording a single turnover. However, athletic counterpart Mark Stinson was practically absent from the offensive scheme. He ran for negative two yards on three attempts, and was second in receiving with four catches for 29 yards. The Lions kept the Blues to twelve yards rushing in the second half of the game.

“One of the things that I was concerned about was that we did not adjust to York’s defence enough.” Howlett said. “We eventually have to deal with the defences we see and adjust -especially to the blitz.”

A non-adjusting offence and harsh weather conditions did not work in the favour of the Blues, as the team did go without an offensive touchdown for three and a half quarters.

“One of the biggest things that I came to realize is that we were really too cautious when the offence was moving into the wind,” Howlett remarked. “The game was broadcast live. Once I was able to re-watch the game and our performance, I realized that was the case.”

The Blues also had trouble containing Lions quarterback Bart Zemanek, who threw for 339 yards and three TDs.

However, the Blues were not a total wash. Tyler Daly was strong running the ball in place of injured running back Marc Gaudett, tallying 75 yards, most of it in the first half. Workhorse Tony Mammoliti led the receiving corps with 82 yards on six catches.

Rookie Derek Batchelor also looked good in his first Red and Blue game, recording six individual and assisted tackles to lead the Blues.