In a tale of teams, the Varsity Blues were mercilessly crushed 55–4 by the visiting Windsor Lancers at Varsity Stadium.
The last time the Blues played in Toronto was on opening weekend before a crowd of nearly 5,000, who cheered on the players as they shut out the Laurier Golden Hawks.
Nonetheless, in the two games since that memorable match, the Blues have conceded an atrocious 117 points while scoring only 11 in eight quarters of play.
Last week’s loss on the road could be attributed to the 135 penalty yards the Blues incurred. But penalties could not be blamed for Saturday’s loss against the Lancers, with Toronto only being flagged nine times for just over 60 yards.
“I think it’s more our approach,” said Blues head coach Greg Gary. “Right now we’re not behaving like a competitive football team, we’re not flying around, we’re not hitting people properly, we’re not doing the kinds of things to be considered somebody that people have to worry about.”
The Blues defense allowed Windsor 554 total yards of offense, over 250 of which came on the run. Windsor running back Mitch Dender had over 100 yards on 15 carries, while fullback Kamal Darius had an average of 8.5 yards a carry.
“Right now teams are pretty comfortable playing against us,” Gary admitted. “They’re running all their stuff and we haven’t taken anyone out of their comfort zone. We have to get better at stopping teams that want to run on us.”
The Blues started the afternoon on a high after Toronto’s Spenser Stewart recovered Windsor running back Jamal Darius’ fumble deep in Blues territory. However, on the following play Toronto quarterback Richard Quittenton’s pass was intercepted at the 18-yard line, ultimately leading to a Windsor three-yard rushing major.
The four points that Toronto was able to acquire came off a safety in the second quarter and a Lomasney 26-yard field goal. Lomasney ended the day going 1–3 on field goal attempts. But the general rule in football, as Gary noted after the loss, is, “Don’t leave the game in the hands of your field goal kicker.”
“Kickers are good to get you three points and try to keep things rolling when everything is going well,” Gary said. “But if you’re relying on your kicker to get you back in the game you’re already in a fire fight. Our kicker shouldn’t be trying to get us back in a game where we’re down 55 or something.”
The Toronto offense did not make things any easier for Lomasney as the team moved within the 20 yard line on only three occasions.
Toronto’s offense struggled throughout the day. Quittenton, who was under pressure all afternoon and was sacked four times by the Lancers defense, ended the match going seven for 22 with three interceptions as the Blues receivers continually dropped passes.
“If you look out there the bodies weren’t that much different so we got to come back to preparation and how you went about getting ready for the football game. And that comes back on me and we need to do a better job of preparing our players to play. And that comes back on me. So I take full responsibility for out team not being able to score in the red zone.”
There are close games made of a series of missed opportunities—dropped passes, missed tackles, and botched field goal attempts — where if one play had gone differently, the end result could have been vastly different. But there are also games when one team simply doesn’t come to play and it’s clear within the first quarter how the game is going to unravel. This was one of those games.