The Varsity Blues in action against the Guelph Gryphons. WENDY WEI/THE VARSITY

On Saturday, September 16, the Varsity Blues played host to a dynamic Guelph Gryphons offence, which had put up 81 points the previous week against Windsor. Led by quarterback James Roberts, the offensive juggernaut picked up right where they left off, putting up a total of 333 passing yards and 179 rushing yards. The Blues offense only managed to score six points in a 43–6 blowout loss.

With Toronto’s top two running backs injured, the Blues were unable to maintain a consistent running game and finished the game with a total of 21 rushing yards. Blues Head Coach Greg Gary, however, did not want to use injuries as an excuse. “I think you just always have to be careful whenever you finish a game, and [you have] something go wrong,” Gary stated. “I’m not real big on using injuries as anything other than ‘that’s part of the game.’ The lack of success in rushing is something that we have to fix, but I’m not going to go with the injury card at all.”

Toronto’s only offensive team score came in the form of a field goal at the beginning of the second quarter. Their defence also managed to force Guelph to take an intentional safety, and their special teams managed to score a single off a punt. Toronto’s best offensive performance came from wide receiver Nick Stadnyk, who had four catches for 74 yards, and made their biggest play of the game, catching a 28-yard pass late in the first quarter, leading to a field goal.

Blues quarterback Connor Ennis had 137 passing yards, completed 11 out 23 pass attempts, and had two interceptions. Despite the loss, the Blues roster and coaching staff will maintain a positive attitude heading into the remainder of the season. “I’m confident where our team is going, as far as the evolution… to where we’re moving to with the team’s culture,” Gary added. “Once upon a time, in a game like this, by the third quarter, we’d have been laying down. Is there another level we need to get to on the sideline? Absolutely. And that’s going to come with the way we practice, getting confidence, and the more confidence we have that we can actually be successful, then it’ll be positive throughout the field.”

The Blues’ next game is on Saturday, September 23 at Alumni Field against York University.

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