On September 24 the Varsity Blues beat the York Lions 39–7 to win the 52nd Annual Red and Blue Bowl, also known as the Argo Cup.
The Blues and Lions both headed into the game with a 1-3 record this season. However, the Lions’ singular victory came via a McMaster forfeit, whereas the Blues dominated the Carleton Ravens 28–13 in the home opener nearly two weeks ago.
As a result of their victory against the Lions, the Blues improved to a 2-3 record, led by a three-touchdown performance from running back Luka Stoikos.
Much like last year’s game, the Blues played stellar defense in the beginning of the first quarter, as the Lions’ first three drives failed to move past their 35-yard line. With just over five minutes remaining in the quarter, the Blues were rewarded, as kicker Samuel Henke’s field goal attempt was successful, giving the Blues a 3–0 lead.
To signal the shift in momentum, the Lions ended the first quarter with a strong 48-yard drive that continued into the second quarter. Things became worse after the Blues received a 15-yard penalty for roughing Lions kicker Nathan Walker. While the drive would end soon, the momentum remained with the Lions.
Yet, in the late second quarter, Lions quarterback Noah Craney fumbled the ball following a failed lateral attempt. With a swift recovery of the loose ball, linebacker James Greig ran 26 yards to get the Blues’ first touchdown of the game. The touchdown shifted the momentum again, with a rouge — a single point scored on certain plays — on the final play extending the lead to end the first half with an 11–0 lead.
The second half started strong for the Lions, as their receiver Alfred Olay ran 99 yards after catching Henke’s 66-yard kickoff. As a result, the Lions started the first down of the half 12 yards away from the Blues’ end zone. Craney earned the Lions the first touchdown of the game soon after, capping off a great drive for York.
Despite their rough start, the Blues dominated the rest of the quarter, as all three drives in the quarter ended in touchdowns. For the first touchdown, quarterback Kinsale Phillip sent a beautiful 30-yard pass to wide receiver Michael Lehmann to place the Blues a yard away from York’s endzone. Stoikos ran into the endzone to earn the Blues’ second touchdown of the game.
After the Blues’ dominant defense efficiently ended an 18-yard drive by the Lions, Stoikos earned his second touchdown of the game after running an impressive 35 yards, dodging several Lions players. In their next drive, Phillips sent a short three-yard pass to offensive lineman Mojtaba Mehry for the third touchdown of the quarter and the first of Mehry’s career. As a result, the Blues headed into the final quarter with a dominant 32–7 lead.
To seal the victory midway through the fourth quarter, Stoikos ended an impressive 53-yard drive to get his third touchdown of the game. Despite the persistence of York’s offense and a later ejection for Blues defensive back, Tolu Ahmed, the Blues maintained a dominant lead and hoisted the Argo Cup once again.
On October 1, the Blues will travel east to face the Waterloo Warriors for the first time since 2019. The Blues have failed to beat the Warriors in their last three encounters, but hopes are that Stoikos and the rest of their offense continue to impress so the Blues can move on to a 3-3 record.