On Saturday, October 29, the Varsity Blues men’s football team headed to Richardson Stadium, where they faced the Queen’s Gaels in the first round of playoffs this season.
There was pressure to win on both teams as the whistle blew for kick off, as the season would have come to an abrupt halt for the losing side.
Although the Blues’ offensive line came out aggressive and created many opportunities in the first quarter, an early illegal block forced them to punt the ball back to the Gaels, who quickly made it downfield.
With nearly nine minutes left in the first quarter, Gaels secured their first touchdown, putting the score at 7–0 and giving them an early lead.
On the return, the Blues’ running back, Luka Stoikos, cut through the middle and made a full return. Unfortunately, the Gaels played stellar defense and held the Blues to a mere 20-yard drive. When the Gaels got the ball back, they made it to Toronto’s 10-yard line and Tyler Mullan scored a field goal bringing the score to 10–0.
The Blues came out ready to fight in the second quarter; defensive back, Owen Cassie, intercepted a pass and Quinn Mulligan scored the first touchdown of the game, bringing the Blues back into the game with a score of 7–10 in favour of Gaels.
With just over a minute left in the second quarter, the Gaels scored another field goal, leading them into halftime with a six-point lead.
The Blues started off the second half on the receiving end, which they used to their advantage. The Blues were eventually able to make their way up to the 16-yard line, scoring another field goal on their third down.
The Gaels quickly responded and scored another touchdown with about six minutes left in the third quarter, bringing the score to 20–10 in favour of Gaels. Within a minute, the Gaels’ running back scored a 75-yard touchdown.
Although the Blues fought hard and scored one more field goal in the third quarter, the Gaels secured the win in the fourth quarter with a final score of 13–41.
A somber mood rested on the team after the final whistle blew. “It was a frustrating day for us,” Blues’ Head Coach Greg Marshall said after the game. “I don’t think we played our best game — way too many penalties and missed opportunities.”
There was a positive angle to the game, though: although the team did take the loss, they acknowledged that they could move forward from the loss.
“I told them to keep their heads up, walk out of here proud. They accomplished some good things this year, they played hard,” said Marshall when asked what his last message for the team for the season would be.