After what started as a fairly even game, with the Varsity Blues and Queen’s Golden Gaels football teams neck and neck throughout the first half, the Blues lost 9–42 to the Gaels in their September 9 matchup at Varsity Stadium. 

The Blues had already suffered losses in the first two games of the season against the Guelph Gryphons and Ottawa Gee-Gees. Meanwhile, the Gaels’ record improves to 1–1 following their win, with their previous game being a 10–11 loss to the Laurier Golden Hawks. The Blues have lost 18 straight games against The Gaels since October 9, 2004, with their previous matchup in October 2022 ending in a 13–41 loss. 

What happened

The Gaels saw early success in the first quarter, as Niklas Henning drew first blood by scoring the first touchdown at minute 3:49. However, the Blues responded and tied the game 7–7 after defensive back Ryan Collins impressively intercepted a pass and scored a touchdown. With Queen’s conceding a safety with ten seconds remaining in the first quarter, the Blues maintained a 9–7 lead going into the second quarter.

The second quarter remained scoreless for over ten minutes, with both teams demonstrating solid defence. However, the Gaels scored a field goal with less than five minutes remaining and earned another ten points after the Blues also conceded a safety, resulting in a 9–12 score at halftime.

The Gaels carried their momentum into the third quarter, dominating to score three consecutive touchdowns and bring the score to 9–40. The Blues’ struggles continued as the team encountered multiple injuries — three players had to be assisted off the field. 

“We have a bye week coming up, so that will be good,” Greg Marshall, the Varsity Blues head coach, later commented in a postgame interview with The Varsity. “We [have] a few guys who are banged up, so hopefully they can get healthy.” 

Nevertheless, the Blues held steady and had some promising drives in the final quarter, including a successful and impressive 46-yard pass by quarterback Scott Barnett to receiver Nathan Bullock. Yet, the Blues failed to capitalize on the opportunity, and with the Gaels scoring a 13-yard safety with half-the-quarter remaining, the game ended with a final score of 9-42.

“Obviously, we’re not happy with the result,” said Marshall. “We hung in there the first half, but came out and played lousy in the third quarter [so] the game got away from us.”

What’s next 

The Blues are set to face Carleton University Ravens away on September 23. Despite the loss and the team’s rough start to the season, Marshall maintains optimism for the rest of the Blues’ season. “We’ve got to go up to Carleton and win a ball game,” Marshall explained. “That’s going to be our focus, and that’s all we’re going to focus on.”

This game against the Gaels took place on Saturday, September 9. For what happened earlier last week, click here.