The much-anticipated Red and Blue Bowl was underway this past Saturday, and it was one of the grittiest games in the 42-year history of York and U of T’s football rivalry. In attendance to support our Lions was a loud roaring crowd of over a thousand. Amongst the spectators was York president Mamdouh Shoukri. However, the Lions did not come away with the victory they’d hoped for, losing the Saturday game to the Toronto Varsity Blues Saturday 10-8.
The game was a deadlock from the start. The first quarter was scoreless as both teams had problems converting on the offensive opportunities that were few and far between. The Lions had a first-quarter chance to score with a 37-yard field goal from Dror David, but it sailed wide left, leaving the game scoreless.
At the end of the second quarter the Toronto Varsity Blues led the York Lions 4-0. After scoring on a rouge and a 17-yard field goal minutes later, the Blues headed into the locker room with the lead. The Lions had another key field goal opportunity in the second from 33 yards out, but it went wide again.
Late in the second quarter and at half time the Lions made adjustments in hopes to spark more offensive production by replacing starting quarterback Nick Coutu, who went 4-9 with 21 yards, with quarterback Dimitar Sevdin, who finished the game 9-22, gaining 121 yards.
When the third quarter began, the Blues picked up where they had left off—making another goal, putting them up seven with the Lions still scoreless. The Lions started to roar their way back into the contest and forced a safety after the Blues faced a third and long within their own territory.
The Lions rode the momentum into the fourth quarter, scoring yet again on their first field goal of the game with David hitting a 41-yard long bomb in between the uprights, cutting the Blues’ lead to just two points. A few minutes later the Lions would force a fumble, courtesy of defensive end Zack Davis, scoring their second field goal of the game and taking the lead for the first time in the game, 8-7.
With the clock winding down and the fans in an uproar, the Lions tried to dig in and hold on to their one-point lead. However, the Blues were able to push the ball upfield with kicker Andrew Lomasney kicking the ball through the uprights with 54 seconds left. The Varsity Blues were able to regain the lead and leave a final score of 10-8 and take home the Argo Cup for the fourth year in a row.
Supporters recognized and applauded the obvious effort that the Lions put forth in this grudge match against their rivals. Even the coaching staff credits the team, but admits that there is still a lot of improvement that needs to be made. “We just couldn’t get it together offensively,” says offensive coordinator Michael Faulds. “At some point this year we have to bail out our defensive team.”
Although the Lions are still winless this season, the improvement that coaches Warren Craney and company promised is evident. After some more time, together with growth and improvement, it is only right to wonder how far the York Lions could reach. The next game for the Lions is against the Waterloo Warriors, Saturday, September 10.
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