TORONTO, Oct. 10 – The University of Toronto Varsity Blues football team reclaimed the Argo Cup on Thursday night (Oct. 10) with a 56-35 victory over the York University Lions under the lights at York Stadium in the 44th annual Red & Blue Bowl.

The win improves Toronto’s record to 3-4 on the season, while the Lions dropped to 2-5. The road team has now won the last three Argo Cups, with the Lions taking it last year at Varsity Centre and U of T winning two years ago at York Stadium.

The Lions got off to the better start, with a touchdown in the first quarter and another in the second to take a 14-2 lead. But the squad quickly came undone following the second score after a series of mistakes on special teams, and the Blues ran away with the game.

Toronto quarterback Simon Nassar (Toronto) had 360 passing yards and four touchdowns for the Blues, which would set the bar too high for York as the Lions were unable to find an answer to the prolific passing attack.

His counterpart, York’s Myles Gibbon (Montreal), finished 23-of-34 for 314 yards and two passing touchdowns, while also picking up 67 yards on the ground on 10 carries. It wasn’t all good for the fifth-year quarterback, however, as he was also sacked four times and had two fumbles.

Stand out first-year corner Samir Boulazreg (Mississauga, Ont.) would put the Lions on top early in the game intercepting a short hitch pass and returning it 38 yards for the touchdown to go up 7-0.

Following  a conceded safety by York that cut the lead to five, the Lions offence would continue to gel. Gibbon took to the air, finding Jarrett Carson (Brossard, Que.) downfield, bringing York within scoring distance. Errol Brooks (Toronto) capped off the drive on a handoff up the middle for the score. The points extended the lead to 14-2.

But the Varsity Blues wouldn’t fold under the early pressure, and they too would find the end zone on a 28-yard Paul de Pass (Ajax, Ont.) receiving major from Nassar, shrinking the Lions lead to five. de Pass finished the day with 11 receptions for 155 yards and two touchdowns.

It would be the following drive that saw the Lions luck change, however, as a blocked punt resulted in a costly momentum shift for Toronto. Capitalizing on York’s special teams troubles, Nassar orchestrated 25 straight points in the last five minutes of the second quarter.

The quarter ended on a pick-six by York kicker Nick Naylor (Abbotsford, B.C.), who tried to pass on a field goal attempt and was intercepted by Toronto linebacker Christopher Johnson (Toronto), who ran it back 88 yards for the score, giving the Varsity Blues a 34-14 lead at the half.

As the second half opened, the Blues would continue to capitalize on a stunned Lions squad. Nassar again exposed the Lions secondary, finding Alex Pierzchalski (London, Ont.) for a two-yard touchdown.

The score seemed to snap York out of their fog though, and Gibbon would begin to once again put solid drives together. Damone Williams (Mississauga, Ont.) scored the resulting major, reigning in a Gibbon pass for a touchdown, making it 42-21.

As the teams continued to trade punches into the fourth quarter, York’s defence began to show signs of life. Connor Pritty (Markham, Ont.) snagged York’s second interception of the game.

Riding the momentum of York’s renewed intensity, fifth-year receiver William Austin (St. Catharines, Ont.), caught a touchdown pass in the back of the end zone as part of his eight-catch, 128 yard day. The score shrunk the lead to 49-28, and three minutes later Lions running back Connor Anderson (Newmarket, Ont.) scored again for the Lions to make it 49-35.

That was as close as they would get, however, as Toronto scored a late touchdown with 35 seconds left to ice it.

The Lions will play their last game of the season in London, Ont., next Saturday (Oct. 19) as they take on the No. 1 nationally-ranked Western Mustangs at 1pm. The Varsity Blues will also wrap up the season on the same day with a home game against the Waterloo Warriors.

Source: York Sports Info

Blues top Warriors
October 19, 2013 Blues top Warriors
Lancers best Carleton 44-14
September 14, 2013 Lancers best Carleton 44-14
Gryphons soar over Blues
September 14, 2013 Gryphons soar over Blues
Gee-Gees get past Blues
September 7, 2013 Gee-Gees get past Blues
OUA By The Numbers
August 28, 2013 OUA By The Numbers