The University of Toronto Varsity Blues football team dropped a 37-18 decision to the Queen's Gaels on Saturday, September 26 at Varsity Centre.
With the loss, the Blues drop to 1-3 and sit tied for seventh, while the Gaels improve to 3-2 and are tied for third in the OUA standings.
Second-year running back Divante Smith rushed 19 times for 127 yards, while fifth-year Blues quarterback Simon Nassar was 11-of-29 for 109 yards.
Third-year receiver and McGill Redmen transfer Dallon Kuprowski rushed eight times for 72 yards and one touchdown, while also making four receptions for 45 yards on the day. Running back Alex Malone also had a strong second half, ending the game with 10 rushes for 82 yards.
Rookie linebacker Matt Renaud led Toronto's defence with seven tackles and 0.5 sacks, while veteran defensive back John Connors had 6.5 tackles. Adrian Bernard and Marcus Grandison each racked up six tackles in the loss.
Leading 1-0 early in the second quarter, Gaels quarterback Nate Hobbs connected a six-yard pass with Peter Hannon to give the visiting squad an 8-0 lead.
On the Gaels next drive, a 52-yard reception from Curtis Carmichael brought Queen's to Toronto's 1-yard line; however, the Blues defence came up with a big stop forcing a Hobbs fumble and Marcus Grandison was there to recover it.
Queen's did add to their lead right before halftime though, as Hobbs connected a 54-yard pass with Doug Corby for the major. The Gaels led 15-0 at the midway point of the game.
The Blues got on the board on their first drive of the second half. A one-yard Marcus Hobbs rushing touchdown capped off a 10-play, 65-yard drive and a U of T single made it 15-8 for Queen's midway through the second quarter.
The Gaels restored their lead with a three-yard Justin Gleben rushing touchdown and held a 22-8 heading into the final frame.
U of T brought the game back within reach early in the fourth quarter as Kuprowski scored on a five-yard rush to bring the Blues back within seven (22-15). First-year kicker Anthony Iafrate made good on a 14-yard field goal attempt and Queen's held a four-point lead with 6:02 to go in the game.
The Gaels marched down the field on the ensuing drive and capped off the 75-yard drive with a Nate Hobbs one-yard rushing touchdown. Queen's took the lead for good on the next drive as U of T fumbled the ball and defensive lineman Natu Myers recovered it in the end zone for the major.
Nate Hobbs ended the game 22-of-33 for 401 yards and two majors, while Jesse Andrews rushed 26 times for 155 yards. Corby had five catches for 143 yards and one TD, while Carmichael had seven receptions for 106 yards.
Second-year defensive back Jason Shamatutu led all players with 8.5 tackles and one forced fumble in the victory.
The Varsity Blues are back in action next Friday, October 2 as they travel to take on the York Lions in the 46th annual Red & Blue Bowl at York Stadium. Kick off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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Source: Toronto Varsity Blues