The University of Toronto Varsity Blues football team notched their first win of the season, defeating the York Lions 45-18 in the 47th annual Red & Blue Bowl on Saturday, September 17 at Varsity Stadium.
It marks the fourth straight year the Blues have claimed the Argo Cup, and eighth in the last nine years. Toronto now holds a 30-17 head-to-head record over York since their first meeting in 1970.
Fifth-year quarterback Marcus Hobbs went 7-for-12 for 210 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing 11 times for 74 yards and three majors in the victory.
Two Blues running backs rushed for over 100 yards. Alex Malone rushed 29 times for 155 yards, with Kaleb Leach rushing 16 times for 112 yards and one major on the day.
Anthony Naccarato proved to be Hobbs' favourite target, making three receptions for 115 yards and one TD.
Foruth-year linebacker Brittley Mokube topped Toronto defensively with 7.5 tackles. Nick Hallett, Jaiden McBride and Matthew Renaud all had seven tackles in the win.
Hobbs opened the scoring late in the first quarter, capping off an 8-play, 41-yard drive with a five-yard rushing major. U of T held a 6-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Lions got on the board midway through the second quarter as Nick Naylor kicked a 26-yard field goal. The Blues responded though as Hobbs hit Naccarato with a 42-yard strike to set up a 34-yard field goal from Blues kicker Ethan Shafer.
York marched down the field towards the end of the half but the Blues came up with some big stops and the Lions would settle for a 12-yard field goal. The Blues ended the first half on a big high as Hobbs connected a 76-yard strike with veteran receiver Rahul Madan for the touchdown.
Toronto was up 17-6 at halftime.
Naylor opened the second half with a 30 yard field goal for the Lions. The rain started to play a factor but the Blues powered through and Hobbs punched in another five-yard rushing TD to put the Blues up 24-9.
The Lions rallied though and Brett Hunchak found his brother, Colton, in the end zone for the 18-yard touchdown reception to cut the deficit to nine (24-15) at the end of the third quarter.
Naylor added his fourth field goal of the game early in the fourth quarter, this time from 31 yards out, but it was all Toronto from there. Kaleb Leach ended a seven-play, 75-yard drive with a three-yard rushing major. Six minutes later, Naccarato came up with a beautiful 65-yard touchdown reception and Hobbs capped off the game with a two-yard rushing TD.
Second-year quarterback Brett Hunchak ended the game 25-of-39 for 315 yards and one TD. Rookie running back Kayden Johnson set and Red & Blue Bowl record with 32 carries, racking up 207 rushing yards.
D'Saun Greenaway led the Lions with five receptions for 82 yards, while Colton Hunchak had seven catches for 67 yards and one major. Fifth-year Lions linebacker Micahel Runowski led all players with 10.5 tackles in the loss.
The Varsity Blues return to action next Saturday, September 24 when they travel to Kingston, Ont., to take on the Queen's Gaels at the revitalized Richardson Stadium. Kick off is set for 1 p.m.
Source: Toronto Varsity Blues