The Toronto Varsity Blues football team made history this past weekend. They did something that no other Varsity Blues football team has done since September 29th, 1997, they have ended their long drought and are now nationally ranked in the U Sports Men’s Football National Rankings.
The Blues started off their season on the road in Waterloo, Ontario and played their season opener against the University of Waterloo Warriors. Toronto, down by two possessions with a minute left, pushed one last time to try and bring the score closer and possibly tie up the game. This resulted in a 37-yard touchdown pass from fourth-year quarterback Clay Sequeira, Ethan Shafer made the extra point. With the game now 33-30 with less than a minute, the Warriors ran out the clock and held off the boys from Toronto.
Following their loss, Toronto headed back for their home opener against the University of Windsor Lancers. The games started off slow for the 1872 fans in attendance with Toronto marching their way down the field for a 28 yard Ethan Shafer field goal, a drive that took 11 plays and 64 yards. Toronto’s defence is what really changed the game as they not only held Windsor to 26 points but also score a safety on the Lancer’s first drive of the game. The game ended with the Blues dismantling the Windsor team by 54-26 with Sequeira having a standout night throwing for 455 yards rushing for 108 yards and six touchdowns. This win was the first victory since September 9th, 2017 and Greg Marshall’s first win as head coach.
The Varsity Blues headed back to Waterloo, this time they squared off against Laurier University Golden Hawks. Toronto’s offence was invisible in the first quarter, as the by the start of the second the Golden Hawks led 17-0. The game quickly turned around as Sequeira in just three plays got the Blues on the board. The Toronto defence was instrumental in the comeback, Caleb Zigby intercepted a pass and ran it back 25 yards for a pick-six. With the first half finished, Waterloo held a slim lead of 25-24 and the game would come down to the wire. Inside the two minute mark and Toronto down by three, Clay Sequeira decided to take the game into his own hands and put a dagger in the hearts of the 3850 people in attendance with a 57-yard touchdown throw to Nolan Lovegrove.
With two wins and only one loss, the Toronto Varsity were catapulted into the National Rankings for the first time in 22 years. They may be only ranked 10th but with the Blues facing two schools with a losing record of 1-2 this week, in Queen’s University Gaels and Carleton University Ravens, maybe they can move even higher.