The University of Toronto Varsity Blues football team lost to the number eight nationally-ranked McMaster Marauders on Monday, September 5. The final score was 32-5 at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, ON.

The Labour Day meeting was the 50th time these two teams have matched up against one another. The Marauders hold the edge with a 28-21-1 record, dating back to 1945.

Marcus Hobbs, the fifth-year quarterback from Mississauga, was 22-of-38 for 288 yards. Rahul Madan caught many of Hobbs’ passes, amassing 12 receptions for 154 yards, awarding him Varsity Blues Male Athlete of the Week.

Third-year UTM student and Blues defensive back, Dennis Idowu, tallied seven tackles. The entire defensive squad played an exceptionally sound game—the gap in the final score does not showcase the vast improvements they have made from previous years. Typically, against nationally-ranked opponents, the Blues would give up more than 50 points a game. However, they are taking the small steps necessary to play against high-calibre offenses.

Turnovers were the Achilles heel for the Blues, who committed three within the first 30 minutes.

The Marauders had possession of the ball much more often than the Blues. In doing so, they scored a touchdown, kicked four field goals, and conceded a safety to take a 19-2 halftime lead.

The Marauders took advantage early in the second half, creating momentum for themselves when they blocked Ryan Grandell’s field goal attempt and ran the ball 70 yards down the field, making the score 26-2. The Blues gathered some strength in the fourth quarter when Grandell kicked a 32-yard field goal.

On Saturday, September 10, the Blues lost a second time to the number six nationally-ranked Carleton Ravens at Varsity Stadium.

Fourth-year UTM student and Blues defensive back Nick Hallett led the all-Blues defenders with eight tackles. Third-year linebacker Michael Leslie came a close second by helping his team with six tackles.

Third-year running back Alex Malone had a good day on the field, running 16 times for a total of 116 yards on the ground.

The Carleton Ravens have come a long way in the past four years. The Blues beat Carleton in their inaugural season by double digits the last time the Ravens came to Toronto. Fast forward four years, and the Ravens are one of the best teams in the country.

Fourth-year all-Canadian wide receiver Nathaniel Behar accounted for 18 of Carleton’s points, catching eight balls for a total of 129 yards and three touchdowns.

Watch the 47th annual Red and Blue Bowl when the Blues take on the York Lions on Saturday at Varsity Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.