The York Lions have put the University of Toronto Varsity Blues on the brink of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) history.
The Blues’ losing streak was extended to 46 games – just one shy of York’s CIS record of 47 (1988-1995) – after the Lions (1-4) came from behind to beat U of T, 21-20, in the 38th annual Red and Blue Bowl Saturday on Sunday at York Stadium.
Right: Lions celebrate their first win of the year
Lions rookie kicker Stephen Grochot’s 36-yard field goal with 40 seconds left put York up 21-20. On the final play of the game, the Blues’ 49-yard field goal attempt came up short, ending a wild contest and giving the Argo Cup to the Lions.
“The nerves were going, but everyone was just trying to calm me down on the sidelines,” Grochot, a Hamilton native, said after York won its 13th consecutive victory over its Toronto rival. “I was just doing my thing.”
The Blues (0-5) could tie the national losing-streak record this Friday, when they play host to the Windsor Lancers. The record-breaker could come, Oct. 13, on the road against the Western Mustangs.
Trailing 17-10 early in the fourth quarter after a blocked a punt resulted in a touchdown for U of T, York responded with a single and their own blocked punt by Jared Corbin, putting the ball at the Blues’ one-yard line. Donovan Service punched it in to put York ahead, 18-17.
The Blues regained the lead on a 20-yard field goal with just over six minutes left, but Jerome Walker’s 49-yard punt return put the Lions in good field position and set the stage for Grochot’s heroics.
“It’s” huge,” Walker said. “With the streak thing, we know if they lose two more games, they break the streak for us.”
York interim head coach Andy McEvoy recorded his first win with the Lions. The victory also snapped a seven-game losing streak for York.
The Lions return to action this Saturday at 1pm, when they play host to Western.
Submitted to YFile by Mike Koreen, sport & recreation information officer in York’s School of Kinesiology & Health Science, Faculty of Health.