Warriors foil Varsity Blues last home stand

The Waterloo Warriors ruined homecoming weekend for the University of Toronto Varsity Blues by winning 30-7 on Saturday afternoon.

Fourth-year pivot Evan Martin led the Warriors (2-5) offence on the day, going 21-29 for 348 yards and three touchdowns.

Toronto’s Jansen Shrubb countered with 103 yards and a touchdown on 5-of-14 passing. Andrew Gillis and Jordan Scheltgen also saw action in the pocket late, but threw for a mere 22 yards combined.

Despite giving up 30 points, Blues second-year head coach Greg DeLaval thought it was the offensive struggles throughout that let the team down.

“Overall, I think we just missed the open receivers,” he said. “We didn’t throw the ball very well at all today.

“We had some guys who were open, and if we throw it to them some of them dropped it.”

Knowing the Warriors were coming in with something to prove after dropping the season opener to Toronto last year 18-17, DeLaval gave modest credit to today’s victors.

“I think that their guys came to play emotionally,” he said. “We expected that because of last year, but in terms of schemes they showed us what we expected.”

All Warriors in third quarter

The game ended much like it began, as both teams battled hard for field position.

With the game somewhat out of reach heading into the final frame, DeLaval opted to give quarterback Andrew Gillis some time in the pocket.

The Markham, ON, product had been missing from the last two games with lingering concussion symptoms.

Waterloo could have made it a 33-7 final, but a late close-range field goal attempt was booted just wide.

Leading 18-7 to open the second half, the Warriors picked up a 28-yard touchdown toss by Martin to Sean Cowie at 11:35.

Pinned deep in their own end, Toronto (1-6) was forced into a safety at 5:59 of the third quarter to make it a 20-point ball game in favour of their opponents.

Third-year kicker Dave Sevigny added a 23-yard field at 3:59 of the period to bump it up to 30-7.

Back-and-forth opening half

After the change of field positioning in between opening periods, the Blues wasted no time tying the game 7-7 as Shrubb found sophomore fullback Jonathan Wright all alone in the far left of the Bloor Street end zone.

At 11:10 of the second quarter, the Blues ceded a lone point when their special teams were taken down in the end zone following a bouncing Warriors punt.

Toronto’s offence looked as if they were going to quickly make up for the blunder on their next drive, but came up just short on a third and one call and gave the ball up back to Waterloo inside the five yard line.

The Warriors made it 15-7 at 5:19 after freshman Matt Socholotiuk caught and ran 41 yards into the house after the Warriors had picked up 23 yards in the air on a scramble play by Martin.

At 2:27, Waterloo’s Sevigny added a 25-yard field goal to solidify an 11-point lead going into the locker room at halftime.

The first quarter saw the ball stay primarily in the Blues half of the field, as the Warriors threatened on several red zone appearances.

With under three to go in the quarter, a sack by Toronto’s defence made it second and 19 for the Warriors, sending the visitors back once again.

On the next play, Martin shoveled a play action hand-off to Socholotiuk, who rushed into the end zone untouched for his first major of the afternoon.

NOTES: Waterloo racked up an impressive 329 yards of total offence in the first half on 41 plays. They finished with 515 total … The Blues will end their season with a road game against the University of Western Mustangs on Oct. 24 at 1 p.m. ET.