It’s down to the final home games of the season for the winless York University Lions and the University of Toronto Varsity Blues.
This Saturday, the Lions will host the visiting Ottawa Gee-Gee’s while the Blues will defend home turf against the University of Western Ontario Mustangs.
Ottawa Gee-Gee’s at York Lions
After dropping their last game 64-4 to the No. 5 ranked University of Western Ontario Mustangs in London, the York Lions (0-6) are now riding an embarrassing 17-game losing streak that dates back to 2007.
The visiting Ottawa Gee-Gee’s (4-2) will be a tough challenge for York, as their opponents have only lost to No. 4-ranked Queen’s and No. 5 Western this year and will enter Saturday’s contest riding a three-game winning streak.
Leading the offensive charge for the Lions will be sophomore quarterback Nick Contu. Last time out against the stingy Mustangs defence, the St. Catharines product threw just seven completions on 20 attempts for a measly 107 yards while being picked off twice.
Contu currently ranks 10th in the OUA in passing figures with 557 yards (32-95), four touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
York head coach Mike McLean will hope his offensive unit can come together against the Gee-Gee’s, who are led by running back Jacob Appiah (284 total yards on 80 carries) and receiver Johnny Peyton (322 yards on 16 catches, three TDs in five games).
The Lions will have to be at their collective best, however, as the Gee-Gee’s are fifth in the OUA in total defence, giving up just 380 yards per game (158 rushing, 222 passing).
On the defensive side of the ball, York is allowing an OUA-worst 536.5 yards per game.
The lone bright spot is the play of Steven Reading, who ranks second in the OUA with 44 tackles (38 solo) in five games played.
Ottawa, meanwhile, is 3-0 on the road this year and ranks second overall in OUA total offence, racking up 511 yards per game.
Bradley Sinopoli, the Gee-Gee’s starting pivot, is currently third in OUA passing to complement 382 individual rushing yards.
Ottawa’s top receiver is Cyril Adjeitey, who has seven majors and 567 yards on 32 completions thus far this year, while Jordan Wilson-Ross is their go-to man on the ground with 557 yards on 69 carries and three touchdowns in five games.
Toronto Varsity Blues vs. Waterloo Warriors
The Varsity Blues (1-5) will hope to end their three-game losing streak at home when the Waterloo Warriors (1-5) roll into Varsity Stadium on Saturday.
In last week’s matchup, Toronto lost 21-3 in Hamilton against a strong McMaster squad. Starting Varsity Blues quarterback Jansen Shrubb went 20-47 for 250 yards in the game, and is currently ranked fifth in OUA passing with 1096 yards.
Despite holding the same record, Toronto’s head coach Greg DeLaval realizes that Waterloo will be fired up to avenge last season’s opening game loss to the Varsity Blues.
“They can move the football,” he said. “They’ve got a great coaching staff, most of which have CFL coaching experience, so we’re expecting a real tough game.”
Drew Meerveld leads all Toronto receivers with 457 yards this season, and is closely followed by Jonathan Wright (405 yards on 21 catches, four TDs).
The Varsity Blues are 0-3 on the year at Varsity Stadium, with their lone win coming on the road against York back on Oct. 3 (45-27). Waterloo’s only victory came over Windsor at home on Sept. 26 (49-0).
The Warriors’ Luke Balch and Evan Martin are eighth and ninth respectively in OUA passing, combining for 1,434 yards through the air. On the ground, Matt Socholotiuk has ran for 303 yards and three majors on 64 carries this season.
On defence, Waterloo’s Mitch Nicholson leads the OUA with 52.5 tackles (43 solo) in 6 games played, while on the whole, the Warriors hold the slight edge on Toronto in total allowed yardage per game (449 versus 460).