Gaels grind out win

Football team barely wins in Toronto

The football team overcame injuries, rain and a poor performance to win 13-6 against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues in Toronto on Friday night.
The football team overcame injuries, rain and a poor performance to win 13-6 against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues in Toronto on Friday night.
Photo: 

TORONTO — The football team escaped Toronto with a narrow 13-6 win over the University of Toronto Varsity Blues on Friday.

The Gaels fumbled twice and punted 13 times during the rainy encounter at Toronto’s outdoor Varsity Stadium.

“A win is a win,” quarterback Billy McPhee said. “Did we play great? No, but we played good enough … to get a victory.”

Wide receiver Boris Isakov scored the Gaels’ only touchdown off a blocked Varsity Blues punt halfway through the third quarter.

Kicker Dan Village was good for two field goals, making him the Gaels’ all-time leader in career field goals with 48.

“[It’s] awesome. Something to look back at after the season though,” Village said.

With 1:43 left in the fourth quarter, the Varsity Blues tried to score a touchdown on third down from the Gaels’ three-yard line. But Varsity Blues quarterback Andrew Gillis fumbled a snap to end the drive.

The Gaels were outplayed Friday night, but their stingy defence and Isakov’s lucky touchdown allowed them to get away with a win.

With starting back Ryan Granberg out with a knee injury, the Gaels’ offence struggled. The running game tallied 120 yards on 31 carries and quarterback Billy McPhee connected on seven out of 21 pass attempts for 91 yards.

“It wasn’t anybody’s best outing,” head coach Pat Sheahan said. “Just enough to win.”

The Gaels’ defence was also hampered with injuries as defensive linemen Johnny Miniaci and Osie Ukwuoma and linebacker Stephen Laporte all left the field during the game.

“Just about everything that could go wrong did,” Sheahan said. “[But] it was a great character win for the team. Adversity reveals character and the guys hung together. If we can get a bit more precision, we’ll be fine.”

The Gaels improve to 3-2 on the season, moving into a tie for fourth in the OUA. The team travels to play the 4-1 Windsor Lancers next weekend. If they win, the Gaels can move to second and secure a bye week in the playoffs.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.