A one-sided victory often gives players the chance to set some personal best performances.
Guelph native Jakub Tomas, a receiver-turned-quarterback-turned-receiver scored his first two touchdowns in Ontario university football play Saturday at Alumni Stadium as the Guelph Gryphons destroyed the York Lions 88-7 in their Homecoming Game.
“It feels great,” Tomas said of the touchdown catches. “That last one there was from our third-string quarterback. He's been working hard all season so I was happy to get that one for him.”
Tomas caught five passes for 90 yards, including a three-yard touchdown toss from third-string quarterback Troy Hawkins.
Tomas was a receiver in his minor football days, but became a quarterback for the St. James Lions during his time in District 10 high school football.
“I always played receiver, but they needed me at quarterback in high school and honestly, that translated from high school to university,” Tomas said. “I'm able to see the defence in a different way.”
Now he’s back at the receiver position, but draws on his experience as a quarterback to help his play.
“It was huge,” Tomas said. “I'm able to see the defence and understand where the quarterback would want me to be.”
After catching four passes for 46 yards in the two games he played last year. This year he’s hauled down 13 passes for 168 yards and the two touchdowns.
With 14 former D10 players on the roster, there’s plenty of D10 talk in the locker room.
“All the time,” Tomas said. “I'm always chirping at them and they're chirping back at me. It's all love. It's awesome.”
At 5-foot-9, mathematical economics student Tomas is one of the shorter receivers in the league and he uses that as inspiration.
“I love that chip on my shoulder,” Tomas said. “It makes me just want to work hard every day and prove that I don't need to be tall to play good.”
The Gryphons had 728 yards of total offence in the game, more than 500 more than York. The hosts also had 33 first downs while York had 12.
The Gryphons led 35-0 at the end of the first quarter, 59-7 at halftime and 81-7 after the third quarter. They added a single touchdown in a fourth quarter that used straight time rather than having the clock stop on whistles.
Tomas was one of four Gryphons to score a pair of touchdowns in the game. The others were Vyshonne Janusas, Kaine Stevenson and Donavin Milloy. Anakin Guthrie, Willem Arseneau and Marshall McCray each had one touchdown while Gabe Canabrava had a 36-yard field goal, a rouge and nine converts while Nick Guardiero kicked one convert.
The 88 points were the most the Gryphons scored in a single game in their history, topping the 81 they scored against the Windsor Lancers at home Sept. 9, 2017.
Quarterback Tristan Aboud completed all 16 passes he attempted Saturday while McCray completed four of nine and Hawkins completed all three passes he attempted.
Tomas was one of 11 receivers to catch at least one pass in the game. Stevenson also caught five passes to tie Tomas for the game high.
Milloy had eight rushes for 188 yards while four others were credited with carries.
Jevaun Jacobsen had 6.5 tackles while Brandon Ferigo had six.
The Gryphons also recorded two sacks and had two interceptions.
“This team is special, we just knew it from the beginning of the season,” Tomas said. “We had some growing pains throughout the season, but now I feel like the team has really come together. Last week (a win over McMaster) and this week, I think we're going to be able to build on this and going into Waterloo next weekend feeling good.”
The win leaves the Gryphons at 3-2. That’s an improvement over the 1-7 record the Gryphons had last year when they failed to qualify for the playoffs.
“It was tough, but sometimes you need something bad like that to happen for us to come together,” Tomas said. “There's two things that could happen with a bad season like that. We could fall apart or we could come together and be stronger. We came together and are stronger than ever.”
The Gryphons are to play the Waterloo Warriors at Waterloo’s Warrior Field Saturday at 1 p.m. The Warriors had a bye this week and are 1-3 on the season.