If there was any doubt about who the team to beat in the TVRA Varsity Football Division was Thursday morning, there wasn’t by the afternoon.
The Glendale HS Gemini and the Central Elgin Collegiate Institute Titans met in a possible preview of the Varsity Bowl with the Gemini running roughshod over the Titans from the first series of the game.
Glendale, who won the Varsity Bowl last season and haven’t surrendered any points in three games this year, defeated the Titans 58-0 Thursday afternoon at TD Waterhouse Stadium at Western University.
“Our guys played really well. It’s the best they’ve played since we’ve been coaching them. They were on today,” Gemini head coach Lee Janzen said. “Our line blocked well today and created a lot of gaps.”
The Gemini went up early - 15-0 in the first four minutes - and left no uncertainty about who was going to come away with the win after going up 22-0 after the first quarter. Running back Kyle Sinden had three of those touchdowns - two running and one receiving - while full back Oscar Reddecop had the other.
By the end of the first half, Glendale led 49-0 with three touchdowns by tight end Malachi Morris and an end zone recover off a kickoff. With the majority of their starters out of the game to start the second, Glendale added nine more points.
Despite coming away with a decisive win, Janzen said when the two teams meet down the road, it’ll be a closer game.
“Central Elgin won the (Varsity Bowl) year before us (in 2012). It was 27-3 last year (when we played) and it was a tight game,” he said. “I think it’ll be close game when we play them again and we’re going to see them again. I guarantee it.”
Since leaving the junior-senior football ranks in 2012, the Gemini have been undefeated in 12 Varsity Division games. In that time, they’ve only allowed 51 points - all last season - and have racked up 366 points; the type of video game numbers that would make fans of the Madden series jealous.
With 59 players, the Gemini are set to remain in the Varsity Division for the foreseeable future, much to the disdain of the other seven teams. Although they’re at the top now, Janzen said as with any high school sport the ebb and flow can always change as players graduate.
“We don’t have the coaches and the numbers. There’s 59 guys here, but when you break it down to two teams, you’re down to 30-30,” he said. “We’ve committed to going varsity and we’re staying with the varsity model. It looks like most schools are going that way.
“Football goes in cycles. Right now we’re at the top, but I’ve been in the trough so we know it can switch in a year or two,” Janzen added.
With a record like the Gemini have, it can be easy to get ahead of themselves. But Janzen said the coaching has created an atmosphere of respect on the sidelines.
“They start getting ahead of themselves and we keep them grounded. We’re trying to create an atmosphere where we play hard, but respect our opponents. We’re not trying to bully teams,” he added. “We’re trying to play good ball and respect them. We had guys in Grade 10 that we’re developing that were able to play.”
The three blowouts to start the season have also let younger players get playing time and further develop their in-game skills.
“We’ve been working on our depth… We’ll start using younger guys that we haven’t used to teach them spots and get them into games to get them opportunities,” Janzen said. “It’s a really good group of guys who get it. They understand that after a quarter or two they might have to give up their spot, but they help coach them and help them get better.”