University of Calgary quarterback Andrew Buckley surpassed the 400-yard plateau for the fourth straight game to lead the No. 1 ranked Dinos to a 44-15 win over the University of Saskatchewan Huskies Friday night at Griffiths Stadium.
The fifth-year pivot finished the night 26-of-34 for 427 yards and four touchdowns. Buckley did it with his legs too on Friday night, rushing for 50 yards and a touchdown on seven carries.
Calgary improves to 6-0 and clinches first place in Canada West with two games remaining, while the Huskies drop to 2-4 with the loss. Calgary will now have home field advantage throughout the conference playoffs, beginning with a conference semi-final Saturday, Nov. 7 at McMahon Stadium.
Much like in their last meeting, Saskatchewan was able to keep pace with the Dinos in the early going. After falling behind early, Saskatchewan would answer with a score of their own and trailed 14-7 after the opening 15 minutes.
Calgary scored a pair of touchdowns in the third, taking advantage of a Huskie special teams miscue on the latter to jump out to the three score lead. The Huskies looked poised to cut into the deficit before half, but a late second quarter interception halted the scoring chance.
The proficient Calgary offense would pull away in the third with another two touchdowns while the Dinos defense held Huskie quarterback Drew Burko and the Saskatchewan offense in check.
Burko completed 13-of-23 passes for 193 yards and a touchdown on the night. In the process the fourth-year signal caller moved into first all-time on the Huskies pass completion list. Kyle Siemens came into the game and completed 8-of-15 passes for 125 yards and a major.
On the ground Tyler Chow led the Huskies with 42 yards on eight carries, while Calgary's Mercer Timmis rushed for 53 yards and a major on 13 attempts in his first game back from injury.
Saskatchewan hosts UBC next Friday night at 7 p.m. in Saskatoon. Calgary will also be at home next week, hosting the Regina Rams at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
(University of Calgary)
A late Ryan Jones field goal was the difference on Saturday afternoon as the University of Manitoba took a 49-46 win in a wild Canada West game at Mosaic Stadium.
No. 8-ranked Manitoba trailed by 15 points at one point in the third quarter after a Rams touchdown made it 37-22, but the Bisons scored on five of their next six possessions to regain the lead. The key Jones field goal - his fourth of the game - was from 41 yards out, breaking a deadlock with just 1:32 left in the game.
Bisons quarterback Theo Deezar completed 29 of his 39 pass attempts, including one to himself in the second quarter after a deflection. Jesse Walker had eight catches for 105 yards including a 28-yard touchdown in the fourth, and also added a 37-yard run for a major early in the game.
Alex Christie finished with 13 rushes for 93 yards for Manitoba, which improves its Canada West record to 4-2 with the win.
The Rams (0-6) had three huge individual performances that were overshadowed by the loss, including Mitch Thompson (pictured) catching 11 passes for 204 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Atlee Simon tied the school single-game record for the third time in his career with three rushing touchdowns, and finished with 29 rushes for a total of 198 yards. And Noah Picton completed 28 of his 37 passes, with his completion rate of 75.7% only surpassed three times in U of R history. Picton finished with 381 yards and three touchdown passes.
The Rams got on the board on the first play of the game with a 74-yard rouge by Daniel Scraper on the opening kickoff, and less than four minutes later Simon scored his first of the game on a 27-yard run which capped a quick four-play, 80-yard drive which included a 41-yard pass to Thompson.
But Manitoba replied with the longest drive of the game for either team, going 90 yards over the course of 12 plays while taking 5:20 off the game clock. That drive was finished off by a short pass to Dustin Pedersen from Deezar, and the Bisons struck again just 31 seconds later on a 37-yard run by Walker following an onside kick which was recovered by Jayden McKoy.
That gave Manitoba the lead, but the Rams then reeled off 22 unanswered points. Riley Wilson scored a major for the Rams after scooping up a loose ball in the end zone following a fumble by Thompson. Thompson then caught his first touchdown pass four minutes later, and the Rams took their biggest lead of the game five minutes into the second when Simon's 16-yard run finished off a nine-play, 80-yard drive and put the U of R up 30-14.
Manitoba added eight points before halftime on a safety and two Jones field goals, making the score 30-22 for the Rams at the break. Thompson caught a 33-yard touchdown on a third-down gamble five minutes into the third to put the Rams back up by 15, but Manitoba kicked its offence into gear from there.
The Bisons responded immediately with a touchdown reception by Trysten Dyce, then added another on a short Deezar pass to Matt Hallock. Jones hit a 21-yard field goal two minutes into the fourth to put the Bisons in the lead for the first time since the first, only to have the Rams reply with a seven-play, 75-yard drive that Simon finished off from 18 yards out.
The Rams were good on the two-point conversion to go up 46-39, but those turned out to be the final points of the game for the home side. Manitoba took advantage of short fields on both of their last two drives, starting from their own 52 on a drive which finished with a Deezar pass to Walker, and starting from their 51 on the drive that eventually resulted in the game-winning field goal by Jones.
Regina had one final chance to reply, but an incomplete pass and a fumbled snap forced the Rams into a third-and-long situation. Picton tried to find Thompson streaking up the right sideline, but the pass fell incomplete to seal the win for Manitoba.
Manitoba is at home next weekend against Alberta, while the Rams will prepare for a road contest against Canada West-leading Calgary.
(University of Regina)
In their most dominant showing of the season, the No. 9-ranked UBC Thunderbirds (4-2) overwhelmed the Alberta Golden Bears (2-4) in all facets of the game, winning by a final score of 54-10. With the result, the T-Birds officially locked up their spot in the Canada West playoffs, as, with just two games left on the schedule, they can finish no lower than fourth in the league standings.
Even after such a one-sided win from his squad, UBC head coach Blake Nill is always looking to take it one step further.
"We played well for large parts of the game, but there's still a lot of room for improvement, and the kids know that," remarked the coach. "But, the big thing is that we're winning games that we should win, and that's all you can really ask for.
It was the Brandon Deschamps (Prince George, B.C.) show on offence, as the fifth-year tailback racked up 176 yards and a career-high three touchdowns on 16 carries in just three quarters of work. Quarterback MIchael O'Connor (Orleans, Ont.) had a solid outing, completing 14 of 22 passes for 214 yards and a score. O'Connor also spread the ball effectively, with tailback Marcus Davis (Victoria, B.C.) (five catches for 63 yards), and receivers Alex Morrison (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) (two catches for 49 yards) and WIll Watson (Surrey, B.C.) (two catches for 49 yards) the primary beneficiaries.
After the contest, Nill addressed the prospect of a longer campaign, as his squad locked down a spot in the post-season.
"We know that we're now playing an extra week, we've gotta do a lot as coaches - we've got to manage our players, and players have to manage themselves," said Nill. We've got to try and stay healthy and get ready for when the games really count."
UBC will travel to Saskatoon, Sask., for a contest at Saskatchewan on Friday, while Alberta will play at Manitoba on Friday.