Friday, September 8, 2017

Canada West Football--Week 2

The CW Football Showcase rolls into Calgary and Saskatoon this Friday as a pair of home teams take aim at improving their records to 2-0.

In Calgary, the Dinos (1-0) head into Week 2 coming off another dominant performance against their provincial rivals the Alberta Golden Bears.

Sparked by Adam Sinagra's 426 passing yards, the Dinos cruised to a 55-26 opening week win. While head coach Wayne Harris' team had their way offensively Week 1, the task gets tougher this Friday, as the Regina Rams (1-0) head to McMahon Stadium for an early season preview of two team's with their eyes on the 81st Hardy Cup.

The atmosphere should be one of the best of the season, as the contest is Calgary's annual KICKOFF game. More than 7,500 fans attended a year ago, with another big crowd – largely fueled by thousands of first-year students – expected.

Regina heads out on the road after a steady 36-20 win over UBC Week 1. The Rams and Dinos matchup should provide no shortage of offensive fireworks, as the pair feature two of the nation's top passers in Sinagra and reigning Hec Crighton winner Noah Picton.

The Regina native tossed 335 yards Week 1, but also had a pair of uncharacteristic interceptions, as he looks to eliminate any turnovers against a Calgary defence that generated one interception a week ago.

In Saskatoon, the Huskies (1-0) are set to entertain the Bears (0-1) in the other CW Football Showcase game, which like the Regina-Calgary game can be seen on SaskTel maxTV in Saskatchewan, TELUS Optik TV in Alberta and BC, along with Bell MTS Ultimate TV in Manitoba. Both televised games can also be seen on Canada West TV.

Saskatchewan will have a boisterous crowd of their own, as it's homecoming week at the U of S.
First-year head coach Scott Flory makes his home debut at Griffiths Stadium, as the Huskies look to get off to a quick start with a second consecutive win over a team that missed the CW playoffs a year ago.

In the third and final game of the week, the Manitoba Bisons (0-1) fly across the conference to take on the UBC Thunderbirds (0-1), as both teams take aim at evening their record at 1-1.

The game, which will be available exclusively on Canada West TV, goes Saturday afternoon at UBC's Thunderbird Stadium and could go a long way in determining which team has the inside track at a playoff spot.

Over the last five CW seasons, only the 2015 Saskatchewan Huskies started the season 0-2 before going on to make the conference playoffs.

After the lowest offensive output of his career, UBC QB Michael O'Connor takes aim at a bounce back against a Manitoba team he has never lost to. O'Connor is 3-0 against the Herd over the last two regular seasons, to go along with a 2015 Hardy Cup semifinal win.

Click here for the PDF version of the CW FB weekly notes.

Regina Rams vs. Calgary Dinos

Friday, September 8
5:30 p.m. MDT (620 CKRM)
McMahon Stadium - Calgary, Alta.
SaskTel maxTV Live Local Channels 49 /349 HD
TELUS Channels 998 HD /9998
BellMTS 1802 HD
Canada West TV
Week 1 showed no signs of a slump for sophomore head coach Steve Bryce. The second-year coach ran his CW record to 7-3 with his team's win over UBC. The Rams also improved to 2-0 at the new Mosaic Stadium in Regina after last year's Oct. 1 win vs. Sask.
Get used to the cousin connection of QB Noah Picton to REC Mitchell Picton. The pair connected six times Week 1 for 120 yards. The game marked the third time in the last four regular season games the duo accounted for 100 or more yards.
QB Adam Sinagra tossed 426 yards Week 1 against Alberta, marking the first 400-yard passing game for a Calgary QB since Oct. 31, 2015 when Andrew Buckley tossed 463 against the Bears. His backup, Jimmy Underdahl, added 217 in the Dinos 64-28 win.
A big crowd is expected Friday in the Stampede City, as the Dinos host their annual KICKOFF game. 7,512 fans took in
Calgary's 35-8 win over UBC a year ago. It was the largest crowd of the century for a Dinos game.


Alberta Golden Bears vs. Saskatchewan Huskies

Friday, September 8
7:00 p.m. CST
Griffiths Stadium - Saskatoon, Sask.
SaskTel maxTV Live Local Channels 48 /348 HD
TELUS Channels 997 HD /9997
Canada West TV
Last week, Alberta receiver Nathan Rowe became the 2nd player in CW history to haul in a 109-yard reception for a TD. Rowe joined former Regina Ram and current Seattle Seahawk Jon Ryan in the record book. Ryan recorded his 109-yarder vs. Saskatchewan in 2001.
Alberta had four receivers make catches Week 1 – that was the lowest total for any CW squad. Of Alberta's 16 total receptions, 13 of them were made by Rowe and Tylor Henry combined. Comparatively, Calgary had receptions from nine players.
It's homecoming week in Saskatoon, as the Huskies begin their 2017 home schedule. The Huskies went a combined 3-5 over the last two seasons at Griffiths Stadium, but have only lost to Alberta once at home since 2009.
Mitch Hillis looked like the receiver of old Week 1 for the Huskies. After missing much of 2016, the veteran racked up 120 yards in Saskatchewan's opening win. The Roughriders draft pick hauled in a 16-yard TD pass in the 2nd quarter.

Manitoba Bisons vs. UBC Thunderbirds

Saturday, September 9
1:00 p.m. PDT
Thunderbird Stadium - Vancouver, B.C.

Canada West TV
Jamel Lyles, the 2015 CW Rookie of the Year, returned to the conference Week 1 after a year of junior football. The RB and return man didn't disappoint, racking up 218 all-purpose yards, including 121 on kick returns.
Bisons kicker Brad Mikoluff picked where he left from a year ago, by going 3-for-3 on field goals Week 1. Mikoluff is now 17-for-20 at the CW level. Among Mikoluff's three FGs Week 1 was a career long 46-yarder.
The T-Birds struggled in their opener with 210 penalty yards. That total was the highest single-game mark by UBC in a CW regular season contest since head coach Blake Nill took over the program prior to the 2015 season.
Since Nill took over at UBC, the T-Birds are 4-0 against Manitoba. In their lone meeting of 2016, the two teams played in one of four CW overtime games, as UBC emerged with a 53-50 win Week 4 in quadruple overtime.

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