Huskies Shut-Out Alberta in CIS Football Opener

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By Zach Rogers

Saskatoon, SK (ISN) – The No. 8 ranked University of Saskatchewan Huskies shutout the visiting University of Alberta Golden Bears 32-0 Friday night at Griffiths Stadium in Saskatoon’s PotashCorp Park.

Saskatchewan’s defense proved to be too much for Alberta as the Huskies limited the Golden Bears to just 235 total yards. Rookie cornerback Travoy Martinez led the defensive corps recording six tackles and two interceptions.

Martinez changed the momentum of the second half with his first interception of the game. Alberta threatened to score after a Brent Krawchuck interception giving the Bears the ball on the Huskies 21-yard line. Martinez shadowed his receiver to the corner of the end zone and won the jump ball giving the Huskies the ball back with 8:19 left in the fourth quarter.

That was the closest the Bears would come to scoring.

The win marked the 10th straight season that the Huskies opened their regular season with a win. It was also the Huskies first shutout since a 25-0 win over the Calgary Dinos in 2008. Saskatchewan improves to 14-3 in conference play against theGolden Bears in the last 10 season.

“I knew were going to be more intense and we were going to play with more emotion,” said Huskie head coach Brian Towriss. “We had a pretty good first half. I wasn’t terribly thrilled with our second half performance on offence.”

The Huskies scored on their opening two possessions in the first half. Rookie pivot Drew Burko led a balanced 49-yard opening drive capped by a Cole Samson 24-yard field goal. With their second possession tailback Jeremy Andrew broke a 22-yard run to start the drive before capping it off with an eight-yard touchdown run.

Alberta quarterback Curtis Dell completed 16-of-33 attempts for 147 yards and three interceptions in the losing effort. Dell spread theball around with five different Bears’ receivers tallying 20 or more receiving yards. Backup pivot Ryan Schwartz went 5-for-6 good for 31 yards.

Tailback Joel Mukendi was the leading rusher for the Bears registering just 16 yards on 12 carries. Kicker Stephen Fabian led the Golden Bears rushing for 26 yards on two attempts. Fabian’s longest run came when he fumbled the snap in the end zone and took off for 37 yards to avoid the safety.

Burko threw for 187 yards going 13-of-24 with one touchdown and two interceptions in his first career CIS regular season game. Backup Chase Bradshaw entered the game in the fourth quarter passing for 43 yards and completed 4-of-7 attempts.

Defensively, Connor Ralph and Tyler Greenslade led the Bears with six tackles a piece. Middle linebacker Dane Bishop, and defensive end Zach Hart also had strong performances finishing with six and 5.5 tackles respectively.

Saskatchewan travels to Winnipeg to meet theUniversity of Manitoba Bisons next weekend, while the Golden Bears remain on the road to face the No. 3 ranked University of Calgary Dinos.

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