September 30, 2012, CALGARY – The second-ranked Calgary Dinos football team continued their streak of dominance over the rest of Canada West, sending the No. 10 Saskatchewan Huskies packing with a 45-4 win Saturday night at McMahon Stadium.
The win improves Calgary to 5-0 on the season as the Thanksgiving Day bye approaches next week, while Saskatchewan drops to 2-3 on the season. The victory clinches a playoff spot for the Dinos for the sixth consecutive season.
After Saskatchewan took a 3-2 lead midway through the opening quarter on a 41-yard field goal by Denton Kolodzinski, the Dinos took over in all facets of the game and outscored the Huskies 42-1 in the final 52 minutes. Saskatchewan managed just one first down and 15 yards of total offence in the second half, with 123 yards of total offence overall.
“We prepared well this week, and we came out and executed well,” said Dinos head coach Blake Nill. “The second half I don’t think we executed as well as we could have offensively, and that’s something we’ll need to continue working on. We were inconsistent on offence all week in practice, and we need to be sure we’re sharp and finish our execution.
“Both sides sat out impact players today, and I think if this game had been played in a couple of weeks from now it would have been a very different type of game.”
The Dinos were without receiver Chris Dobko, while running back Steven Lumbala dressed but did not see the field. Saskatchewan, meanwhile, was missing starting quarterback Drew Burko, conference-leading receiver Kit Hillis, and linebacker Zach Hart from its lineup.
Richard Snyder had a monster game for the Dinos, hauling in eight passes for 238 yards and a touchdown. His score came 18 seconds into the second quarter, and it broke the game wide open: Eric Dzwilewski found him behind coverage for a 90-yard major, making it 19-3 Calgary. The pass-and-run play was the third-longest in school history as well as fifth 90-yarder in the record book, and it all added up to Snyder’s 238-yard performance – the fourth-best single game all-time for the Dinos.
“Richard’s in his last year, and he’s had big games against Saskatchewan before,” said Nill. “He was left open on some deep vertical routes, and he’s hard to bring down when he has the ball.”
On the first play of the Dinos’ next possession after the Snyder touchdown, Dzwilewski again went deep downfield, this time for rookie Brett Blaszko on a 75-yard touchdown strike to make it 27-4.
Despite moving the ball well from that point on, however, the Dinos couldn’t punch it in again as Johnny Mark kicked five consecutive field goals. Including his field goal in the first quarter, Mark tied another school record, going six-for-six in the game in that department. He split the uprights from 33, 13, 19, 24, 37, and 11 yards, matching Bruce Parsons’ six-field goal performance in the 1992 Hardy Cup.
Dzwilewski recorded another career-best passing performance, completing 21 of 36 attempts for 394 yards and the two touchdowns, also adding 28 rushing yards and a run TD of his own. Outside Snyder’s 238 receiving yards, Blaszko had 94 yards on three catches while Taylor Nill and Adam Osterling picked up 36 and 35 yards, respectively.
Saskatchewan quarterback Chase Bradshaw struggled in his first CIS start, completing just five of 25 passes for 81 yards and two interceptions. The longest of those completions was a 30-yard strike to Mitch Stevens, while Braeden George caught two passes for 28 yards. Running back Jeremy Andrew accounted for 33 of the Huskies’ 59 rushing yards on the night, with Bradshaw adding 21 himself. Kolodzinski was the busiest Huskie on the night, punting 13 times and conceding safeties on two other third down situations.
The Dinos defence was led once again by Mike Edem with 5.5 tackles and a pair of tackles for loss, while Wyatt Getty and Tye Noble picked up the two interceptions.
“We played well defensively,” said Nill. “We were flying around the field, and for the most part we played well on the line of scrimmage and were able to control it with our line and our backers.”
Defensively for Saskatchewan, Corbin Eskelson and Bryce McCall led the way with 7.5 and seven tackles, respectively. Braxton Lawrence picked off Dzwilewski’s only errant throw on the night, while Seamus Neary also grabbed an interception off Calgary backup pivot Andrew Buckley.
The Dinos and Huskies join the remainder of Canada West in the bye next weekend, with both teams returning to action on Friday, Oct. 12. Saskatchewan will play host to Manitoba in a key game, while the Dinos will head north to face provincial rival Alberta at Foote Field in Edmonton.
EXTRA POINTS: Snyder’s previous career high also came against the Huskies with 222 yards in the 2009 Hardy Cup game, a 39-38 Calgary win in Saskatoon … Dzwilewski and Snyder also hooked up for a 90-yard touchdown in the semi-final playoff game against Regina in 2011 … Dzwilewski entered the season without a single 300-yard passing game in his career. Through five games, he has four 300-yard performances and has set career highs four times … in five games this season, the Dinos have outscored the opposition 242-50