September 15, 2013, Calgary, AB (ISN) – A 15-point third quarter broke open a tight game as the No. 5 University of Calgary Dinos defeated the No. 6 Saskatchewan Huskies 36-24 at KICKOFF 2013 at McMahon Stadium Saturday night.
In front of 5,202 fans, the Dinos relied on the running game of Mercer Timmis while quarterback Andrew Buckley had a solid outing as well as the Dinos staked their claim as the only remaining undefeated team in Canada West at 3-0. It was the first loss of Saskatchewan’s (2-1) season.
With a tenuous 14-13 lead for the Dinos at halftime, Buckley came out firing in the third quarter. On their opening drive, he led Calgary on a seven-play, 75-yard drive that was capped off by the first of two Jake Harty touchdowns in the stanza – a spectacular somersaulting effort over the goal line. Two drives later, Harty found the end zone again on a nine-yard pass from Buckley to give Calgary a 29-13 lead, and they didn’t look back from there.
It was an important victory for the youthful Dinos football program as it looks to extend an unprecedented five-year stranglehold atop the conference, and head coach Blake Nill was thrilled with the result.
“We were really motivated to play this game,” said the eighth-year Dinos head coach. “We have a young football team, and all week we worked on our mindset and showed Canada West that we still have something to bring.”
Timmis was particularly impressive, racking up 123 yards on 23 carries along with a 6-yard touchdown run that sealed the victory for the Dinos late in the fourth quarter. Making the second start of his CIS career, Buckley completed 26 of 33 passes for 294 yards and two touchdowns – both to Harty – while running for another of his own. The Buckley touchdown was important for momentum, coming late in the second quarter with the Dinos trailing 13-7. On a third-and-one gamble from the Huskies’ 21-yard line, Buckley went around the right side of the offensive line and rambled unscathed into the end zone to give the Dinos a lead they would never relinquish.
“Andrew played better, he can still play better, and he’s only going to improve and ramp up,” said Nill of his quarterback’s effort.
Harty was the Dinos’ leading receiver on the night with 71 yards on seven catches, while Chris Dobko and Brett Blaszko had six receptions apiece for 79 and 65 yards, respectively. Defensively, Hunter Turnbull and Doctor Cassama led the way for the Dinos with seven tackles each, with Cassama picking up a pair of tackles for loss.
Saskatchewan’s touchdowns came courtesy of quarterback Drew Burko midway through the second quarter along with a 31-yard fumble recovery major by Joel Seutter with less than three minutes to play in the game. Burko finished the night with 24 completions on 35 attempts for 306 yards, but he threw a costly interception late in the second quarter. Adam Laurensse picked off an errant pass just inside the goal line to snuff out a promising Huskies drive and maintain the one-point Calgary lead heading into the half.
Receiver Garrett Burgess had a big night in a losing cause for the Huskies with 127 yards on seven catches. Dexter Janke was their leading rusher with 51 yards on 13 carries, with Shane Buchanan chipping in for 36 yards on nine carries.
Braxton Lawrence had a busy night with 10.5 tackles for Saskatchewan, with Richard Zacharias adding another 6.5 to pace the Huskies defensively.
The win sets up another important match-up for the Dinos as they take on the Manitoba Bisons next Friday night at home. And while the Dinos and Huskies will hook up again in Week 6 in Saskatoon, next week is the only meeting of the season between Calgary and Manitoba – two of the top teams in the nation and quite possibly a Hardy Cup preview.
“Manitoba is an outstanding team with two great athletes that I’ve feared since they got into the league in Demski and Coombs,” said Nill, “We’re going to do our best to try to limit what they can do. We’ll enjoy this win tonight, but tomorrow we start prepping for Manitoba.”
Kickoff goes at 6 p.m. next Friday, Sept. 20 at McMahon Stadium. Saskatchewan also plays next Friday night, hosting the University of Alberta Golden Bears (0-3) at Griffiths Stadium.
CGY – Johnny Mark kickoff single, 0:05, 1-0 CGY
SASK – Denton Kolodzinski 16-yard FG, 6:04, 3-1 SASK
CGY – Johnny Mark 24-yard FG, 10:06, 4-3 CGY
SASK – TEAM safety, 2:06, 5-4 SASK
CGY – Johnny Mark 11-yard FG, 4:15, 7-5 CGY
SASK – Drew Burko 7-yard TD run (Denton Kolodzinski convert), 5:49, 12-7 SASK
SASK – Denton Kolodzinski punt single, 11:20, 13-7 CGY
CGY – Andrew Buckley 21-yard TD run (Johnny Mark convert), 13:47, 14-13 CGY
CGY – Jake Harty 17-yard TD pass from Andrew Buckley (Johnny Mark convert), 2:35, 21-13 CGY
CGY – Johnny Mark punt single, 2:38, 22-13 CGY
CGY – Jake Harty 9-yard TD pass from Andrew Buckley (Johnny Mark convert), 11:37, 29-13 CGY
SASK – Denton Kolodzinski punt single, 3:29, 29-14 CGY
SASK – Denton Kolodzinski 24-yard FG, 7:33, 29-17 CGY
CGY – Mercer Timmis 6-yard TD run (Johnny Mark convert), 12:31, 36-17 CGY
SASK – Joel Seutter 31-yard fumble recovery TD (Denton Kolodzinski convert), 14:13, 36-24 CGY