Source: Manitoba Sports Info
WINNIPEG – Home sweet home. The Manitoba Bisons prevailed in CIS football action when they defeated the #8 Saskatchewan Huskies by a convincing 41-8 score at home on Friday, October 17. In front of a loud 1,193 Investors Group Field crowd that braved the Winter-peg like weather, the Bisons led 17-1 at half and never let up in the second 30 minutes as they scored 41 unanswered points to improve to a 3-3 conference record while the Huskies dropped to 4-2.
Manitoba has now won all three of their 2014 contests at home while still searching for a first road victory of this campaign.
The two teams met earlier to start the season (Sept. 5/14) and Saskatchewan won 44-24. Manitoba now holds the tiebreaker if they are tied in the Canada West standings at the end of the 2014 season.
After Manitoba conceded a rouge to begin the scoring, the Herd started rolling with starting QB Jordan Yantz firing on all cylinders. He went 15-20 for 189 yards for one pass TD and one rush TD along with 41 yards rushing before being sidelined prior to the end of the half with a hit to the head as he was rushing and could not return. Before Yantz left, the score was 14-1 as Manitoba scored on a Matt Sawyer six yard reception and an eight yard run by Yantz.
Bison back-up QB Theo Deezar assumed the reins and the Manitoba continued to put points on the board in the second half. They ran with a balanced attack of running and throwing coupled with a staunch defensive presence that produced four sacks, two interceptions and four break-ups to neutralize one of the top teams in country.
In the second half, Manitoba scored on TDs by Matt Sawyer (14 yard reception), Kienan LaFrance (14 yard run – his eighth touchdown of the season) and an electrifying 76 yard punt return for a TD by Nic Demski.
Saskatchewan book-ended the scoring when they finally found the end zone late in the game on an 11 yard run by Shane Buchanan.
Bison football head coach exclaimed after the home win, “That was the most complete game we have played since the 2007 Vanier Cup championship. All three facets were working and our defensive secondary was outstanding as they had no rhythm and we were really prepared to play the Huskies out of the bye week. The players really responded today and I was proud of the total team effort.”
In game individual stats, LaFrance was top rusher with 117 yards on 16 attempts (7.3 avg.) with Alex Christie adding 72 yards on the ground on nine carries for the Bisons. Deezar finished with 6-12 for 66 yards and his first CIS career TD pass. Sawyer had five receptions for 49 yards while Demski added four grabs for 57 yards and Alex Vitt had three catches for 57 yards. On defence for Manitoba, Jordan Linnen had seven total tackles and David Onyemata had 5.5 tackles. Lauren Kroeker and Evan Foster each had 1.5 tackles along with Mitchell Harrison adding one sack while Jayden McKoy had one interception for 39 yards.
Saskatchewan was led by QB Drew Burko. He went 14-27 for 164 yards and Buchanan had 30 rushing yards on nine carries. Mitch Hills was top Huskie receiver with four catches for 23 yards and Kit hills had two grabs for 49 yards. Richard Zacharias had 11 total tackles. Mark Ingram, Brad Kotania and Geoff Hughes all had 6.5 tackles each and Ingram and Keegan Arnyek had the two picks.
Manitoba looks for a road win this season as they travel to play the Regina Rams on Saturday, October 25 on 2 p.m. MT while Saskatchewan host Alberta on the same date at 1:30 p.m. MT.