The University of Saskatchewan Huskies opened the 2015 season with a 33-10 non-conference win over the visiting Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks Friday night in Saskatoon’s Griffiths Stadium in PotashCorp Park.
Third-year Saskatchewan receiver Mitch Hillis hauled in nine passes for 187 yards and 2 touchdowns on the night. While fourth-year Huskie quarterback finished the night 13-for-20 with a pair of touchdownds and 214 yards.
Kayden Johnson carried the ball 17 times on the ground with Tyler Chow rushing another nine times for 86 and 62 yards respectively.
Eric Morelli completed 10-of-21 attempts on Friday night for 103 yards. James Fracas went 1-for-5 in limited action.
Greg Nyhof was the top receiver for the Golden Hawks with two catches for 40 yards. On the ground it was 2014 CIS leading rusher Dillon Campbell with six rushes for 46 yards. Morelli and Eric Guiltinan rushed for 38 yards each.
For the Huskies Lance Bashutsky and Evan Machibroda each recorded five tackles and Chris Friesen picked of Laurier quarterbacks twice.
Ron Klinga and Taner Philip both had an interception for Laurier. Scott Hunter was the leading tackler with 6.5.
Saskatchewan will continue with training camp next week in preparation for the start of the Canada West season September 4 at home against the University of Manitoba Bisons. Laurier opens the OUA season with a visit to Toronto to meet the York Lions on September 30.
It was the second meeting between the two programs. The only previous matchup was the 2005 Vanier Cup in Hamilton when Laurier prevailed 24-23.
1ST QUARTER RECAP
A drive loaded with Mitch Hillis receptions led to the Huskies first major of the night. Hillis amassed over 85 yards on the drive including the touchdown grab from quarterback Drew Burko.
Tyler Chow found the end zone later in the first quarter after another lengthy Huskies drive.
2ND QUARTER RECAP
The CIS’ leading rusher from 2014, Dillon Campbell, started to find his groove in the second quarter rushing for 46 yards in limited carries.
Parker Siemens got into the action in the second quarter. The Huskie pivot led a drive that set up a Sean Stenger field goal from 35 yards.
On the next Saskatchewan drive Ron Kinga picked off Siemens to set up the Golden Hawks offence. Just plays later it was Huskie defensive back Chris Friesen answering back with an interception of Eric Morelli.
A muffed punt return by the Golden Hawks nearly led to more Huskie points as the Laurier offence scrimmaged from their own one-yard line. The visiting squad managed to secure a couple first downs before halftime, but the Huskies were left with good field position and managed another Stenger field goal before halftime.
3RD QUARTER RECAP
Starting quarterback Drew Burko returned to the field in the second half and connected with his favourite target from the first quarter, Mitch Hillis, for a 63-yard catch and run to the end zone.
Greg Nyhof got the Golden Hawks going with a couple of big catches over the middle setting up an Eric Guiltinan touchdown scamper.
After recovering the ensuing kickoff, the Golden Hawks kicker Quinn Johnson split the uprights with a field goal.
After the Huskie offence failed to get anything going, it was the defence who stepped up to take back momentum. Lance Bashutsky deflected Eric Morelli’s pass attempt right into the hands of Brett Boechler.
Siemens hits bexson for big completion over the middle, but the Laurier defence stands on 3rd. Bad field position forced the hawks to give up 2 after going 2 and out
Quarterback Kyle Siemens, in the game for the Huskies, completed a deep pass over the middle to Drew Bexson setting up first-and-goal. The Laurier defence stood strong on the goal line forcing the turnover on downs.
4TH QUARTER RECAP
Sean Stenger hit his third field goal in as many tries on the night, the last from 19 yards.