SASKATOON – The University of Manitoba Bisons spoiled the University of Saskatchewan Huskies Canada West playoff hopes with a 22-point comeback in a 36-32 win Saturday night at Griffiths Stadium in PotashCorp Park.
Down 22-0 halfway through the third quarter, the Bisons scored all 36 points in the final 15 minutes of the game. Kyle Patchell’s four-yard touchdown reception gave Manitoba the victory and their first lead of the game with 15 seconds left.
Saskatchewan needed a 37-point victory to win a tie-break with the University of Alberta Golden Bears for the final Canada West playoff spot. Alberta defeated the University of Calgary Dinos by 50 points earlier on Saturday afternoon forcing the Huskies into the lofty must win situation.
Both Manitoba and Saskatchewan finish the Canada West season at 2-6 and miss the playoffs. It is the first time since 2001 the Huskies are not in a postseason spot. It is the second straight playoff miss for the Bisons.
After trading early possessions, defensive back Bowan Lewis blocked a Bison punt to give the Huskies good field position. Quarterback Kyle Siemens connected with wide receiver Mitch Hillis for a 60-yard touchdown catch and run with 3:07 to go in the first quarter.
A few series thereafter, defensive back Brooks Falloon jarred the ball from Bison running back Jamel Lyles, allowing rookie tailback Shakur Harris to secure his first career touchdown with a 37-yard dash into the end zone at 5:38 in the second.
Halfway through the third, the Huskies put together a seven-play drive resulting in a six-yard touchdown run by Harris. The Huskie drive featured six rushes by Harris.
Up 22-0 after Harris’ second major, Marcel Arruda-Welch took the ensuing kickoff 75-yards to the Huskie end zone to get on the Bisons’ on the board.
From there, Manitoba took over the momentum of the game. The Bisons’ defence forced the Huskies to turnover the ball on downs and the Bisons’ Lyles punched in the ball a one-yard dash at 1:51 in the third quarter.
The Huskies answered with Harris’ third touchdown on a six-yard dash to close the third quarter and a Sean Stenger 46-yard field goal at 11:40 in the fourth.
Manitoba added two more touchdowns to seal the comeback a Trysten Dyce six-yard catch and a Macho Bockru 31-yard catch.
Des Catellier completed 24-of-32 passes for 277 yards and three touchdowns. Lyles led the Bisons on the ground with 169 yards on 18 attempts and a touchdown. Jesse Walker lead the receiving for Manitoba, finishing with 6 catches for 84 yards.
Siemens finished 26-for-47 for 377 yards and one touchdown. Hillis, who is now the Canada West all-time receiving yards leader at 2961, was his main target racking up 219 yards on 13 catches. Rookie Harris recorded 189 rushing yards and three touchdowns in 21 carries in the game. He also added 56 receiving yards.