Huskies dominant in season-opening shutout of Golden Bears

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University of Saskatchewan Huskie football team 2018

It was pure dominance on both ends of the field as the University of Saskatchewan Huskie football team started their 2018 campaign with a 42-0 victory over the visiting Alberta Golden Bears at Griffiths Stadium inside Nutrien Park on Aug. 31.

“We were well prepared and it showed out there, it’s been a long time and I think the guys were a little sick of playing each other,” said Huskie head coach Scott Flory. “There were some good things tonight, but some things that we need to correct.”

Out-gaining the Golden Bears to the tune of 462-257 yards, Saskatchewan combined a potent passing attack, strong ground game and stiff defence in the victory.

Fifth-year quarter back Kyle Siemens started his senior season by going 17-28 for 240 yards and a pair of touchdowns through the air. Siemens also scored a rushing touchdown, putting up 25 yards on three carries.

“It’s not a fluke that we went and did the things we did today, there are a lot of elements that go into a football game and one of those is physical toughness and I think our team was very physically tough,” said Siemens. “I think we controlled both sides of the line of scrimmage and that offseason work definitely showed in our guys.”

Tyler Chow ran for 76 yards on 12 carries to lead the Huskies on the ground, while third-year receiver Sam Baker was dynamite through the air, hauling in five catches for 82 yards and two touchdowns.

On the side of the Golden Bears, Brad Baker and Brad Launhardt combined to go 13-for-25 in the air with Dryden Kalesnikoff leading the team with 57 yards on ten carries.

It wasn’t only the Huskie offence that was strong, their defence held Alberta to just 14 first-downs in the game.

Ben Whiting led the way defensively with 6.5 tackles, while Nelson Lokombo started his season with a pair of interceptions.

Scoring 12 points in the game, two field goals, five extra-points and a rouge, fifth-year kicker Sean Stenger moved into first all-time on the Huskie career points list. The native of Saskatoon has now recorded 254 points throughout his time in the green and white of the Huskies.

A slow start to the game saw the Huskies leading just 3-0 after the first quarter but the offence came to life in a big way in the second frame.

A five-yard scramble into the end zone from Siemens gave the Huskies their first major score of the game with just over four minutes remaining in the half.

With time winding down and the Huskies driving, Siemens delivered a beautiful touch pass that sailed over the Golden Bears defenders and into the hands of an open Baker to send the home team into the halftime break leading 18-0.

Any hope of an Albertan comeback was snuffed out when the Huskies started the second half on a long march down the field that resulted in another Siemens to Baker touchdown connection.

Now up 25-0, the Huskies rolled for the rest of the game, preserving the shutout with tough defence and adding to their lead thanks to scores from Adam Machart and Joey Trumpy.

The shutout victory was the first for Saskatchewan in exactly six years. Their last such win came on Aug. 31 of 2012 by a score of 32-0 against these very same Golden Bears.

Both of these teams are back in action next Friday, Sept. 7, with the Huskies travelling to Manitoba to face the Bisons and the Golden Bears hoping to rebound at home against the Regina Rams.

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