Huskies outlast Bisons in shootout thriller

20
Nelson Lokombo

There were offensive fireworks all over the field as the University of Saskatchewan Huskie football team and the Manitoba Bisons combined to score 94 points with the Huskies emerging victorious, 48-46, in a game that took place on Investors Group Field in Winnipeg, MB. on Sept. 7.

There were numerous outstanding performances for the Huskies throughout the evening.

Fifth-year quarter back Kyle Siemens passed for four touchdowns and 306 yards on 24-35 passing.

Colton Klassen and Tyler Chow were dynamic both on the ground and through the air. Klassen rushed twice for 11 yards and one touchdown while also hauling in seven catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns. Chow meanwhile, ran the ball 18 times for 134 yards, also making four receptions for 28 yards and a touchdown.

The standouts defensively were Nelson Lokombo, Payton Hall and Riley Pickett.

Forcing a fumble and recording an interception in the game Lokombo, the reigning Canada West defensive player of the week, now has four turnovers to his name through just the first two games of the season.

Fourth-year defensive back Payton Hall ran back a 90-yard pick-six at a crucial point of the game, while Pickett rounded out the top defensive efforts from the Huskies with two sacks in the contest.

A game that went right down to the wire and featured multiple momentum shifts saw the Bisons out-gain the Huskies 560 yards to 517. The Bisons also held the edge through the air with 425 passing yards but the Huskies were the stronger team on the ground, putting up 211 yards to the Bisons’ 149.

The win moves the Huskies, ranked No. 10 in the latest U SPORTS Top-10 Poll, to a perfect record of 2-0 while the Bisons drop to 0-2 on the season.

After a Sean Stenger field goal got the scoring underway in favour of the Huskies, Manitoba marched right back down the field with Des Catellier hitting Macho Bockru for the first major of the game.

In a sign of the excitement to come in the rest of the contest, the Huskies came right back after surrendering the lead and Siemens found Joey Trumpy, who made an outstanding over-the-shoulder grab, to give Saskatchewan a 10-7 lead after the first quarter.

The Huskies would add to their lead on their very next drive. After Siemens and Adam Machart combined to drive the team down the field, Klassen took a handoff and outran the defence to score his first of three touchdowns on the night.

Manitoba stormed back to score 13 points to the Huskies’ three throughout the rest of the first half to send the teams into the halftime break all tied at 20.

It was pure dominance from the Huskies at the beginning of the third quarter and after forcing a pair of turnovers, leading to both Chow and Klassen scoring touchdowns, it appeared the game was well within the hands of the Huskies.

Yet again the Bisons found an answer however, with another Catellier to Bockru connection combining with a pick-six of their own to send the game into the fourth with the score again tied, this time 34-34.

After Klassen scored his third touchdown of the game, Payton Hall appeared to once again put the game out of reach after returning an interception 90 yards for the touchdown.

A field goal, onside kick and touchdown later however, had the Bisons back within striking distance with just over a minute left to play.

After the Bisons found a way to get into the end zone, it took a heroic effort from Jacob Solie to get a fingertip on the ball and thwart what would have been a game tying two-point conversion. From there, the Huskies were able to weather the remaining seconds in the game to record their second victory of the season.

Next up for the team from Saskatoon is a return to the friendly confines of Griffiths Stadium inside Nutrien Park where they will take on the No. 5 ranked Calgary Dinos in what appears to be a game that will hold monumental ramifications on the rest of the league.

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