Huskies fall in final minute to Golden Bears

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Adam Machart rushed for a career-high 180 yards and Nelson Lokombo pulled down his fourth interception in as many games but Jonathan Giustini hit a 45-yard field goal with 46 seconds left, as the Alberta Golden Bears earned a third-straight upset win with a 19-17 victory over the No. 8 ranked Saskatchewan Huskies, Saturday afternoon at Foote Field.

Alberta drove 68 yards in just 1:24, which included a 31-yard pass play on third down, to set up the game-winning field goal from the rookie Bears kicker.

It’s the second straight week the Bears have scored in the final minute to secure a win, after beating Manitoba 29-26 in Week 3 thanks to a touchdown with six seconds left. Their 3-1 record puts them alone in second place, while the Huskies fall to 2-2.

In a game that was dominated by the respective defences, neither team held a lead larger than five. Alberta’s offence, particularly in the second half, was more productive than Saskatchewan’s as they finished the game out-gaining the Huskies 445-327.

Alberta quarterback Brad Launhardt had another strong performance, finishing with 330 passing yards, 30 rushing yards and one TD pass. Fifth-year receiver Ben Kopczynski added to his conference-lead in receiving with eight catches for 141 yards.

Huskies starting pivot Ethan Watson compiled 134 passing yards on 17 completions. However, the Huskie offence was led by running back Adam Machart, who has rushed for totals of 93, 134, 134 and 180 in his four games of action in 2019.

Saskatchewan was able to muster a 10-8 lead over Alberta after two quarters. Machart piled up 106 rushing yards in the first two quarters alone, including a 77-yard dash in the first, before plunging into the endzone later on the same drive.

Alberta controlled the ball for most of the first, but weren’t able to find the endzone. Giustini hit two of his four FG attempts, adding a pair of singles on the two misses.

The Bears finally scored a major early in the second, as Launhardt found Jonathan Rosery on a 43-yard wheel route to give the home side a 15-10 lead.

Watson threw the second TD strike of his Huskies’ career early in the fourth, as his seven yard pass to Colton Klassen gave Saskatchewan a 17-16 lead.

Launhardt completed one pass for 31 yards on the final drive, while Rosery rushed for another 31, as the Bears drove from their own four-yard line in just over a minute to set up the game winner.

Saskatchewan will return home for a meeting with the 4-0 Calgary Dinos on Friday night in Saskatoon.