Huskies prevail in Hardy Cup rematch against Dinos

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In a tangle of two top-ten teams in the nation, the University of Saskatchewan Huskies football team defeated the Calgary Dinos 29-15 on Friday, Sept. 27 at Griffiths Stadium in Nutrien Park.

“They’re a very good football team. They’re very well-coached, we knew they were going to be prepared. We talked to the guys before, we talked about it all week, it was going to be a 60-minute football game,” said Huskies head coach Scott Flory. “They just won’t go away at any point. We knew the keys to the game and the guys were locked in. We had great game plans in all phases and we executed, we made some big plays.

Huskies quarterback Mason Nyhus threw for 232 yards on 15-31 passing for two touchdowns and two interceptions in his return to the field after missing last week in Edmonton.

Dinos quarterback Adam Sinagra completed 18-27 passes for 287 yards while throwing one touchdown and two interceptions, before exiting in the second half. Josiah Joseph threw for 106 yards on 10-15 passing in relief duty.

Saskatchewan running back Adam Machart continued his sensational second season in the green and white, as the Saskatoon native rumbled his way for 178 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries while adding on three receptions for 34 yards and a receiving touchdown. Jesse Kuntz led the Huskies receiving corps with four receptions for 98 yards, while Yol Piok chipped in four receptions for 60 yards and one touchdown.

Jalen Philpot had another dominant day for the Dinos, as the sensational second-year receiver tacked on 138 yards on six receptions.

Logan Bitz led Saskatchewan in total tackles with 11, while Nixen Voll was disruptive in the secondary, tallying two interceptions for the home side.

The Huskies moved to 3-2 on the season as they got back in the win column after back-to-back losses. The victory was their first over the Dinos in Saskatoon for the first time since Oct. 15, 2010.

Calgary, who entered the contest having not lost a Canada West regular season game since Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, dropped to 4-1 on the season.

The Dinos quick-strike offence went to work early in the first quarter. A 48-yard Jalen Philpot reception kickstarted the visitors, and on the next play, Sinagra connected with Alex Basilis for a 25-yard reception to set Calgary up at Saskatchewan’s two-yard line. On second-and-goal, the Dinos brought in their short-yardage personnel, and Joseph found the endzone to give his team a 7-0 lead.

However, on the following possession, the conference’s number one rushing attack responded.

Machart’s 46-yard carry led the Huskies deep into Dinos territory. After Finley Easton drew a pass interference penalty in Calgary’s endzone, Nyhus flipped the ball to Machart on a beautifully executed shovel pass and from there it was paydirt for the second-year running back, with the major being his fifth in five games this season to equal the game at 7-7.

After the Huskies took the lead on a David Solie single, Sinagra engineered a masterful drive to give the Dinos back the lead. The fourth-year pivot found Erik Nusl for 20 yards, and after a 19-yard Jeshrun Antwi carry, Sinagra went to Jalen Philpot for back-to-back big gainers, before Robinson Rodrigues found the house on the final play of the first quarter for his first touchdown of the season to make it 14-8 for the visitors.

After Voll recorded his second interception of the season, the Huskies were able to trim the lead to two following a 47-yard field goal from Solie.

Following a Calgary two-and-out, Saskatchewan took advantage offensively. A 19-yard Machart scamper got things rolling, before Nyhus later connected with Yol Piok in the back of the endzone to give the Huskies a 19-14 lead.

After neither team was able to convert a touchdown for the majority of the third quarter, Saskatchewan orchestrated a nine-play, 75-yard drive which changed that. Nyhus moved the ball downfield, setting up the Huskies inside the red zone. From there, Machart ran 11 yards for the score for his second major of the day on the final play of the third quarter to give the hosts a 26-15 lead.

The Huskies put the icing on the cake with a Solie 30-yard field goal to make it a two-score game with 2:44 and from there, the home side was able to run out the clock and walk away with the victory in the two program’s lone meeting of the 2019 season.

Saskatchewan will remain at home in week six action when they welcome the Manitoba Bisons to Griffiths Stadium on Friday night, as the Huskies will look for revenge following their season-opening loss in Winnipeg. Meanwhile, Calgary will play host to their provincial rival Alberta Golden Bears on Saturday afternoon as the Dinos will look to get back in the win column.