Dinos decimate Rams in 56-0 rout

 

 
 
 
 
Regina Rams Mitch Thompson is tackled by Calgary Dinos  during the Canada West semifinal playoff game at McMahon Stadium  in Calgary on Saturday.
 

Regina Rams Mitch Thompson is tackled by Calgary Dinos during the Canada West semifinal playoff game at McMahon Stadium in Calgary on Saturday.

Photograph by: Leah Hennel

More on This Story

 

Perhaps it was the rare conference loss they suffered last week, but the University of Calgary football team came out on Saturday afternoon with an unwavering sense of purpose on both sides of the ball and the unfortunate Regina Rams were the ones who bore the brunt of it.

Calgary erupted for 33 points in the second quarter en route to a 56-0 demolition of the Rams in their Canada West semi-final at McMahon Stadium.

The Dinos will now host the Manitoba Bisons in the 78th Hardy Cup on Nov. 15 - the sixth time in seven years that McMahon has been the site of the Canada West championship game. The Bisons, who defeated the Saskatchewan Huskies 47-39 in the other semi on Friday night, were the only team to beat Calgary, on the field, this 2014 season. That was a 50-31 decision on Nov. 1 in Winnipeg.

"I thought offensively we had a good game plan,'' noted Dinos' head coach Blake Nill. "We didn't run the ball a lot, but they gave us the opportunity to throw, so we did that. It was probably one of our best 60-minute efforts we've had this year.

"A loss at the right time can be a huge benefit to a team at any level and that was the card we played as a coaching staff. We identified why we fell short and what we needed to do. The kids responded.''

It seemed that Calgary quarterback Andrew Buckley was waiting for the second quarter to begin before performing his magic. Over those 15 minutes, Buckley threw for 273 yards and four touchdowns, two to Brett Blaszko and a pair to Rashaun Simonise.

"They were trying to bring a lot of pressure up the middle and they were stacking the box with a lot of players, so we had a lot of one-on-ones with the receivers and they were doing a great job getting open,'' commented Buckley. "The O-line was giving me enough time to get the ball off.

"It just felt good. Sometimes when I'm off, it's because I'm getting a lot of pressure. But those guys were keeping me untouched back there and giving me good vision.''

On the first TD, Buckley found Blaszko and tiptoed 36 yards along the sideline into the end zone. On their next possession, Buckley connected with the speedster Simonise and he flew 58 yards, weaving his way in to give Calgary a 21-0 lead.

A single and 40-yard field goal later, Buckley once again teamed with Blaszko on a 72-yarder to put the home side up 32-0 and the ticket to the Hardy Cup was punched even before half-time. With 20 seconds remaining in the half, Simonise caught a short four-yarder and it was all she wrote. By the time Buckley gave way to Eric Dzwilewski in the third quarter, he had hit on 23-of-31 passes for 404 yards. Dzwilewski finished off the scoring, catching Austen Hartley in the end zone 52 seconds into the fourth quarter.

Blaszko amassed 160 yards on seven receptions, while Jake Harty had eight for 112. Johnny Mark, meanwhile, hit four field goals.

"I think we were emphasizing the run, but then we saw the adjustments they were making on defence and we decided to throw the ball,'' noted Blaszko, who had worlds of praise for Buckley. "He's been a stud all year. He proved it today.''

Defensively, the Dinos also had their moments, none bigger than when they stopped the Rams from the 5-yard line, Michael Schmidt recording the sack on Regina pivot Noah Picton on third down. That was just an indicator of the blanket coverage the home team employed.

Halfback Elie Bouka also had a game worthy of mention, as he picked Picton off twice, on both occasions getting perfect position on the prospective receiver and snuffing out Rams' drives. Adam Laurensse also had a pair of interception late in the game.

"At the beginning of the week, we wanted to come out hard because of the game last week,'' said Bouka. "We wanted to show we're still the team to beat. We played them before and we knew what we could do. You have to prepare for guys to make plays like that.

"We're waiting for them (the Bisons). They haven't won here . . . and it's not going to happen.''

While the Dinos went to the air with great consistency, the running game was quiet. Buckley led all Calgary runners with 56 yards and a touchdown, while star back Mercer Timmis collected just 19 yards but was a blocking stalwart.

 
 
 
Font:
 
 
 
 
Regina Rams Mitch Thompson is tackled by Calgary Dinos  during the Canada West semifinal playoff game at McMahon Stadium  in Calgary on Saturday.
 

Regina Rams Mitch Thompson is tackled by Calgary Dinos during the Canada West semifinal playoff game at McMahon Stadium in Calgary on Saturday.

Photograph by: Leah Hennel

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, and please keep your comments relevant and respectful. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report spam or abuse. We are using Facebook commenting. Visit our FAQ page for more information.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Your voice