Dinos bounce back despite key injury
By Stephane Arnault, October 9 2014
Losing your reigning conference MVP to injury is never a pretty sight.
The University of Calgary Dinos battled adversity and injuries on Oct. 4, but the scoreboard told a different story. The Dinos (4–1) extinguished any doubt with a 59–7 thumping over the Regina Rams (1–4) at McMahon Stadium.
Eight minutes into the game Dinos runningback Mercer Timmis suffered a mild ankle sprain and didn’t return to action. Despite this, their running game prevailed.
Dinos runningbacks Jansher Hundal and Quentin Chown were put under the spotlight and given an opportunity to showcase their skills. Chown ran for 96 yards on 13 carries. Hundal ran for 69 yards on six carries.
“We’ve got so much depth at our runningback position that with either Chown or Hundal, we’re in good hands,” said Dinos quarterback Andrew Buckley.
Buckley went 18–for–26 for 216 yards passing and threw for two touchdowns. He also ran for 67 yards on 10 carries along with two rushing majors. “A lot of running lanes were open, so I was happy to take those and get some yards off of them,” Buckley said.
Earlier in the week, the Dinos received a blow to the team’s confidence when their game-one victory against the University of Alberta Golden Bears was converted into a loss. The Dinos defeated the Bears 71–3, but forfeited the match due to their roster including two academically ineligible players.
Buckley spoke about the mood in the Dinos’ locker room.
“It was different than it has normally been with some weird things going on lately,” Buckley said. “It was good to get our feet back under us. This has been a rough week with things off the field so it was good to get on the field and show that we’re not affected by it.”
Coming into Saturday’s tilt, the Rams averaged the second-best total yards per game (488) in the Canada West Conference. The Dinos managed to cool off the Rams’ high-octane offence by holding them to 349 yards.
Rams quarterback Noah Picton went 19–for–37 with 277 yards passing and threw one touchdown pass. Picton struggled to find his comfort zone in the pocket all game and was sacked four times.
The Dinos’ offence showed tremendous versatility as they marched down the field with ease throughout the game. Their offence finished the night with 280 yards passing and 392 yards rushing.
Dinos wide receiver Brett Blaszko continued his touchdown spree by picking up two majors. Blaszko is the definition of red hot with five touchdowns in his last two games. He remains the Canadian Interuniversity Sport leader in receiving touchdowns this season with eight.
Calgary runningback Mercer Timmis ran for 77 yards on four carries before his injury.
“It was frustrating. I was feeling really good today,” Timmis said. “I felt like I was getting on a roll.”
As for Timmis’ status, his injury doesn’t appear to be long term.
“I might have been able to push it, but there wasn’t really any reason for me to do that. It’s better to be safe than sorry,” Timmis said.
Dinos back-up runningback Quentin Chown spoke about the chance he was given to display his skills during Saturday’s contest.
“I’ve always been mentally prepared for it. A lot of the guys supported me through it, so I didn’t really have any issue coming in and trying to step up and play big,” Chown said.
The Dinos now have a two-week break and don’t play until after Thanksgiving where they will face the Golden Bears on Oct. 18 in Edmonton.