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The Dinos advance to Hardy Cup

By Stephane Arnault, November 13 2014 —

The University of Calgary’s football team started their march towards the Vanier Cup in excellent fashion, pummelling the University of Regina Rams 56–0 in their Canada West Conference semi-final game on Nov. 8 at McMahon Stadium.

“That was probably one of our best 60-minute efforts that we’ve had this year,” said Dinos head coach Blake Nill.

The opening quarter featured only two scoring plays, both field goals by Calgary’s Johnny Mark.

Dinos quarterback Andrew Buckley threw three long-bomb touchdowns —  for 36, 58 and 72 yards — in the second quarter.

“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to my offensive line,” said Buckley, who went 23-for-31, throwing for 404 yards and four touchdowns. “Those guys were keeping me untouched back there. It was giving me a lot of good vision and I was able to find some open receivers.”

The Dinos tacked on another touchdown and a field goal to make it 39–0 at halftime.

Calgary’s star runningback, Mercer Timmis, had a quiet night, running just 19 yards on five carries.

“Our first time playing against [Regina] we rushed for 400 yards, so we thought they would do something to stop our run,” Buckley said. “I guess we did try and establish the run early on, but it wasn’t working for us, so we went to the pass.”

The Dinos finished with 162 yards rushing. Although Calgary scored most of their points through the air, they still surpassed Regina’s 52 total yards rushing.

“We didn’t run the ball a lot because they gave us the opportunity to throw,” Nill said. “If they’re going to load the box then we might as well throw the ball. That’s what we needed to do, just respond to what they were giving us.”

Buckley sat during the second half. Dinos backup quarterback Eric Dzwilewski polished off the victory, going 8-for-11, throwing for 70 yards and one touchdown.

The Dinos dominated in every statistical department. Adam Laurensee and Elike Bouka had clutch performances, coming away with two interceptions apiece.

“We wanted to show that we’re still the team to beat,” Bouka said.

Rams quarterback Noah Picton finished 14-for-24 with 147 yards passing and two interceptions. Regina’s backup quarterback, Cayman Shutter, also threw two interceptions.

The Dinos entered the game with last week’s 51–30 loss against the University of Manitoba still fresh in their minds. It was the Dinos’ first on-field loss of the regular season.

“A loss at the right time can always be a huge benefit to a team, depending on how you use it,” Nill said. “We identified why we fell short, what we needed to do and the kids responded with a win.”

The Dinos now advance to their seventh-consecutive Hardy Cup where they’ll face the Manitoba Bisons.

“They’ve given us the toughest games of the year and they’ve earned the right to be in that final,” Nill said. “We’ve got to come out and play well and hopefully learn from what we experienced last week.”

The Hardy Cup will start at 2 p.m. on Nov. 15. at McMahon Stadium.

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