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Photo by David Moll

Dinos fall to 1-3 with loss to Golden Bears

By Riley Stovka, October 27 2021—

For the third week in a row, the Dinos Football team failed to secure a win, as they fell to the University of Alberta Golden Bears, 36–30 at McMahon Stadium

The Golden Bears got off to a hot start on their first possession of the game with a forty yard kick return and a long run that had the Bears in the endzone, barely three minutes into the game. The Bears would add 19 more points to the board before the Dinos could scratch across some points at the end of the first quarter.

It wasn’t until the four-minute mark of the second quarter that the Dinos finally scored their first touchdown, coming in the form of a five-yard pass, caught by Tyson Philpot. The second quarter was by far the best football the Dinos played all game. They scored 24 of their total 30 points in the second quarter and outscored the Golden Bears, 24-10. 

Photo of Tyson Philpot // David Moll

If the Dinos were that consistently good for the entirety of all four quarters, then they most definitely would have won the game. However, there wasn’t much action aside from the incredible second quarter to speak of. The Dinos and Golden Bears would only score 11 more points combined in the second half. 

The Dinos were able to close the gap but they were not quite good enough to overtake the Bears, who were able to hold onto their one score lead as the clock struck zero in the fourth quarter. A last ditch effort by Calgary on third down and eight saw Philpot tackled about five yards short of a desperately-needed first down. The Bears would hold onto the ball for the final 30 seconds, securing the third consecutive loss for Calgary. 

Going into the game, the Dinos had won both games they played against the Golden Bears in 2019, and as crazy as it may sound, they hadn’t lost more than two games in a row since 2010 — that is how dominant this program has been over the last decade. A team that has been consistently ranked number one in the nation, a team that had high hopes to repeat as Vanier Cup champions, is now on the outside looking in on the playoff picture. Their odds of making the postseason are looking pretty bleak. 

Speaking of bleak, which is worse — stumbling out of the gate and into a 19 point deficit that you can’t climb out of, or getting blown out in the fourth quarter on the road? Well, both have now happened to the Dinos in the span of a couple weeks. 

In their previous game against the number-one-ranked University of Manitoba Bisons, the Dinos entered the fourth quarter up 20-5. The game ended 28-20 for the Bisons. A complete defensive collapse in the final frame saw the Dinos give up 23 unanswered points as a near victory was yanked from their hands. 

Losing never feels good, but this loss to the Golden Bears would have to feel a little better than the gut punch the team suffered in Winnipeg. If you’re trying to find a silver lining that would separate one tragic loss from another, at least the Dinos couldn’t choke away a lead that they never had. 

Photo by David Moll

Despite falling outside the playoff picture, there are some remaining bright spots for the Dinos. Their offense is the best in the country. They rank first in total yards per contest (533), first in passing yards per game (356) and first in first downs per game (28.7). Incredible numbers for a team that has lost three games in a row. 

The talent is there — that much is obvious. This team knows what it takes to win, they’ve done it before. But their inconsistency has killed them at the most inopportune times. They had the Bisons pushed against the ropes in the fourth quarter and couldn’t finish them off. They fell flat on their faces to start this game and couldn’t make up for lost time. The offense is there, the defense comes and goes. They just need both to show up at the same time to win, to be the team everyone knows they can be. The season isn’t over, but after a couple losses like these, it’s hard to feel like there is still time. 

The Dinos will host the 2-2, University of British Columbia Thunderbirds on Oct. 30 at McMahon stadium. Then, they will travel to Saskatoon to take on the Huskies in the regular season finale. With only two games left to go in the regular season, every game is a must-win for the Dinos. Only four teams make the playoffs and as it currently sits, the Dinos are number five. They will need the teams ahead of them to lose their remaining games if they are to get a shot at repeating as National Champions, which is something that is looking less and less likely as the weeks pass by. 

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