Thunderbirds too much to handle… again

By Gavin Schafer

Imagine you’ve just challenged your friends to a race to 7-11. You bend down to tie one of your shoelaces and complete the task just in time to hear them yell "reddysetgo." They take off, leaving you the miserable task of an attempted comeback.

Despite the injustice felt, you know full well you’ve used the same sneaky tactic before and will definitely use it again, cursing yourself for not being ready for the element of surprise. Such was the case last weekend for our beloved Dinosaurs football team when they fell 37-22 to the University of British Columbia’s Thunderbirds on a clear day in Toke Town.

A first quarter 75 yard run for a T-Bird touchdown seemed more than just a setback for the Dinos, who saw themselves on the nasty end of a 34-4 half-time score. Needless to say, the boys got off to a bad start.

The T-Birds, fresh from a Vanier Cup season, were also inspired by the battle of their absent coach Casey Smith. "Courage for Casey," the slogan of support for the coach’s bout with cancer, was read by many a Dino lineman as it whizzed by on the back of the opponents’ helmets.

The second half saw the real Dinos squad take the field. On a Sean Kelley touchdown receipt and a Ken Eslinger touchdown run, they managed to outscore UBC 18-3, playing as they had when they trounced the Manitoba Bisons the week before.

"The beauty of playing in Can West is that you have to be ready to play every week, from the start of every game," said Head Coach Tony Fassano.

"We lost to the Thunderbirds because we didn’t execute. Kickoff was at 7:30 p.m. and we started playing at 9:00 p.m."

Now, having experienced both the sweet taste of victory and the bitterness of defeat, the Dinos’ palates should be nice and ready for another bite out of the Philly covered bagel they like to call their season when they confront the University of Saskatchewan Huskies this Saturday at McMahon stadium for the yearly Festival Bowl. The Huskies threaten to bite back, however, for being eliminated from post season play last year by the Dinos in a courageous 27-12 comeback win.

Nonetheless, it should prove to be great football at McMahon. Don’t forget the heated pursuit of the Jug O’ Justice. The wanted man this week: Huskies’ Wide Receiver Jeff Murza, green jersey #74. Keep your head up buddy, according to defensive back Brock Balog, the team "will look for Ian [Schafer] to light him up early!" Let the games begin.

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