By Ryan Laverty
Six Flags has nothing on the 2001 contingency of Dinos football who seem to give their fans a wild ride week in, week out.
It has been a season of highs and lows, ups and downs, and twists and turns. So, following their huge win two weeks ago over the previously undefeated Regina Rams, it was not a great surprise to see them drop yet another road match, this time a 20-5 thumping at the hands of the University of Alberta Golden Bears.
"I never know which team is going to show up," explained Dinos Head Coach Tony Fasano. "From week to week we go from an unimaginable high to an unbelievable low."
The team looked uninspired in their first trip to Alberta’s brand-spanking new athletic facility, Foote Field. The Bears took advantage of U of C’s flat start when Calgary-native Rob Rawcliffe hit his fourth field goal of the year a mere 2:31 into the first quarter. It didn’t get much better from there.
Jimmy Hartley managed to pull the Dinos even with a trifecta of his own, but that was as close as it would get. On the legs of tailback Nathan Connor, and with the help of fifth-year fullback Ryan Schula–who scored his first two touchdowns in his Canadian Interuniversity Sport career–the Bears simply rolled over their southern neighbours. What makes matters worse for Calgary is the fact that they were swept in the season series with U of A, and in this case it’s more than just a matter of provincial rivalry.
"This was a playoff game for us," said former Dinos Defensive Coordinator and first-year Bears Head Coach, Jerry Friesen. "It’s no sweeter just because its Calgary, but it does feel good to win. Plus, this could be huge for us going into the last two weeks of the season."
With the win Alberta pulls even with Calgary with matching 2-4 records which should be a major cause for concern if you are a Dino. After dropping both games to the Bears, if they’re still knotted come the final weekend of the season, Alberta will get the playoff nod.
"It was a big win," beamed Rawcliffe. "But we almost shot ourselves in the foot. We really struggled to capitalize on our chances."
Dinos captain Agustin Barrenechea was beside himself with frustration following the game but was able to put the result into perspective.
"We played hard but we just had too many mental errors," he explained. "It puts a little more pressure on us for the rest of the season but that’s okay. We’ll be ready for that."
The Dinos will search for their elusive first–and it would be the only–road win of the year, Oct. 19 when they travel to Vancouver for a match up with the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds.
The Red Zone:
As tough a loss as this was the Dinos may have lost something more important than two points. Defensive lineman Tyler Lynem and tailback Luke Mayer, both key starters, left the game due to injury. Lynem tore his MCL and is out for the season. On the other hand Mayer suffered a slight concussion and according to doctors, is questionable for the upcomming weekend. But if you see him, wish him good luck in B.C. because as far as he’s concerned he’ll be suited up and ready to go.