Dinos try to salvage a so-so season

The West Coast washout University of British Columbia Thunderbirds football team squared off against the Dinos Sat., Oct. 18 at McMahon Stadium. Both teams were going through a dismal stretch, with the Dinos losing three straight games prior to the match and UBC still without a win on the season. The Dinos showed a lot of strength, finishing when it counted, and sent the floundering T-Birds a 42-13 loss.

The win puts the Dinos in a three-way tie for second place in Canada West with Simon Fraser University and the University of Alberta. However, each of these teams is a distant second to the undefeated University of Saskatchewan Huskies who were the Vanier Cup finalists last year and currently sit atop the national poll.

The Dinos opened the scoring in the first quarter on a two-yard scamper from running back Jeff Williams, who is becoming more and more of an asset for the Dinos.

The Dinos ground attack has become consistently stronger, in spite of weak all-around performances in their recent Canada West battles. Williams’ major was the result of an impressive 82-yard march that included a 52-yard pass to Drew Carpenter.

Carpenter had an outstanding afternoon, racking up 89 yards and a touchdown on only three receptions. Slotback Andrew Lunse and receiver Joel Ford also showed up again on the stats pages, obtaining a combined 75 yards on five catches.

The Dinos offense finally put together some solid series’ and got into a rhythm despite quarterback Chuck Guedo’s early departure due to a concussion. Backup Jeff Pockett took the reins and racked up 96 passing yards, two passing touchdowns and two TDs he plunged in himself from one yard out.

"Jeff really stepped up when he had to this game," said Dinos Head Coach Tony Fasano, pleased with Pockett’s performance. "This is exactly what we wanted to see from him."

The Dinos defense showed their true colours as well on Saturday, forcing UBC to make all kinds of mistakes. The defense beat the snot out of quarterbacks Rob Kenney and Blake Smelser, totaling six sacks. When the Dinos defense could not get the quarterbacks to eat turf, they made them pay for their bad decisions, intercepting five UBC passes. One pick resulted in a 71-yard Ryan Saurette touchdown while another was returned 58 yards to the UBC one-yard line by Dan Zubkowski before being punched in by Pockett.

The defense also forced four UBC fumbles. It got to the point where the T-Birds were afraid to touch the ball.

"Defensively, our boys were causing things to happen all over the field and we were making plays on offense," explained Fasano. "The entire team pulled together and made a good, full, 60-minute effort."

Calgary did have some offensive weak points in the game however, allowing four sacks and committing four turnovers.

"Sometimes mental mistakes are made by the offensive line," said Fasano. "Receivers do not get open, or the quarterback holds onto the ball too long and this causes problems."

These issues did not make much difference compared to the multitude of problems UBC had pretending they actually knew how to play football.

Calgary is up against the tough SFU Clan on the West Coast this weekend in their last regular-season tilt. A win would mean a bid at solidifying second spot in Canada West and home-field advantage in the semi-final. A loss could mean any number of things, even placing fifth with no post-season at all.

Cross your fingers as the Dinos head into the weekend with their heads held high.

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