Close call

How many Dinos does it take to screw a Ram?

Only one: Steve Hughes.

The Dinos traveled to the hell hole known as southern Saskatchewan Sat., Sept. 24 to fight the University of Regina Rams. After a hard-fought battle, the Dinos claimed victory.

This game was just the third time the Dinos have visited the Rams since 1999 when they entered the Canada West conference.

Both teams had 1-2 records going in to this game, making this one a must win. The Dinos went in with renewed confidence and a fire in them that Calgary fans had been awaiting.

In the first quarter, Hughes kicked a successful 39-yard field goal to bring Calgary ahead by three points. Then, a fake field goal play put a 17-yard pass into the hands of running back Aneel Brar, who ran it into the end-zone. This put the Dinos ahead 11-0.

The Rams got lucky in the second quarter when Calgary quarterback Charles Guedo threw two interceptions–resulting in two Rams touchdowns–and was sacked three times. By the end of the half, Dinos fans were starting to worry about the 11-21 Ram lead.

Hughes finished the first half with 102 yards on 15 carries.

The second half began with Calgary’s Joel Ford catching a truly difficult pass and running for 33 yards, giving Calgary great field position. Hughes continued to march down field, ending the third quarter with 125 yards in 19 carries and his first ever touchdown.

The fourth quarter began with 17 and 44-yard touchdown passes to Calgary wide receiver Chris Nagy and Hughes respectively. With only two minutes left in the fourth quarter, Regina managed to score a touchdown, narrowing the Dinos’ lead to 32-30.

Regina attempted a two-point conversion, but Calgary defensive back Chris Wollin was ready. By grabbing a timely interception, he not only stopped Regina’s two-point attempt, but also secured the win. Final score: Dinos 32, Rams 30.

While the Dinos’ performance wasn’t exactly flawless, they did play better this game than any other so far this season. The defense must be congratulated, especially the defensive backs. These heroes, who are normally overlooked, had five interceptions–tying the Canadian Interuniversity Sport all-time record for interceptions in one game.

Defensive co-captain Scott Thompson also played a great game, leading the team with nine solo tackles.

“The team played really well in the second half,” he commented. “We responded well to the 10-point deficit we were facing at the beginning of the second. We’ve learned that if you want to make it bad enough, no matter how bad it is, you can make it. And we did.”

Josh Campbell finished second overall with seven solo tackles while Drew Carpenter, Dan Federkeil and Mike Watson each had five.

However, the man of the game, again, was Hughes. He earned a second consecutive CW Player of the Week title. Hughes rushed 268 yards in 33 carries, accumulated two touchdowns–his first two as a Dino–and caught two passes for 53 yards. The 268 rushing yards are the third most in school history.

Hughes also returned two punts for 43 yards, increasing his offensive total to 364 yards for the game.

Hughes accounted for 20 of Calgary’s 32 points.

“Everybody played well, not just me,” he humbly stated. “The offensive line did a fantastic job at opening up the field for me. The defense had five picks, which gave us more opportunities to score. Aneel Brar worked his butt off with me trying to find holes in the Rams defense.”

So how does he do it game after game?

“Let’s face it, you have to have a little something off in your head to go out on the football field and beat your head against other human beings on a daily basis. But sports should be always be fun or what’s the point of us being out here in the first place. I’m just glad I’m getting the chance to play a sport I like so much.”

Hughes has now rushed for 442 yards in two games.

The Dinos travel for a game against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds Fri., Sept. 30.

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