Dinos get hustled by the Huskies

The University of Calgary Dino footballsaurs met a close 27-13 loss at the 2007 Kickoff game against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies at McMahon Stadium Sep. 8.

The Dinos were confident going into their home opener after destroying Simon Fraser University in their first game of the season 52-14, but their zealousness proved ineffective as the Huskies took the lead in the second half of the game.

“We did good for about a quarter and a half, but then everything fell apart and we started taking penalties and making mistakes in the second half, so we’ll just have to come back strong next week and prove ourselves,” said Dinos co-captain and undisputed game star Anthony Woodson. “We fought hard. It sucks because part of the reason we lost is because of all the mental mistakes and poor execution in the second half.”

Calgary came into the game strong, taking a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, with an 11-play, 78-yard touchdown and Woodson leading the charge. They strengthened their lead as second-year kicker Aaron Ifeld brought score to 10-0 with a 34-yard field goal. The Dinos continued strong as Ifeld again led the way, with the score standing at 13-0.

Turmoil ensued when Saskatchewan started down the scoring path with a 10-play drive, with kicker Braden Suchan pushing the team through. The score landed at 13-11 as Suchan helped the Huskies with another field goal.

Things were tight all through the third quarter as both teams tried to fend off one another to keep anyone from scoring.

The fourth quarter was peppered with penalties as things became more tense on both ends. Bad weather also plagued the Dinos as hard winds and heavy rain blowing from the direction of the Huskies’ end zone made it difficult for the ball to travel more than a few yards in the air. Saskatchewan used the weather to further their punts and throws, leaving them with an unforeseen, but well-utilized advantage.

Suchan’s field goal in the second half of the quarter put the Huskies in the lead, and after Leighton Heron’s return of Ifield’s punt, they scored again from Calgary’s 10-yard line. The Huskies brought the score and their lead to 27-13 after intercepting a pass to Ifield and running it down the field for another touchdown.

Dinos head coach Blake Nill was noticeably disappointed with the team’s play following the game and noted the seriousness of wins and losses at this level of sport.

“I don’t want people to say, ‘you did well,’ and that type of thing because this game is about winning at this level,” said Nill. “When you’re this close to taking a game that most people thought you didn’t have a chance to win, you have to be able to do that.”

Nill added this was an especially tough loss and he took it as such.

“At this level, you’re paid to win and you play to win,” said Nill. “You just hate seeing efforts like that go to waste.”

Though the Dinos accepted defeat in this game, they are still hopeful with the progression of Woodson and his performance in the season so far. He is one of the Dinos’ most promising players this season, setting a Dinos top-13 record for rushing in a single game of 208 yards.

“This is the first time in my career that I’ve been able to come back my next year in football and know the offensive line so it helps to give me a better comfort zone,” Woodson said.

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