Hardy Cup comes home

The University of Calgary Dinos offence scored so many touchdowns Saturday, the guys who threw souvenir footballs to the fans after scores ran out. The Dinos offence broke the goal line and scored five touchdowns on their way to a 44-21 victory over the Simon Fraser University Clan in the Hardy Cup Final at McMahon Stadium last Saturday.


With the win the sixth-ranked Dinos travel to Quebec City to battle the top team in the country, the Universite de Laval Rouge et Or in the Uteck Bowl on Sunday.


The Dinos came out ready to play Saturday and built up a 24-7 half time lead, taking all the momentum away from Simon Fraser.


“It was huge to build the big lead as both teams had momentum coming into the game,” said running back Anthony Woodson. “It was important to get on track fast and take away all of their momentum.”


Half a minute into the second quarter, Woodson took a hand off from quarterback Deke Junior and sprinted 13 yards to the end zone for the Dinos’ first score of the game. With the score, Calgary took the lead for the first time and never relinquished it.


Minutes later, Woodson proved to fans that an injury that left him sidelined for most of the season had no lasting effects as he hauled in a 36-yard Junior pass for his second touchdown of the game.


“Our team had a lot of momentum when I came back from injury and I just feel good coming back and helping the team,” said Woodson.


The Dinos displayed offensive depth and pulled a trick play when offensive lineman Paul Swiston got in on the action. Swiston caught a nine-yard Junior pass to extend the Dinos lead to 24-7. The catch capped off an impressive 11-play, 81-yard drive that lasted five minutes.


“We have run that play before and all game we were running the same stuff and when he went sneaking out they just were not expecting it,” said receiver Anthony Parker.


Calgary’s domination continued in the second half while Simon Fraser was unable to get their offence moving.


“Our running backs were really good and were able to move the ball well,” said Clan quarterback Bernd Dittrich. “But we just had way too many turnovers today. We had a lot of busts during the game, minor mistakes. The details matter in a game like this and we didn’t play as well this week as we did against Saskatchewan.”


In the third quarter both defences played well as Calgary was held to two field goals by Aaron Ifield and Clan running back Brandon Halverson ran the ball in from one yard for their second touchdown of the day.


Calgary exploded again in the fourth quarter as Parker– not to be outdone by Woodson– got into the show.


Parker hauled in 38- and six-yard passes from Junior for touchdowns.


Although Hec Crighton nominee Matt Walter had no scores on the day, his 126 yards on the ground opened up the passing game and allowed for Junior’s four touchdowns.


“It was hard running, but it was expected as they were keying on me all game,” said Walter. “But that opens up the pass game.”


The Dinos offence exploded for 535 yards, their best performance of the season. Junior threw for 325 yards to go with his four touchdowns.


“The offensive line blocking was huge for our pass game,” said Junior. “All I do is give the receivers an opportunity to make a play, they do the rest.”


Junior spread the offence around and threw passes to six different receivers Saturday.


“I believe we had the passing game all along this season,” said Parker. “We have one of the best receiving core and skilled positions sets in Canada. We played well as a group today and I am looking forward to next week.”


Woodson was quick to praise Junior’s dedication this season as well.


“Deke has really been studying and working hard in the film room this season,” said Woodson. “I am really excited to see what he can do next week.”


While the offence was strong, the Calgary defence also went to work, giving up only 21 points, 14 of which came when the lead was insurmountable.


The defence will have to play perfect football against a fast, skilled and powerful Laval offence. Walter said at this point in the season the team is at its peak.


“I wouldn’t say we need to improve, we just have to continue doing what we are doing best.”

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