Clan drags football Dinos out of playoff contention

I was walking around the Gauntlet office Monday, just after seeing the Dinos-Simon Fraser University Clan football game review laying beside the obituaries section of a local paper. It got me thinking about the result of the game, because, in a sense, SFU wrote the Dinos’ obituary in the form of a game score sheet.

The Dinos came out flat against the Clan in a must-win situation, losing their final regular season game 43-10, eliminating them from post-season contention.

You see, the University of Regina Rams defeated the University of Alberta Golden Bears 21-20 at home, leaving the Dinos and the U of A tied for the fourth and final playoff spot. Alas, the Bears came out on top, as they defeated the Dinos more handily in the second of their two meetings.

This is the first time Head Coach Tony Fasano has not seen postseason action with the Dinos.

Calgary hit the scoreboard first on an 18-yard field goal early in the game courtesy kicker Matt Nimik. That was all SFU was going to stand for before trouncing the Dinos.

Calgary had zero offense in the first half. Starting QB Chuck Guedo was out with a concussion, so backup Jeff Pockett got the nod. The previous week against UBC, Pockett played a strong game, leading Calgary to a convincing victory. This week however, Pockett’s evil, unproductive twin showed up to complete an abysmal two of eight passes for seven yards in the first half before getting pulled.

Third-string quarterback Ryan Franke replaced Pockett in the second half and provided an impressive, albeit brief, kick-start for the Dinos, marching the ball 72 yards on three plays before hitting Drew Carpenter with a 20-yard pass for the major.

The Dinos could not repeat their strong opening drive however, and Franke’s debut was more bitter than sweet.

The Clan rubbed salt in the Dinos’ gaping wounds, intercepting Franke’s passes to end the Dinos’ final three offensive drives. I’m sure the Dinos never pictured their season ending like this.

“We played well at times but we weren’t consistent enough to put points up on the board or to stop them,” said a disappointed Fasano. “SFU was the better team that day.”

Calgary’s defense fared no better in the contest. Clan quarterback J.R. Davies racked up 240 passing yards with several receivers earning significant yardage against a sluggish Dinos defense. Davies also averaged over nine yards per carry, including a rushing touchdown. That’s right people, this was the Clan’s quarterback.

This is the first time that SFU has ever played in the post season since their first campaign 38 years ago. I can almost hear the applause and SFU supporters yelling “finally” out on the West Coast.

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