BEARS UPSET HUSKIES2009-09-25
The University of Alberta Golden Bears stunned a ranked team for the second week in a row with a 27-7 victory Friday night ove the University of Saskatchewan Huskies Friday night in Edmonton's Foote Field.
Alberta's win moved them to 2-2 on the season and snapped a five-year losing streak to the Huskies. The Huskies drop to 2-1 with their first loss of the season.
The Bears got big plays from a number of different players on both sides of the ball. Defensive back Jason Hetherington snagged a career-high three interceptions for a total of 21 yards. Linebacker Jean-Marc Jones and defensive end Craig Gerbrandt were a formidable force as they combined for 17 tackles and five and a half sacks. Leading the offensive charge for the Bears was former Saskatchewan Huskie Mike Wasylyniuk, who came to the Evergreen and Gold last season. The Katepwa Lake, SK native turned the tables on his former team and got some sweet revenge as he led the Bears with four catches for 89 yards and one touchdown. His TD at the 1:43 mark of the third quarter put the Bears up 17-7.
Wasylyniuk made his mark on the Bears’ first drive of the game after he caught a Quade Armstrong pass across the middle and scorched his way down field for a 42-yard gain only to be tripped up at the one-yard line.
His biggest catch of the game helped set-up the first of two touchdowns by Bears running back Tendayi Jozzy.
The 2-1 Saskatchewan Huskies, who had a +1 point differential to go with two wins going into tonight’s game, were able to make their own statistical marks on the game to give the crowd of 1,709 fans, a fair percentage of which made the trip from Alberta’s eastern neighbour.
A native of Alberta’s western neighbour, Saskatchewan quarterback Laurence Nixon completed 24 of 41 passes, torching Alberta for 303 yards through the air. Wide receiver Travis Gorski was Nixon’s main target hauling in 11 catches for 129 yards as the game’s top receiver.
Saskatchewan also led the Bears in first downs as well as time of possession, while the defensive corps added three interceptions, two of which came from former Regina Thunder Jon Krahenbil. The 25 yards he gained in interceptions, combined with Bryce McCall’s nine yards, countered the defensive efforts of the Bears to continue to keep the game close throughout most of the game.
Unfortunately, the Huskies offence, in particular their run game, fizzled out as they marched into the red-zone. Three of the four Alberta interceptions were in scoring territory. After carrying the ball for 36 yards on 11 carries in the first half, the Huskies finished the game with just 33 yards on 23 carries
Alberta held a slim 10-7 lead after the first half, but walked into the dressing room with some blown chances to extend their lead after their spectacular defensive effort and some superb kicking from third year kicker Hugh O’Neill who nailed a 44-yard field goal and helped sway the battle of field position as Saskatchewan was forced to start many of their drives deep in their own territory.
On the flip side, the Bears run game struggled with just eight yards on 11 carries in the first half. That sure changed in the second half as Jozzy finally broke down the Huskies’ barrier and he finished with 23 carries for 115 yards. The Bears finished with 138 yards on the ground.
The Huskies will remain on the road next week travelling to Burnaby, B.C. to take on the Simon Fraser University Clan on Friday, October 2.