SASKATOON - In a defensive struggle that came down to the final minute, the No. 2 ranked University of Calgary Dinos escaped with a 20-19 win over the No. 10 ranked University of Saskatchewan Huskies Friday night at Griffiths Stadium in PotashCorp Park.
Niko DiFonte kicked what would be the game-winning field goal from 10-yards out with 40.8 seconds remaining on the clock. The Dinos marched the ball 101 yards on the game-winning drive after starting at their own six-yard line.
The win makes it nine in a row for Calgary over the Huskies with the last Saskatchewan win coming in 2010. The Dinos remain perfect on the season at 3-0, while the Huskies drop to 2-1.
The Huskies had taken the lead 19-16 with a little over seven minutes remaining on a Sean Stenger 20-yard field goal. Kyle Siemens connected with Julan Lynch on a long pass and run to set the Huskies up in the red zone.
"We played our hearts out, we did, we were good all night. We had to make a couple more plays," said Huskie head coach Brian Towriss. "What we proved tonight, we can play with them. We can play with anybody in this conference. We have five (games) left and they're going to be five great games."
Both teams dug their heels in in the third quarter battling back and forth for field position in a scoreless frame. Calgary scored first in the fourth when Quentin Chown found the end zone on a four-yard scamper to move ahead 17-16.
Calgary hit the field running taking a 10-0 first quarter lead. DiFonte hit his first of two field goals in the game before Qunetin Chown punched in his first of two majors on the ground.
The Huskies got on the board in the second quarter with a 13-yard touchdown catch by Chad Braun. Sam Baker got into the end zone for his first CIS touchdown with under a minute to go in the half followed by a Sean Stenger rouge on the subsequent kickoff to give Saskatchewan a 16-10 halftime lead.
"In a one-point game, there could have been twenty plays through the course of the game that could have made the difference," Towriss added. "Give them credit, they drove the ball 95 yards into the wind to kick the game-winning field goal."
The Dinos found their offensive rhythm again in the fourth quarter as they continued to pile up the yardage finishing with 511 in the game while holding the Huskies to just 353.
Huskie quarterback Kyle Siemens finished the night 20-for-35 with 284 yards passing and a pair of touchdown tosses. His Calgary counterpart, Jimmy Underdahl, racked up 383 yards passing completing 29-of-43 attempts.
The touted Dinos defense held running back Tyler Chow under 100 yards for the first time this season. Chow still managed to run for 81 yards on 16 carries. Julan Lynch led the Huskie receiving corps with 92 yards on four catches. Chad Braun hauled in five Siemens' passes for 84 yards and a score, while freshman Sam Baker recorded his first CIS receiving touchdown on an eight-yard catch.
Defensively, Matt Kozun had a big game on the Huskies defensive line wreaking havoc in the Calgary backfield. Kozun tallied up four tackles and a pair of sacks.
Quentin Chown rushed for 86 yards on 15 attempts finding his way across the goal line twice in the game. Whitman Tomusiak was Underdahl's favourite target on Friday night grabbing 10 catches with 114 yards. Austen Hartley also reached the 100-yard mark with 108 in the game.
Four different Dinos recorded sacks led by the game's leading tackler Micha Teitz.
The Huskies head to Manitoba next week to meet the Bisons. Calgary will visit the Regina Rams.
CGY – Niko DiFonte 22-yard FG, 4:17, 3-0 CGY
CGY – Quentin Chown 12-yard TD run (Niko DiFonte convert), 12:26, 10-0 CGY
SASK – Sean Stenger missed FG single, 7:44, 10-8 CGY
SASK – Sean Stenger kickoff single, 14:35, 16-10 SASK
CGY – Quentin Chown 4-yard TD run (Niko DiFonte convert), 5:44, 17-16 CGY
SASK – Sean Stenger 20-yard FG, 7:49, 19-17 SASK
CGY – Niko DiFonte 10-yard FG, 14:19, 20-19 CGY