Fumble in Manitoba

By Ryan Laverty

The University of Calgary can take solace knowing they didn’t suffer the worst defeat of the week in Canadian Interuniversity Sport football. The St. Mary’s University Huskies bestowed that honour on the Mount Allison University Huskies, in a 105-0 romp on the east coast. But, to say the Dinos weren’t quite up to par might be understating the fact.

After a huge overtime victory over the University of British Columbia last weekend the team was definitely confident heading into the prairies this week. But a 49-6 road loss at the hands of the Manitoba Bisons sent the Dinos reeling back to Calgary.

"Obviously we don’t like the outcome of the score, that’s for sure," explained Head Coach Tony Fasano. "I think anytime you have a game like that you have to take something away positive, or it can be real tough on a football team."

Positives may seem trivial from the outside looking in, but according to Fasano, the team did a lot of things well.

"For the first quarter and a half we were right in the football game," he said. "We had a chance to score to take the lead 7-1. When you put points up on the board, it sure does establish confidence for the team."

Despite great efforts from guys like quarterback Brent Hargreaves and wideout Jimmy Hartley, the team was unable to muster any points to close the opening quarter. And by halftime, the Bisons’ lead had snowballed to 28 points.

"From my standpoint, in games like these, it’s never as good as it seems and when you see the game film, it’s never as bad as it seems," philosophized the coach. "Somewhere in the middle lies the reality."

For this team the reality lies in the fact that they are nearing the midway point of the season and are flirting with missing the playoffs. With a 1-2 record the Dinos will be on the road again this weekend. They will travel to Saskatoon to take on an opponent with a matching record–the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. And while Fasano is wise to the importance of a victory this week, he doesn’t plan to do anything differently.

"There is no question about it, halfway through the season we sure would like to be .500," interposed Fasano. "We’ve had success going to Saskatchewan. But like every year, there’s always question marks preparing your team for your next opponent."

The team will need to clear up some of the question marks from the Bisons’ game if they expect to steal any points from the jowls of the Huskies. The Dinos will count on young players like Hargreaves to continue developing and to help restore any lost confidence.

"We have to take it as a learning experience," said Fasano. "And hopefully we can perform better."

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