Dinos roll through season opener

By Todd Penney

This past Sunday our pigskin pride, our warriors of the gridiron, our U of C Dinos were visiting Edmonton to square off against their bitter rivals–the University of Alberta Golden Bears. In the first battle of Alberta of the season, our Dinos drew first blood by defeating their opponents in the gold and green by a razor thin 28-26 margin.

The game got off to a slow start with a scoreless first quarter as both teams shook off their opening game jitters. The Dinos broke the ice early in the second quarter with a td from back Jeff Williams. Alberta answered with a field goal from multi-purpose Mark Wojcichowsky who is Alberta’s punter, place kicker and back. Calgary finished the half with a 31-yard field goal from Mark Nimik following a missed attempt from Nimik earlier in the quarter.

In the second half, Calgary came out strong as quarterback Lincoln Blumell connected with receiver Blake Machan for a td midway through the third quarter. Alberta replied with a td from the air three minutes later, but Calgary finished the quarter by punching in another score from receiver Jamie Elliott who caught nearly half of the completed passes of the day from quarterback Lincoln Blumell.

Alberta put the pressure on Calgary when back Jarred Winkel rumbled in for a touchdown for the first score of the fourth quarter. Winkel wasn’t finished yet, as he scored an impressive two point conversion following the td to tie the game at 25 apiece.

Nimik kicked another through the uprights to put Calgary in the lead by three until late in the fourth quarter. With a minute and a half to go, Wojcichowsky attempted the long 47-yard field goal but that was only good enough for the Bears to earn the single point, leaving Calgary walking away victorious.

Stats for both teams read like the dna of identical twins, with some exceptions. Calgary’s running game was much more successful as they ran for 158 total yards, nearly twice the yards rushing obtained by the Golden Bears against the stingy rush defense of the Dinos. The less-than-par performance of the Dinos special teams was also a factor in what Dino Head Coach Tony Fasano called "a game where they were trading blows with the Bears point for point."

"I felt they were a bit weak and will need some work," said Fasano about special teams. "We will take a look at some video footage to see where we can improve."

Fasano was pleased with the performance of both offensive and defensive lines and the strong performance from qb Blumell. Fasano said of the man at the helm, "I thought he played exceptional–he was composed, poised and confident."

The contest was a good first test for both teams as they begin their season. Next up for the red and gold is a date with last year’s conference champions the Manitoba Bisons. The game will conclude U of C 101 festivities at McMahon stadium on Friday, September 6 at 7:00 p.m.

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