Cleated feet will no longer trample the fake grass at McMahon Stadium this year, as the Dinos join the Stamps in football failure. But hey, at least the Dinos made the playoffs.
"It's disappointing for the guys, they worked so hard," said Head Coach Tony Fasano after the Dinos' crushing 39-17 loss to the Regina Rams in the Canada West semi-final on Friday night. "It was our chance to go into the finals but we didn't do it."
Plagued by a weak secondary, the Dinos allowed too many points early on--down 15-1 at the end of the first half--and couldn't capitalize on good scoring chances, including two missed field goals, a problem that has plagued the Dinos this season.
"If we could have scored just two touchdowns it would have been different," said a disappointed quarterback Lincoln Blumell, after playing his last game with the Dinos. "We just couldn't dig out of the hole."
Blumell however, cannot be held accountable for the Dinos lack of dig. In addition to passing for 388 yards, the veteran quarterback ran 14 yards to score the Dinos' first touchdown in the third quarter. Another outstanding performer for the Dinos was Jamie Elliott, with six catches and 185 yards, making it easy to see why he's going to the CFL. Honourable mention goes to Blake Machan, who--fresh from a shoulder injury--made five catches totalling 86 yards.
"We thought that we could take advantage of the Rams' defensive techniques and go for long passes," said Fasano. "But we shot ourselves in the foot--we got some yards on the board, but we had no finish."
With 440 yards on the board to the Rams' 482, the 22 point deficit just doesn't make sense. The game should have been closer--the last time these two teams met, the score was an astronomical (but closer) 44-37 for the Rams.
"We will have to take a long look at our thinking in the off season," pondered Fasano. "We simply made too many mistakes."
With the departure of Lincoln Blumell and Jamie Elliott the Dinos coach certainly has a lot to think about.