The Dinos football team came into their second game of the year facing questions about injuries, their first game loss and most importantly their 18-year-old rookie quarterback. However, over the course of the game, the team came up with answers to these questions.
The annual kickoff crowd was huge, loud and wielding plastic noisemakers. There were even several students dressed up in spandex shorts and tights in a show of team spirit.
For most of the first quarter the Dinos and the University of Regina Rams traded fruitless possessions. The Rams got on the score board first as the result of a safety with five minutes remaining in the first quarter making it 0-2.
In the second quarter the University of Regina Rams scored the first touch down of the game and led 0-9 until the Dinos scored a late touch down to finish the first half 7-9.
After allowing a field goal near the midway point of the third quarter, the Dinos came alive and scored two touchdowns. The first was off of a nice pass by quarterback Eric Dzwilewski and the second was a punt return by receiver Nathan Coehoorn, leaving the Dinos with a lead of 21-12.
The Rams scored a touchdown after two big Dino penalties, which brought the Rams to the one yard line and make the game very tight at 21-19. The Dinos responded with a field goal with four minutes remaining to lead 24-19. The Dinos clinched the win with an interception in the end zone during the Rams' final possession of the game.
Dzwilewski, the Dinos new quarterback, had a solid game. Dzwilewski showed that he can pass and set up plays completing 13 of 20 passes, two for touchdowns. He also demonstrated his ability run during seven carries that resulted in 62 yards, one of which was a 23 yard gain.
"For an 18-year guy to come in and play like that was just amazing. Some of the passes he made and the scrambling he did it was just amazing," said Coehoorn.
The Dinos took a few big penalties which gave the Rams opportunities like the first quarter safety and the second Rams touchdown.
"You've got a lot of new players in there," Dinos football head coach Blake Nill said. "If you look at it some of the new guys took a few of those penalties. I think you still had some emotions from the game one there and I think the guys came out and tried to play more aggressive and consequentially their discipline slipped a bit. It's certainly something that a coach doesn't want to see. I don't think that'll happen again."
Two Dinos players were named Canada West players of the week after the game. Coehoorn was named special teams player for his 76-yard punt return for the Dinos' third touch down and Quarterback Eric Dzwilewski was offensive player of the week because of his breakthrough performance.
see Kickoff, page 19
"What it shows is that we still have playmakers on the team, guys that can help us win, guys who can make the plays that are necessary and it is a big deal," said Nill.
The Dinos play their next game against the University of Alberta Golden Bears (2-0) on Saturday.
"The Alberta game is going to be a very physical game, it's going to be a game that's tough, it's tough to win up there," said Nill.