After a dozen years of frustration and hasty exits, the University of Saskatchewan Huskies finally — at long last — hoisted a trophy.
The Huskies dismantled the previously unbeaten Calgary Dinos 43-18 Saturday, winning the Hardy Cup, which goes to the Canada West football champion. It’s the team’s first conference title since 2006, when they beat the Manitoba Bisons 32-15 en route to a Vanier Cup appearance.
Saskatchewan now advances to the national semifinal against the unbeaten Western Ontario Mustangs, who are ranked No. 1 in the nation. The Mustangs thrashed Guelph 63-14 on Saturday, and will host the Mitchell Bowl against Saskatchewan this coming Saturday.
The winner of that game advances to the Vanier Cup Nov. 24 in Quebec City.
“The boys just had their minds and hearts set that we weren’t going to be done today,” Huskies’ head coach Scott Flory told 600 CJWW at game’s end.
The Huskies, who snapped an eight-game playoff losing streak the week before against British Columbia, were definitive underdogs heading into Saturday’s game. Calgary was 9-0 through the regular season and playoffs, and had beaten Saskatchewan twice. The Huskies were a combined 6-3.
But Saskatchewan trailed just once all game — midway through the first quarter, after a Calgary punt single gave them a 1-0 lead. The Huskies led 25-17 after three quarters and dominated the fourth, outscoring Calgary 18-0 while running away with the conference crown.
Huskies’ tailback Tyler Chow racked up 24 carries for 222 yards and two touchdowns, while Colton Klassen caught seven passes for 137 yards. The Huskies’ defence intercepted four passes thrown by star Dinos’ quarterback Adam Sinagra.
Chow’s touchdowns came from one and 23 yards out, and Klassen scored on a one-yard run. Carter Dahl, on a 10-yard catch, and Adam Machart, a one-yard run, also scored touchdowns for the Huskies, while Sean Stenger booted field goals of 28 and 42 yards.
Calgary got a nine-yard touchdown run from Jeshrun Antwi and a 30-yard TD reception from Hunter Karl, along with a 45-yard Niko DiFonte field goal.
Elsewhere in the country, StFX and Laval set up their own national semifinal matchup by winning their respective league finals. StFX beat Saint Mary’s 33-9, and Laval downed Montreal 14-1.
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