The seventh ranked University of Saskatchewan Huskies men’s football team fell to the visiting University of Manitoba Bisons 33-26 and 4-3 on the season.
The loss means the Huskies will have to wait until after the final week of the season to see where they will finish in the standings. Depending on who wins, the Dogs could finish anywhere from second to fourth in the Canada West division. However, they are guaranteed a playoff berth thanks to Regina’s loss.
The game got off to a slow start, but halftime saw things perking up to become an exciting back-and-forth affair. The two teams alternated scoring the entire second half and the Huskies had a chance to tie the game in the fading minutes but quarterback Drew Burko’s pass was intercepted, ending the threat.
Manitoba quarterback Jordan Yantz threw for four touchdowns, including the game winner with 5:50 left in the fourth quarter.
The Dogs opened the scoring on their first drive of the game. Kicker Denton Kolodzinski connected on a 33-yard field goal to give the Huskies an early 3-0 lead. Kolodzinski’s counterpart Nick Boyd tied the game with a 26-yard field goal of his own.
Late in the opening quarter, Yantz hit Nic Demski for a 21-yard touchdown pass making the score 10-3 in favour of the visitors. Kolodzinski hit from 29-yards out in the second quarter to cut the difference to 10-6 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Dexter Janke gave the Huskies back the lead with a 15-yard touchdown run. Janke finished with 59 yards rushing in the game and the one touchdown.
Manitoba recorded a safety to cut the Dogs lead to a mere 13-12. On the next Huskie possession Kolodzinksi would hit his third field goal of the evening, this one from 37 yards out, to make the score 16-12 for the Huskies.
With time winding down in the third frame, Dustin Pederson hauled in a 27-yard touchdown from Yantz, pushing Manitoba ahead 19-16 after three quarters of play.
The see-saw action continued in the fourth, with Shane Buchanan restoring the Huskies’ lead on a one-yard touchdown run. The Bison’s answered just two plays later when Yantz threw a 41-yard touchdown to Matt Sawyer, who would go on to finish with three catches for 89 yards and one touchdown for Manitoba.
Kolodzinski tied the game at 26 with a successful field goal from 46-yards back. making him a perfect 4-4 on the night. Yantz found Alex Vitt for a touchdown to close scoring for the game and hand the Huskies their third loss of the season.
Burko completed 21 of 38 passes for a total of 324 yards and one interception. His favourite target for the night was Kit Hillis, who caught 10 passes for a total of 134 yards. Hillis also had one carry for 44 yards. Dane Bishop led the Huskies defense with seven total tackles.
Travelling to Regina next weekend to take on the 2-5 Rams, the Dogs will need a win if they want to have a shot at a home playoff game and the second seed in the Canada West playoffs.
The U of S is currently in a three-way tie for second with the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds and Manitoba. The Calgary Dinos maintain their stranglehold on first place with a 7-0 record.
The Huskies take on the University of Regina Rams on Saturday Oct. 26 in Regina. Canada West playoffs begin November 1.
Photo: Jordan Dumba/Photo Editor