A huge first half was the difference as the University of Saskatchewan Huskies ended the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds season with a 38–18 victory.
Quarterback Drew Burko was lights out once again as he threw for three more touchdowns — all in the first half — giving him 21 on the season and staked the Dogs out to a big lead which they would not lose.
Julan Lynch, Steve Boryski and Andre LaLonde all were recipients of Burko touchdown passes as the Huskies led 24–0. With the second seed already locked down and the game out of reach, the Huskies brought in some backups to rest their starters and not risk injury.
Backup quarterback Kyle Siemens promptly entered the game and threw a 29-yard touchdown to Mitch Hillis to extend the lead to 31–0 at halftime. Burko was 20–31 for 291 yards on the afternoon while Siemens completed five of six for 45 yards.
The Thunderbirds would make a game out of it in the second half as they reeled off 17 straight points to cut the lead to just 31–17 with time still remaining in the third quarter. From there on out the green and white defence held their own and UBC would only add a single point in the fourth quarter off of a missed field goal.
Freshman running back Tyler Chow would ice the game with a 15-yard touchdown scamper midway through the fourth to widen the cushion to an insurmountable 38–18. Chow finished with 104 yards on just 15 carries, by far his most successful game in the CIS thus far.
Defensive backs Chris Friesen and Dylan Kemp would add to the Huskies’ interception total as they both picked off Thunderbird quarterback Carson Williams. With the picks, the Dogs run their season total to 15, which is the best in Canada West. Continuing to force turnovers will be a must if they want to continue winning and advance through the playoffs.
In other Canada West action, the University of Manitoba Bisons beat the first place University of Calgary Dinos 50–31 while the Regina Rams snuck past Alberta 35–31 to claim the fourth and final playoff spot.
The Huskies will host the Bisons on Nov. 7 for the first semifinal, while the following day Regina will take on Calgary in the other. The two winners will meet for the Canada West championship while the loser’s season comes to an end.
This will be the third and final meeting between the Huskies and Bisons with the teams splitting the first two meetings. In Saskatoon on Sept. 5, the Dogs won 44–24 while on Oct. 27 the Bisons returned the favour with a 41–8 victory. In each case the home team won big, so homefield advantage for the Huskies could be the difference maker.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on Nov. 7 at Griffiths Stadium as the Huskies look to advance to the Canada West Final for the first time in seven years.