Janet Uchacz-Hart, mother of Huskies defensive lineman Zach Hart, showed her support by wearing her son’s jersey as she watched the Huskies defeat the Regina Rams 33-10 on Sept. 9 — except the jersey wasn’t Zach’s.
Zach’s younger brother Dylan was starting in his first game as quarterback for the Rams after former starter Marc Mueller was injured in their opening game. His mother knew he would need the extra support going into a hostile Griffiths Stadium, which saw a regular season record crowd of 7,370 fans.
The U of S Huskies defeat the Regina Rams at Griffiths Stadium on Sept. 9, 2011
“It’s Dylan’s first start and it’s in Saskatoon against his brother,” said Janet during half-time. “It’s a little more difficult than most games.”
According to her, the brothers had been taunting each other all week.
“They know that it’s a game and they’re really competitive,” she said, “but they secretly want each other to do well.”
That is why watching Dylan leave the game on a stretcher wasn’t what Zach wanted to see.
While sliding, Dylan took a hit from Huskies defensive lineman Levi Steinhauer in the third quarter. He stayed down for a bit before getting up at his own will. He left on a stretcher in the fourth quarter.
“I was pretty concerned,” said Zach. “But I saw him get up, so that put a smile on my face.”
Dylan wanted to continue playing, but his coaches decided to take the precautionary measure and pull him out of the game.
“He’s a tough kid. We’re just making sure that he’s safe,” said Rams head coach Frank McCrystal. “We heard the injury is something with his back but we don’t know what.”
As for the players’ mother, Zach said that she left the game with Dylan before its conclusion.
“She was worried, but she’s been around football for a while and knows that that’s the game,” said Zach. “I bet Dylan will be back next week.”
The Regina quarterback threw three interceptions and completed 11 of 20 pass attempts for 79 yards before leaving the game.
The Huskies’ Hart brother, usually a team leader in tackles, only had one tackle in the game but was greatly helped by his teammates.
Tony Michalchuk led the Huskies defence with 12 tackles, while Peter Thiel, Bryce McCall and Charlie Power each had four. They kept the Rams’ superstar running back Adrian Charles to only 89 yards rushing all game and did not allow the Rams’ offence to score a single touchdown.
The Rams’ only touchdown came in the first quarter after they recovered a Dexter Janke fumble for a touchdown.
The Huskies first-year running back Janke didn’t let the fumble bother him. He had 62 yards rushing for one touchdown and 141 yards receiving for another touchdown to earn player of the game honours.
“I made a big mistake fumbling the ball, but the coaches got on me and told me to keep my head right and have a short memory,” said Janke, whose performance was highlighted by a 101-yard touchdown reception in which he ran for 80 yards after the catch.
“I just tried to get the first down but ended up breaking it long,” he said. “It definitely was a lot of redemption.”
Jahlani Gilbert-Knorren also played well for the Dogs. He threw no interceptions and completed 16 of 32 pass attempts for 358 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 40 yards on the ground.
The Huskies will be in Winnipeg on Sept. 17 to take on the Manitoba Bisons. Their next home game is Sept. 30 against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds.
photo: Derek Elvin