Friday night football: Nice night for Alberta; Dinos run wild, Golden Bears down Clan

  • It was a good night to be playing offence for a team which wears red, gold and black: Calgary scored 41 points and Guelph put up 53, with respective tailbacks Matt Walter and Nick Fitzgibbon each going off for more than 200 rushing-receiving yards.
  • Simon Fraser not only lost 28-16 at home to Alberta, but might have a quarterback controversy.
  • How about both road teams winning in Canada West with the 40-player travel roster?
  • Regina coach Frank McCrystal termed his team's loss "embarrassing."
  • Bishop's 25-20 win over McGill means everyone in the QUFL has a win except Concordia.
More below the jump.

Canada West

No. 4 Calgary 41, Regina 15 —
Under the heading "ya think," Matt Walter likely shot to near the top of Hec Crighton watch lists after a 24-carry, 259-yard, two-touchdown night (one TD was an 11-yard reception). Walter had 172 yards from scrimmage after the half as the Dinos scored three consecutive TDs to blow the game open ahead of a home matchup next week vs. Simon Fraser.

Erik Glavic just had to be efficient for the Dinos, passing 23 times for 183 yards (8.0 avg). Calgary's defence, which got a key second-half pick by cornerback Steve Truzak, was pretty solid. Regina's only offensive score in the second half, a field goal, came directly off a fumbled punt.

Regina has had exceptional circumstances. They wouldn't use it as an excuse, but there's only so much that can be asked of a team.

Alberta 28, No. 7 SFU 16 — Call this a tale of a two-quarterback system.

Golden Bears coach Jerry Friesen went to his relief pitcher, Julian Marchand, midway through the third quarter despite being up 15-10. It worked beautifully, since later in the quarter Marchand delivered the back-breaker with an eight-yard scoring pass Mike Wasylyniuk (who also caught a TD from starter Quade Armstrong).

That was set up by two game-changers, an interception by Alberta's Jason Hetherington and a 71-yard pass-and-run play to Laine Rogers (game-high 106 yards). Alberta didn't give up a play longer than 25 yards, so to cover 71 in one fell swoop was huge.

SFU coach Dave Johnson (who did not have ace punt returner Jeff Thompson in the lineup) yanked Bernd Dittrich and went with Caleb Clark. That took the dimension of the option play out of Simon Fraser's attack. On one third-down gamble in the fourth quarter, Clark pitched the ball behind Gabriel Ephard. Damned if Ephard (75 yards on only nine carries) didn't almost pick up the first down.

It will bear noting whom both Alberta and Simon Fraser start at QB next week. Ultimately, Alberta played a good game. They made life tough for the Clan receivers, too.


Bishop's 25, McGill 20 —
The Gaiters' luck evened out after they were denied by Sherbrooke two weeks ago (in a game with the same score).

Two weeks ago, the Gaiters were stopped twice in the red zone vs. Sherbrooke. Their defence turned the tables, stopping McGill at the four-yard line with 3:13 left after having denied the Redmen on a third-and-4 gamble just 5:08 into the second half. Steven Turner's punt-return touchdown in the first half ultimately gave the Gaiters their winning margin on a night when their D was on the field for 73 snaps.

A lot of the observations in these wrap-ups are intended to get a discussion going from people who were at the stadium or were following it live. It did jump out that McGill did not give the ball to Andrew Hamilton (18 rushes, 192 yards) on what were ultimately the two biggest plays of the night. On that third-and-4, No. 2 running back Taylor Kuprowski was stopped a yard shy of the sticks. With about four minutes left and Bishop's up 24-18, Gaiters linebacker Tyler Jutras tackled Kuprowski for a one-yard loss on first-and-goal from the three-yard line and Bishop's forced two incompletions to take over on downs.

Hamilton averaged 10.7 yards per carry on the night; McGill averaged only 4.2 per pass.

Bishop's showed its share of scrappy grit quotient. QB Jesse Andrews picking up three second-and-longs in a row on the drive which put the Gaiters ahead for good and Matt Burke rushed 18 times for 124 yards and a fumble. They also won a game where their best receiver, Shawn Gore, had only one catch. In another sport with helmets and pads, they would call it a character win. For instance, the summary notes wideout Olivier Mongeau got injured making a 19-yard catch in the third quarter. He was back in on the next series to make a key reception.


Guelph 53, U of T 25 —
The crazy part of Guelph having scored 156 points in three games that they have had two slow first halves. The Gryphons, encumbered by penalty problems (150 yards in the first three quarters), led just 9-7 at halftime before busting loose after the break.

Guelph is sure to get more Top 10 support just on the score alone. Along with Fitzgibbon's monster night (he's totalled 537 yards from scrimmage in the past two games vs. the Varsity Blues, usual suspects such as Justin Dunk (351 passing, 89 rushing) and Jedd Gardner (116 receiving, TD) put up numbers.

Tonight does not give a strong indication of whether Guelph is for real. They got away with some penalties and coverage breakdowns. The Gryphons are by all indications a solid team, and have Western next week to provide a better litmus test.

The slippery southpaw Andrew Gillis (155 yards passing, nine rushes for 93 yards) went most of the way at QB for U of T. Jansen Shrubb threw for 145 yards and a long-bomb TD to Jonathan Wright as the fourth quarter mop-up man. It's like Toronto has to play Gillis since he's also the bulk of its running game.
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  1. Very uncertain about Guelph right now, this game did nothing to clear that up either. When a team who scored a grand total of 3 points throughout their first two games keeps this one as close as they did, and scored as much as Toronto did, it does raise some questions on my end anyways.

    Obviously Guelph's O is very impressive but the D seems rather suspect. However you're right sager, the real test will be next weekend against Western. I think it's just a slight understatement to say that one might be a high scoring affair...

  2. McGill - Bishop's observations:

    - Gaiter RB Matt Burke was impressive, showing very good quickness for a 230 lb. dude. He'll make Bishop's faithful forget about Jamall Who?

    - Harrison Maloney of Bishop's is a hell of a DB. (He was the Q's rookie of the year last season. I think.) Plays with smarts and has the size (6'2", 200) not often seen at this or level (or the CFL for that matter). In fact, a couple of CFL scouts at the game opined he has an excellent shot at making it to the next level.

    - It was "Fill the Stadium Night", and while decrepit Percival Molson Memorial Stadium was nowhere near full, 3,000 is a decent crowd for this market.