Vanier Cup: Game gets away from Calgary

The final analysis was not pretty for the hurtin' Albertans.

Calgary contrived to lose when it had a 350-yard passer (Erik Glavic), a receiver who was uncoverable (Anthony Parker, whose nine receptions for 187 yards was a game high) and the game's leading rusher (Matt Walter, who had 19 rushes for a game-high 108).

Who knows the root cause. The Calgary Herald is calling it an "implosion" and a "vanishing act," which is the media's prerogative when a team loses after being up 18 points at the half (no team had ever come from behind from more than 12 down at the half).

It's not clear what happened. Calgary had some grievous errors, and not all necessarily in the first half:
  • Settling for field goals: Calgary started second-quarter drives at the Queen's 51, 31 and 48 and got nine points.
  • Clock management: Calgary burned both its timeouts before the three-minute mark of the third quarter, which came back to haunt them late in the game when Queen's ran off the final 3:01. (on the live blog, Andrew Bucholtz wondered if Blake Nill had gone to the Andy Reid School of Game Management.)

    There was the odd ending to the first half, where Parker caught a pass around the Queen's 40 and sprinted to the sideline instead of just going to a knee to stop the clock (which ironically, Queen's tight end Chris Ioannides did to set up a game-winning field goal vs. Guelph in September). Time had run out by the time Parker stepped into touch, costing Calgary a chance at a makeable field goal.
  • Blown red-zone opportunities: Calgary actually did well going into the wind in the third quarter, but a blocked 17-yard field goal try and a Glavic pass that hung in the air and was intercepted by Queen's Matt Vickers left them empty-handed.

    Queen's Ben D'Andrea was given credit for the block. D'Andrea (No. 26) also was in on the hit that caused Richard Snyder's decisive fumble, although on the stat sheet it said Alex Daprato (No. 28).
  • Drive-killing sacks: The strip sack in the third quarter hurt Calgary ... but what might have hurt more was the 14-yard sack Glavic took on the drive after Queen's had gone ahead 26-25. Calgary had to punt and after a good return by Jim-my All-in!, Queen's went 74 yards for the winning Marty Gordon TD.
The hell of it for the Dinos is all that and it was a still a two-point game. They will be back.

Dinos lament Vanier vanishing act; Calgary loses grip on football title after second-half implosion (Rito Mingo, Calgary Herald)
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  1. Secret to comeback=BIG FATTY in locker room at half time...when your'e startin' foolish, 'ya got NOTHIN' to lose!!!

  2. Those squandered opportunities inside Queen's 25 yard line and stupidly wasting those two timeouts...that was the game in a nutshell.
    And for god's sake Parker was UNSTOPPABLE!
    WHY didn't Calgary use him MORE?
    Glavic tried to make Hollywood plays and wound up getting sacked or turning it over.
    He also got pounded senseless for his efforts.
    Clearly, Nill was outcoached in the second half...not like that's ever happened before.

  3. We just wrote on our blog that we think it was more Calgary that lost it than Queen's winning it...

    But after all is said and done - Who cares, only the "W" remains...

  4. Calgary started second-quarter drives at the Queen's 51, 31 and 48 and got nine points.

    That's not as bad as it sounds...on average, a first down at those three points yields 2.5, 3.8, and 2.7 points, which adds up to nine. That's probably a little low, but it's not the failure it sounds like at first glance.

  5. Why, even after they win a Vanier, does it seem people just can't give credit to the Gaels? "it was more Calgary that lost it than Queen's winning it..." seems to be the theme around here of all three of the Gael's past wins (replace Calgary with Western and Laval obviously).

    These guys stormed back from a 25-7 deficit at half. They could have easily just given up, but they didn't. Forget they go to Queen's for a moment, can't they just be given credit?

    On a side note, I was on the track and not exactly in the right state of mind...was the fumble return for a TD that was called back as an "incomplete pass" actually a clear incomplete pass (1st quarter)? From standing behind the benches it seemed to be a very delayed and questionable call (keep in mind you couldn't see much from that angle).

  6. @8:12 ... the replay showed Erik Glavic's arm was coming forward; the refs got the incomplete pass call correct.

    The odd part was he was 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage, lobbed it maybe 5 yards and did not get an intentional grounding penalty — or an objectionable conduct call for taking his helmet off on the field.

  7. a couple things:
    first off, Anthony Parker was phenomenal. This kid is something else, and it's too bad he was overshadowed by his quarterback this year. He's also only a couple weeks past 20.
    re: Frank Pankewich's int return being called back, the referees had to options there, if his arm wasn't going forward, it's a fumble, and if it was, it ABSOLUTELY HAS to be an intentional grounding penalty. Not only, in my opinion, should it be called anyway when the quarterback is flinging the ball backhanded as he's going down, but it was nowhere near any Calgary receiver or getting to the line of scrimmage. A terrible call in an afternoon unfortunately marred by terrible calls.
    Third, Walter was the leading rusher, however he only ran for two more yards than Queen's' Marty Gordon.
    and finally, it's notable that Ben D'Andrea is one of two Calgarians on Queen's' roster (the other being Geoff Mohtadi, who suffered a season ending shoulder injury in September). Good for him for stepping up against his hometown team, and a number of guys he played against in his youth.