Football: CW recap - If you're not first, you're last out west

It seems the west really is wild this season. With wins from Calgary and Regina a three-way tie now exists atop the Canada West standings with the Dinos, Rams and Alberta Golden Bears all deadlocked for the top spot in the conference. A three-way tie also exists at the bottom of the six team conference, with Saskatchewan, UBC and Manitoba all sitting with 1-2 records.

In Edmonton Saturday afternoon it was a top 10 edition of the battle of Alberta between the #4 Dinos and #7 Bears. The question all week long in the provincial capital was whether or not the Bears were for real - could they beat an elite team?

Despite a 12-6 lead heading into the half, Alberta wouldn't be able to hold on, falling to the Dinos and in the process leaving everyone wondering just how good the Bears really are.

Without Blake Nill on the sidelines after he was suspended one game, Calgary managed to pull things together in the second half using rookie QB Eric Dzwilewski and a trio of running backs with the option to run over the Bears with 268 yards total on the ground.

Running back Anthony Woodson returned to the lineup for Calgary, scoring their only offensive major of the game in the fourth quarter on a one yard plunge to make it 14-12 Alberta.

The biggest play of the game, however, came with just over six minutes left when Calgary's Tye Noble intercepted Alberta QB Julian Marchand, returning the INT 45 yards for the major. The Dinos would convert the two-point convert to make it 20-14. Aaron Ifield would add a late field goal to cement the 23-14 win.

Also of note, Ifield became the Dinos all-time leading scorer early in the second quarter when he kicked a 31 yard field goal to surpass Bruce Parsons' total of 274 career points.

It was another character win for the Dinos, who more than anything Saturday proved they can find ways to win despite obstacles. Even without Erik Glavic at the helm offensively, Calgary showed they know how to win by coming up with plays when they needed them the most.

In Vancouver it was a another lopsided contest involving the Manitoba Bisons, except this time it was the Herd who came out on the right end of things.

With a 24-17 lead at the half, Manitoba came out and scored 16 second half points to UBC's goose egg to get their first win of the season, while handing the T-Birds their second home loss of the season in as many tries.

Maybe the lopsided loss for UBC can be explained as getting too high on yourself after winning a game a week earlier no one expected you to. Practice seems to have played into this one, as head coach Shawn Olson was none too pleased about how his team practiced heading into the game.

Manitoba dominated the T-Birds on the ground, with running back Matt Henry leading the stampede of UBC with 134 yards on the ground including two scampers that resulted in touchdowns.

Bisons QB Khaleal Williams had himself a fantastic game rushing for 100 yards, and throwing for 215 yards including three TD passes.

Both the Bisons and T-Birds now sit with identical 1-2 records - once again, good for a three way tie for "second" along with the Saskatchewan Huskies.

Speaking of the Huskies, they came off that surprising loss to UBC a week ago looking to prove that was nothing but a fluke loss. The Sled Dogs though would do just the opposite, losing for the second consecutive week; this time 37-26 to Regina thanks in large part due to Regina scoring two majors off Saskatchewan turnovers.

Despite being intercepted twice, Regina Rams QB Marc Mueller threw two TD passes and 353 yards to guide his team to its second win.

The biggest offensive catalyst, however, was Adrian Charles and his 152 yards on the ground including a pair of TDs.

Regina's defence was crucial in the win, sacking Saskatchewan QB Laurence Nixon a trio of times, and backup Trent Peterson once. Chris Sciog led the sack attack with a pair of QB take downs.

If it weren't for 13 fourth quarter points from Saskatchewan, this game could've been a lot uglier than it ended up. The Huskies' offence once again couldn't get the job done in the loss.

Huskies Football Outsider summed things up for Saskatchewan: "Costly turnovers and the offence once again sputtering and unable to connect until it was too late cost the Huskies dearly, as the Rams were able to score touchdowns off of a costly Huskie fumble inside their five and on a long pick-six in the third quarter, scores that would stand up as the difference in this football game."

Regina has looked strong so far this season, with their only loss coming by just three on the road in Calgary. While Saskatchewan still has the pieces to be among the elite in the country, it's time they get moving in the right direction.
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