REGINA — The University of Regina Rams advanced to the Hardy Cup with a 31-9 victory over Saskatchewan on Friday night in a Canada West semifinal at a snowy Mosaic Stadium.
The two teams were separated by just one point at halftime as the U of R held a 10-9 lead through two quarters, but the second half was all Rams. Regina scored three touchdowns in the span of just over 11 minutes and didn’t allow a single point in the game’s final 30 minutes.
Marc Mueller completed 21 of his 32 passes for the Rams and ended up with 393 yards and three touchdowns. Meanwhile, Landon Buch, usually used as a quarterback in short-yardage situations, had a breakout game at slotback with 130 yards and two touchdowns on six catches.
The Rams will now prepare for their fifth appearance in the Hardy Cup, as they’ll square off with the Calgary Dinos at 4:00 p.m. ET on Nov. 10 at McMahon Stadium.
Canada West semi-final: No. 3 Calgary 57, Manitoba 18
CALGARY — The University of Calgary Dinos are off to their fifth-straight Hardy Cup game after a 57-18 win over the Manitoba Bisons Saturday night at McMahon Stadium.
The four-time defending conference champs stepped on the gas early and didn’t relent, taking a 42-0 lead into half time and cruising to their second big win over the Bisons in as many weeks after putting up a bizarre 78-54 score over the Bisons last week in the final game of the regular season.
“Initially, it was outstanding tonight,” said Dinos head coach Blake Nill, who will lead his charges into their 11th home playoff game since 2008 next Saturday against Regina. “It’s a challenge to play a team back-to-back and three times in a year, and they showed us some new wrinkles. There was a lot of pressure on our guys, they had everything to lose – and once we got things slowed down we moved the ball very well.
Calgary quarterback Eric Dzwilewski finished 24-for-40 for 311 yards and a touchdown on the night, while Andrew Buckley mopped up with five completions on eight attempts for 56 yards and a major.
The Dinos now get set for the Rams, the only team to beat them in 2012, in next Saturday’s conference championship game, looking for their 14th Hardy Cup title. The Canada West champion will travel to play the winner of next week’s Ontario final between McMaster and Guelph in the CIS Mitchell Bowl for a berth in the Vanier Cup.
OUA semi-final: No. 5 Guelph 42, No. 6 Queen’s 39
GUELPH — The No. 5 Guelph Gryphons came from behind to defeat the No. 6 Queens Gaels 42-39 in an overtime thrilling OUA semi-final on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Stadium, to advance to the 105th Yates Cup on Saturday, Nov. 10 against No. 1 McMaster.
Leading the Gryphon charge was second-year quarterback Jazz Lindsey of Markham, Ont., who threw for 198 yards and two majors on 14-38 attempts. He also tallied 99 yards on the ground with an 80-yard long for a touchdown.
“This feels unbelievable,” commented Lindsey following the game. “At halftime we talked about being in similar situations, we knew what we had to do to come back and win and we did. We simply executed better in the second half.”
The Gaels were led by Billy McPhee of Burlington, Ont., who connected on 22 of 33 attempts for 226 yards and a touchdown. Arnprior, Ont.’s Jesse Andrews led the rushing game with 117 yards and two touchdowns. The win for Guelph marks its first trip to the provincial finals since hosting in 2007, eventually losing to Western. This will be the Gryphons’ seventh overall appearance in the OUA final and they will be searching for their fourth OUA banner. The last time Guelph won the Yates was in 1996.
OUA semi-final: No. 1 McMaster 42, No. 8 Western 28
HAMILTON — Wide receiver Michael Dicroce of Hamilton returned to the McMaster lineup scoring two touchdowns to lead the No. 1 McMaster Marauders to a 42-28 win over the No. 8 Western Mustangs in the OUA semifinal.
The victory puts McMaster in elite company, having equaled the CIS record of 19 consecutive wins previously set by the Laval Rouge et Or. Laval accomplished the feat in the 2004-2005 season while McMaster hasn’t lost since last September.
Dicroce, who was the OUA MVP last season, was named the ‘Big Mac McDonald’s’ player of the game catching two key touchdowns and tallying five receptions for 139 yards. He was playing in his first game of the year after suffering an ankle injury in training camp.
Kyle Quinlan of South Woodslee, Ont. finished 22 of 43 for 324 yards and three touchdown strikes, including a 103-yard momentum-changing touchdown to Dicroce which handed the Marauders a 23-18 lead in the third quarter – a lead they would not relinquish.
McMaster now advances to the 105th Yates Cup OUA championship next week against the No. 5 Guelph Gryphons, who knocked off the No. 6 Queen`s Gaels 42-39 in overtime during the other OUA semifinal.
RSEQ semi-final: No. 2 Laval 46, McGill 9
QUEBEC CITY — Laval pivot Tristan Grenon threw for 342 yards with a pair of touchdown passes, as the Rouge et Or advanced to la Coupe Dunsmore thanks to a 46-9 home win over the McGill Redmen on Saturday afternoon.
Up 7-3 and pinned on their own seven-yard-line, momentum turned midway through the first quarter when Grenon dropped back and found J-S. Haidara for a 103-yard touchdown pass to give Laval an 11 point lead. Ahead 19-9 at the half, the Rouge et Or wouldn’t look back in the second half, scoring 27 unanswered poinst en-route to the win.
Haidara finished with a gamie-high 173 yards with one touchdown on five catches, while running back Christian Normand ran for 102 yards on four carries, including a 94-yard run.
The Rouge et Or will play Sherbrooke on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 1:15 p.m. ET, for a chance to play in the Uteck Bowl on Nov. 17.
RSEQ semi-final: No. 10 Sherbrooke 42, No. 4 Montreal 24
MONTREAL — Sherbrooke scored 25 unanswered points in the second half, on pace to an impressive 42-24 comeback win on the road over the Montreal Carabins on Saturday afternoon.
Down 7-0 early in the first half, Montreal scored four straight touchdowns to storm out to a 24-7 lead, including a pair of one-yard rushing touchdowns from starting quarterback Alexandre Nadeau-Piuze.
But the Vert et Or answered back with five straight touchdowns in the final 15:55, thanks to the arm of Jeremi Roch-Doyon, who fired off four touchdown passes over that span. Roch-Doyon finished with 244 yards on 18-27 passing with four touchdowns and a pair of interceptions, while his counterpart, Nadeau-Piuze, was picked off twice and completed just 13 passes on 30 attempts.
Sherbrooke will look to extend its run even further next weekend, with a visit to Quebec City to take on Laval Rouge et Or. Kickoff is on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 1:15 p.m. ET, with the winner advancing to the Uteck Bowl against an AUS opponent on Nov. 17.
AUS semi-final: Saint Mary’s 49, Mount Allison 11
HALIFAX — The S
aint Mary’s Huskies claimed their spot in the AUS Final next weekend, with a 49-11 win over Mount Allison on Saturday afternoon at Huskies Stadium.
The Huskies, who finished the regular season with a record of 3-6, jumped out to a 42-0 lead on the strength of three early touchdown passes from quarterback Jean Legault.
While Legault finished the day with three touchdowns and 93 yards on 9-13 passing, it was the Saint Mary’s rushing attack that stole the thunder in this one, with two running backs eclipsing the 100-yard milestone. Melvin Abankwah had 162 yards on 22 carries for an average of 7.4 yards per carry, including a 60-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Michael Dawes, meanwhile, added 119 yards on 17 carries, helping lead the Huskies to a whopping 370 yards rushing compared to just 128 for Mount Allison.
With the win, the Huskies will play Acadia on Saturday, Nov. 10 at noon ET for a chance to advnace to the Uteck Bowl against an RSEQ opponent.