By Tommy Osborne, October 4 2016 —
It was a tale of two halves for the Dinos football team in the Battle of Alberta on Oct. 1. The excitement was palpable as fans watched the Dinos take the field in celebration of the University of Calgary’s 50th anniversary. Dubbed the “Battle of Alberta,” pre-game festivities included food trucks and face painting. Juno award-winning band Dear Rouge also played during pregame and at halftime.
Despite the intensity of the crowd, the Dinos suffered from a sloppy first half. Adorned in bright red and gold throwback jerseys, the team was not able to get off to the fast start they hoped for. Penalties, missed opportunities and a lack of execution led to only a 3–0 score for Calgary by the end of the first quarter.
But in the second half, the team collectivised their efforts to easily take the match in a 50–15 win over cross-province rivals the University of Alberta.
“We always finish strong, but we’ve got to start better,” third-year linebacker Micah Teitz said. “We gotta put the pedal down right away.”
The Dinos were unable to fix their woes in the second quarter, as untimely penalties continued to put them in poor field positions and negate big plays. But there were still some highlights in the early game — third-year receiver Dallas Boath recorded his first touchdown of the season, snagging a 62-yard catch from quarterback Jimmy
“I just got a good inside release and the protection was good for Jimmy,” Boath said. “Jimmy’s been making plays all year, so it was easy for him to hit me and it was open field from there.”
Despite two missed field goals by the U of A, the Dinos sputtered through the second quarter to a small 13–7 lead. The U of C finished the first half with less points than penalties — rounding out halftime with a whopping 14 infractions.
“We weren’t happy with the first half,” head coach Wayne Harris said. “We made a lot of mistakes, a lot of penalties and it took us out of our rhythm.”
But the second half was a completely different story, as the Dinos dominated all facets of the game. The team was more composed and did not commit any penalties in the third quarter.
A highlight of the second half saw Underdahl find receiver Hunter Karl wide open for a touchdown, giving the Dinos a commanding 22–8 lead. While the Golden Bears responded with a touchdown of their own, Dinos running back Jeshrun Antwi quickly ran the ball into the endzone, giving the Dinos a 29–15 lead. It was as close as the game was going to get for the Golden Bears, as the Dinos defence went on to shut them out for the entirety of the fourth quarter.
In the fourth, Dinos defensive back Brennan Van Nistelrooy made the play of the night. U of A was backed up on their own two-yard-line when their quarterback dropped back to pass. As he threw the ball, Nistelrooy tipped it at the line of scrimmage, then spun his way around to dive and catch the ball in the endzone for a pick-six.
“I wanted to make a game-changing play, and it happened to be that play,” Van Nistelrooy said. “I came off the edge and was lucky enough to find the ball after I tipped it.”
The game would continue in the Dinos’ favour as Underdahl secured a one-yard touchdown and Antwi ran for a 54-yard touchdown, his second of the night. The Dinos would ultimately take the game 50–15 — a fitting score for the U of C’s 50th anniversary celebration game.
Dinos players said they were proud to represent the U of C and all of the alumni that came out to McMahon Stadium.
“It was awesome, everyone was fired up and it was awesome seeing the alumni support us for our 50th anniversary game,” Teitz said.
Boath echoed a similar sentiment.
“It’s awesome to have everyone out here. It’s awesome having the fans out. Supporting the alumni has always been a big part of U of C Dinos football and it was nice to rock the yellow jerseys,” he said.
The win is the fourth of the season for the Dinos as they improve their conference record to 4–1. It also marks their 15th win in a row against U of A, extending a winning streak that goes all the way back to 2008.