By Tommy Osborne , September 11 2017 —
On Sept. 8, the University of Calgary Dinos and the University of Regina Rams squared off in the annual back-to-school Kickoff game. The Dinos dominated, beating the Rams 46–26. While the entire team put up a solid effort, the Dinos benefited most from these key players.
1. Adam Sinagra, quarterback:
Sinagra put on a clinic, hitting a 79 per cent pass completion rate for 350 yards and three touchdowns. While he started slow — he fumbled in the first quarter and threw an interception in the second — he quickly moved past his early game woes. His ability to distribute the ball to multiple targets — seven receivers had a reception in the game — kept the opposing defence on their toes and opened up big plays, allowing the rest of the offence to shine as well.
2. Hunter Karl, wide receiver:
With six catches for 131 yards and three touchdowns, Karl was easily the most explosive player on the field. His speed and ability to create separation from defenders made him a play machine. He made a thrilling 54-yard catch-and-run for one of his three touchdowns, speeding past the defenders to reach the end zone. On top of that, he scored a touchdown on a 17-yard fake field goal play, where he took the ball and leaped for the end zone to score the game’s final touchdown.
3. Brendon Thera-Plamondon, wide receiver:
Thera-Plamondon had an excellent game, making six catches for 58 yards and a touchdown. His first half was especially explosive, making five of his six catches in the first and second quarters. His ability to extend drives with key second down catches was crucial for the Dinos. Thera-Plamondon capped off his strong first half with a touchdown in the second quarter, which came 49 seconds before the half ended. This touchdown gave the Dinos a 21–17 lead, which would hold up for the rest of the game.
4. Jeshrun Antwi, running back:
Antwi anchored the Dinos’ running game. He posed a threat every time he touched the ball and was key in establishing manageable second down situations. His powerful running allowed him to pick up extra yards even after initial contact — he had an impressive 6.3 yards per carry, making 114 yards in 18 runs. His ability to break free also opened up opportunities for Sinagra and the passing game.
5. Michael Schmidt, defensive back:
With an interception late in the third quarter, Schmidt secured the Dinos’ only turnover of the game. Leaping in front of the opposing receiver, he had an impressive run back for 18 yards.
“I just made my reads like our coaches tell us to do and the ball was put up in the air so I just went for it,” he said. “I managed to come up with the ball, so it was just an awesome play.”
The interception came at a key moment, as the Dinos led 28–24 but were defending against a Rams drive. This resulted in a Dinos touchdown, putting the game out of reach for the Rams and securing a Dinos victory.