What can you say about the Dinos football game on Friday night? My mom always told me: if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. So I'll try my best.
On Fri., Sept. 3, the Dinos Football squad met the University of Saskatchewan Huskies--a team that is ranked fourth by Canadian Interuniversity Sport and who just happened to pound the Dinos 54-13 last season. Fortunately, the Dinos fared better this time. Well, sort of. In front of a crowd of over 1,800 fans at McMahon Stadium on the chilly Friday evening, the new Dinos team was able to hold off the dreaded Huskies much longer. At half time, the Dinos trailed by a mere 12 points. Though the end result was a 29-0 loss the game wasn't a complete blowout.
"We knew U of S was a good football team and they're very experienced," said Dinos Head Coach Tony Fasano. "Any loss is disappointing, but the positive side is we know we can play better. We were in the game a long time and had a real chance to turn it around. Unfortunately, that just didn't happen this time."
The Huskies were undefeated in regular season last year. While they did lose some starters, the team was able to hold on to their starting quarterback Steve Bilan (who threw for 227 yards and three touchdowns in the game) and fourth year running back David Stevens, who rushed for 164 yards.
The Dinos were unable to gather up much of an offense against the Huskies. Despite a booming 70 yard punt by Steven Hughes and three big interceptions by the defense, the Dinos couldn't score any points and are still looking for their first touchdown. The team's offensive leader, quarterback Charles Guedo, seemed to have first game of the season jitters. Although he completed 17 of 27 passes, the Dinos' receiving core could only muster 159 yards.
"We just weren't able to produce. We shot ourselves in the foot by getting untimely penalties and turnovers," said Guedo. "The game was a real learning experience. We can only get better."
The Dinos defense however, was able to hold off the Huskies at various crucial times in the game. The Dinos had three major interceptions by defensive players Damony Simmonds, David Gruninger and Rich Fowlstone. While the entire defense certainly proved that they were nothing to mess with, Fowlstone seemed to step up above the rest. He started with an interception six minutes into the first quarter and followed up with a huge hit to a Huskie who was trying to catch a long bomb in the Dinos end. Fowlstone finished off the game by blocking multiple key passes to Huskie receivers and causing a major fumble at the end of the fourth quarter, resulting in a Dinos possession.
"We [the defense] played a really great game. We worked hard and really stepped it up," said Fowlstone who also took defensive player of the game honours. "As a team we need to refocus and look ahead to our next games. We can play a total game and eventually we'll prove it."
Fowlstone shared the defensive player of the game award with all-star defensive lineman Dan Federkeil. Jeff Williams was named offensive player of the game.
The Dinos next game will be held in Vancouver this Sat., Sept. 11 to take on the Simon Fraser University Clan.