By Sonny Sachdeva, September 24 2015 —
The Dinos football team has looked unstoppable thus far this season. The club has gone 3–0 through the first three weeks, piling up a combined 175 total points.
While the Dinos’ first two wins seemed decisive enough — they topped 40 points in each game — their most recent victory saw them reach a whole new level. Led by a monster performance from quarterback Andrew Buckley (who threw for 452 yards and three touchdowns), the Dinos dominated the University of Alberta Golden Bears to the tune of a 80–18 win, marking the most points ever scored by University of Calgary in a Canada West game.
The victory positioned the Dinos as the top team in the country and the only remaining undefeated squad in the CIS. It’s the first time the Dinos have held the number-one spot since 2011, when they did so for a single week.
The Dinos certainly seem to be on the precipice of a special campaign as their offence continues to run rampant over the rest of the league.
U of C’s best currently lead the CIS at nearly every position. Buckley sits first among all CIS quarterbacks with 998 passing yards through three games. Running back Mercer Timmis similarly sits atop his competitors, leading all running backs with 526 rushing yards, while also racking up a league-leading seven touchdowns. Dinos receiver Rashaun Simonise leads all receivers with 439 yards, and has the highest yards-per-game mark as well, with 146.
Even with all of these decorated offensive weapons on the roster, the Dinos most impressive contributor might just be kicker Johnny Mark.
Mark currently leads the CIS with 50 points through three games, largely due to his league-leading 10 field goals. He recently became the highest scorer in CIS history after posting 20 points against the U of A, taking his career total to 442 points. With 75 total field goals in his career, Mark is only nine shy of breaking that CIS record as well, an accomplishment that would cement his place as the finest kicker to ever suit up in the CIS.
While the record-breaking performances and number-one status are a good sign for the club, Dinos head coach Wayne Harris knows it also brings added expectations.
“If you’re going to get ranked number one, you have to play like you’re number one,” Harris said. “Our guys are doing what they need to do to be successful.”
The Dinos have five regular season games remaining before they set their sights on the Canada West Playoffs. Their next four games will come against Saskatchewan’s two university clubs, starting with a match-up against the University of Regina Rams at Regina’s Mosaic Stadium on Sept. 26.
Calgary dominated U of R in both meetings last season, winning 59–7 in their lone regular season match-up and 56–0 in the playoffs. The Dinos also topped the University of Saskatchewan in their only meeting last season as well. Calgary’s final regular season game will come against the U of A, who seem unlikely to contend with the red and gold after their recent drubbing.
With such a favourable schedule ahead of them, the Dinos have an excellent chance at remaining in the number-one spot for the rest of the season, and should earn another shot at the Vanier Cup in November.