The Manitoba Bisons playoff hopes were dashed, while the Alberta Golden Bears kept their postseason ambitions alive in another exciting week of Canada West football action.
#6 UBC Thunderbirds 17 — 16 Manitoba Bisons
Three Stavros Katsantonis interceptions made the difference on Saturday afternoon in Winnipeg, as the sixth-ranked UBC Thunderbirds survived a scare against the Manitoba Bisons.
The hosts led 13-10 at halftime and had multiple chances to pull away, with the best example coming with just under three minutes left to go in the second quarter. Manitoba had driven the ball to UBC 37 yard line and looked poised to add to their lead, however Bisons quarterback Des Catellier tried to force a pass into double coverage and Katsantonis was all over it, registering his first pick of the game.
Katsantonis’ second and third interceptions were just as critical. His second occurred at the end of the third with Manitoba trailing 17-13 and at the T-Birds 23 yard line, while his third came with just over four minutes left in the game, yet again as Manitoba was driving into UBC territory.
The stand-out player offensively for UBC was Trivel Pinto, who finished with 136 yards receiving and a touchdown. His 80 yard score on a bubble screen was the only major the visitors were able to muster in a defensive affair. Jamel Lyles was Manitoba’s most effective player with 115 yards on just 14 carries, but was rendered useless towards the end of the game as the Bisons opted to go to the air.
Alberta Golden Bears 49 — 23 Saskatchewan Huskies
Alberta’s offence continued to shine a week after putting up 55 points against Regina. Led by Ed Ilnicki — who had over 100 yards rushing in the first quarter alone — the Golden Bears were able to put up a season high 624 yards of total offence and cruised to a critical victory over Saskatchewan, who have now lost their last five straight games after starting the season 2-0.
The hosts broke the game wide open with 21 straight points in the third quarter, and led 42-7 heading into the fourth. Ilnicki ran for 279 yards for the second time in three weeks, while also setting a new Golden Bears record for career rushing yards (3,986) as well as rushing yards in a season (1,314). Alberta’s run game was complemented by 359 yards through the air, as Tylor Henry, Nathan Rowe and Colby Miller all finished with over 100 yards receiving.
Defensively, Alberta held Saskatchewan pivot Kyle Siemens to 170 yards before he was yanked with seven minutes left to play in the third quarter. Safety Dylan Niedermaier also recorded a 62 yard fumble recovery for a touchdown.
#2 Calgary Dinos 42 — 30 #8 Regina Rams
The second-ranked Calgary Dinos burst out to a 24-0 lead in the first quarter against the eighth-ranked Regina Rams, and held on down the stretch to remain undefeated.
Hunter Karl and Jeshrun Antwi both registered offensive touchdowns in the first, while Matthew Lucyshyn added a 73 yard pick six.
Regina was able to trim the Dinos lead to five on two separate occasions — including with two minutes left to play in the fourth quarter — but were unable to complete the comeback as Antwi added a second major in the final minute of play.
Much like the first meeting between the two teams in week two, Calgary was able to control the line of scrimmage. The Dinos registered six sacks, while keeping Nicholas Dheilly and company off the board all game long. Cory Robinson led the way with three sacks while also adding a forced fumble.