Bisons win on road at No.7 Saskatchewan (VIDEO)

SASKATOON – Back and forth.

For the first time since the 2006 season, the Manitoba Bisons football team walks out of Griffiths Stadium with a victory as they prevailed with a 33-26 road win over the #7 Saskatchewan Huskies on a brisk Friday, October 18 evening.


There were seven lead changes and two ties in a wild and entertaining game that saw the two teams combined for over 1,000 yards. In the end, Manitoba moved to 4-3 record and clinched a playoff spot while Saskatchewan falls to 4-3. With the road win, Manitoba now holds the season series at a +5 (Saskatchewan won 36-34 at Manitoba on Sept. 7/13) and could host one of the two Canada West Semi-Final games at the start of the November.

“Today was unquestionably our absolute most complete game in both start to finish and all three units to sustain a high intensity in this win,” commented Bison Football head coach Brian Dobie. “I am very proud of the guys as they battled in critical situations and adversity and they earned this.”

Manitoba will face the Alberta Golden Bears (0-6) on the road on Sat., Oct. 26 while Saskatchewan goes on the road at the Regina Rams (2-5) on the same day to conclude the final regular season games of the 2013 season.

This contest was not decided until later in the fourth quarter as Manitoba battled back from a second half 16-12 and then 23-19 deficit.

The Bisons rallied as QB Jordan Yantz found Matt Sawyer on a 41 yard TD reception for a short-lived 26-23 lead with 12 minutes left and after a Huskies field goal, the Bisons again found the end zone as Yantz drove the team and finished with a 28 yard TD pass to SB Alex Vitt with just under six minutes left. The defence salted the game away when DB Cam Teschuk intercepted a potential game-tying drive by the hosts at the 40 yard line of Manitoba with a little more than a minute left. The visitors ran the majority of the clock out and came away with only their second victory in seven year at Saskatoon.

At the start of the fourth, the Huskies RB Shane Buchanan ran for 49 yards to set-up a one yard plunge by him to take the lead again at 23-19.

Both teams came out firing after a rather sluggish and defensive first half.

Off the opening kickoff of the second half, DB Kenrick Hanna forced the fumble after RB Kienan LaFrance was popped on a short kick and the Huskies took full advantage as they drove the field in a short three plays, 34 yards and culminated with RB Dexter Janke ran it in on a direct snap from 15 yards out. After a safety for Manitoba and a field goal by the Huskies, Manitoba went six plays and 95 yards and Yantz found WR Dustin Pedersen on a wheel route for a 27 yard TD reception and a 19-16 lead to end the third.

At the half, Manitoba led 10-6 as they were led by Yantz as he went 9-14 for 154 yards and 1 TD and 1 INT along with 41 yards on five carries. In addition, slotback Nic Demski scored his fifth touchdown of the season when he held onto a 21 yard reception after being hit hard in the end zone at the end of the first quarter. RB Anthony Coombs had 57 yards on ten carries and Demski grabbed three catches for 55 yards after 30 minutes of play.

Yantz commented in the dressing room, “A full team effort and everyone contributed to put us in a position to win.”

In the final game stats, Yantz went 18-32 for 364 yards and 4 TDs (tied for his most as a Bison) and 1 INT. Coombs was 88 yards rushing on 16 carries while Yantz added 50 rush yards on seven attempts. SB Andrew Smith had five catches on 90 receiving yards while Sawyer had 89 yards on three grabs and 1 TD and Demski ended up 55 yards on three catches and 1 TD. On defence, safety Tyler Fong added 10.0 total tackles while DL David Onyemata had 6.0 tackles and 1 sack. On special teams, kicker Nick Boyd went 1-1 in field goals and an impressive 40.4 punt average with six kicks inside the 20. Demski also registered 68 punt return yards.

In team stats, Manitoba generated 33 first downs with 547 offence yards.

“One of the our major goals was to make the playoffs which we did and a very special circumstance to try and host a playoff game for the first time in the history of the new stadium. This is a historic season for our city and province and one of our goals was to honour that be hosting a playoff game. This historic season only comes around once and can never come back, ” stated Dobie.

Manitoba looks to end the season at 5-3 for the first time since going 8-0 in the 2007 Vanier Cup Championship season.

Game Notes: Manitoba will have to wait for the final week to see if they clinch a home playoff game as they are still battling Saskatchewan and UBC (who plays on Sat., Oct. 19) for the second spot in Canada West conference. Coombs was seen limping off the field at the end of the game but there is no prognosis on the extent of his injury.

Photo credit:  David Lipnowski

Source: Chris Zuk, Manitoba Bisons Sports Information

Sask loss to Bisons

A strong offensive showing in the second half lifted the visiting University of Manitoba Bisons to a 33-26 win over the No. 7 ranked University of Saskatchewan Huskies Friday night at Griffiths Stadium in PotashCorp Park.

Manitoba quarterback Jordan Yantz threw for 210 yards and three touchdowns in the second half including the game-winning touchdown with 5:50 remaining in the fourth quarter. Yantz found Alex Vitt in the end zone from 28 yards out to secure the win for Manitoba.

With the loss, Saskatchewan drops to 4-3 and sit tied for second in the Canada West with Bisons (4-3). Both the Huskies and Bisons secured a playoff spot thanks to a Regina Rams loss to the Calgary Dinos and both are still in the running for a home playoff date.

It was the first win for Manitoba in Saskatoon since October 7, 2006.

Saskatchewan scored on the game’s opening possession with a Denton Kolodzinski 33-yard field goal. Manitoba was quick to respond with a field goal of their own on their first drive.  After the Bisons showed signs of moving the ball downfield on their second possession, Huskie defensive back Braxton Lawrence dove to intercept Yantz at the Huskies’ 22-yard line.

Manitoba continued their hot start to the game, scoring on their third drive. Yantz connected with receiver Nic Demski on a 22-yard touchdown pass. Huskie safety Mark Ingram laid a big hit on the receiver, but was just too late to separate the ball.

Manitoba led 10-3 after the first quarter and 10-6 at the half.

The Huskies surprised the Bisons by opening the second half with a short kick. Jeremy Andrew recovered the ball on the play after Kenrick Hanna forced a fumble setting the Huskies up deep in Manitoba territory. Two plays later Dexter Janke scampered in from 15 yards out to give the Huskies a 13-10 lead.

With the Bisons up 19-16 to start the fourth quarter, Manitoba failed to get to the first down on a fake punt setting the Huskies up with good field position. Shane Buchanan brought the ball deep into Bison territory with a 49-yard run and would finish the drive off with a 1-yard touchdown plunge and a 23-19 lead.

Matt Sawyer would answer for the Bisons hauling in a 41-yard touchdown pass from Yantz after running past an injured Huskie defender on the play. Kolodzinski added a 43-yard field goal to knot the game up at 26 before Vitt scored the game winner.

Saskatchewan looked like they might score a late touchdown as they moved the ball in the fourth quarter, but Cam Teschuk would intercept a Drew Burko pass attempt ending the Huskies last real scoring threat.

Burko finished the game 21-for-38 for 324 yards with one interception. His counterpart, Yantz went 18-for-32 for 364 yards, four touchdowns and an interception.

Janke and Buchanan shared the load in the Huskie backfield rushing for 59 and 54 yards and a touchdown respectively. Hillis racked up 134 yards on 10 receptions, while Mitch Stevens caught five passes for 98 yards.

Anthony Coombs gained 88 yards on the ground for the Bisons on 16 carries. Andrew Smith’s five catches for 90 yards along with Matt Sawyer’s three catches for 89 yards and a touchdown led the way for the Manitoba receiving corps.

Kolodzinski was perfect on the day for the green and white hitting from 33, 29, 37 and 43 yards.

Saskatchewan will finish the season in Regina against the Rams next Saturday, while Manitoba travels to Edmonton to meet the Alberta Golden Bears.

Photo credit:  Josh Schaefer

Source:  Daniel Herrick, Saskatchewan Huskies Sports Information Student Assistant

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