|Huskies QB Drew Burko (#2) threw four picks in Friday's loss to the Bisons.|
Drew Burko will want to destroy the video of that contest.
The fourth year starting quarterback for the University of Saskatchewan Huskies football team did not have his best day throwing four costly interceptions Friday night in a 34-28 loss to the University of Manitoba Bisons at Griffiths Stadium before 6,457 spectators. Burko threw two of his interceptions inside of the final two minutes of the CIS regular season opening contest for both squads.
Fifth-year veteran Zack Sandelescu made the first late pick for the Bisons with 1:21 to play, while fourth-year vet Cam Teschuk came up with the second pick that iced the game for the visitors with 31 seconds to play.
On at least three of his interceptions, Burko was locked in on his intended receiver for a lengthy time, which allowed the Bisons defensive backs to zero in on the throw.
While the picks late in the fourth quarter punctuated the loss, the veteran signal caller’s two second quarter interceptions were just as costly. Just before the halfway point of the second stanza with the Huskies up 20-14, Burko threw an interception at the goal-line to Bisons defensive back Tyler Fong.
After the U of M went ahead 24-22 late in the second quarter, Burko drove the Huskies downfield only to get picked at the Bisons three by Eric Plett with 16 seconds remaining before halftime.
Burko completed 24-of-46 passes for 318 yards, which included hitting Gilmer, Texas, product Tevin Godfrey for a 30-yard score that gave the hosts a 20-7 lead early in the second frame.
Bisons quarterback Theo Deezar connected on 17-of-28 attempts for 268 yards, two touchdown passes and two interceptions. After the Huskies went ahead 20-7, Deezar immediately responded by engineering a quick five-play, 80-yard drive that was capped with an acrobatic 27-yard touchdown catch by receiver Alex Vitt to cut the Huskies edge to 20-14.
|Rookie Jamel Lyles shreds the Huskies defence on a run.|
The Huskies had other opportunities that slipped through their fingers. Leading 8-0 in the first quarter, they blocked a punt to start a drive 12 yards away from the Bisons end zone. The hosts were held to a field goal in going up 11-0.
Up 11-7 after a three-yard TD run by Bisons running back Cameron Fox, the Huskies were stopped on a third-and-goal gamble from a yard out, when back-up quarterback Kyle Siemens couldn’t find his way to paydirt against a tough Bisons front. Siemens had the game’s first major on a one-yard sneak.
The Dogs had to lament their missed chances, but the Bisons have to be given full credit for taking the game away from the host side.
The visitors also held a huge edge along the ground piling up 246 yards rushing to the Huskies 116. Bisons rookie tailback Jamel Lyles led all ground gainers with 155 yards on 11 carries, which included a lightning fast 58-yard dash in the second quarter that cut a 22-14 Huskies edge to 22-21. Tyler Chow topped the Huskies in rushing with 109 yards on 17 carries.
|Preston McIntyre recovers a Bisons fourth quarter fumble for the Huskies.|
After Ihanza’s touchdown catch, Jones nailed a 10-yard field goal to put the Bisons up 34-28.
Saskatchewan appeared to be poised for some last minute heroics, when sophomore defensive lineman Preston McIntyre recovered a Bisons fumble at the Huskies 26 with 1:49 to play. Burko’s final two interceptions ended any hopes of a two-minute drill win.
The Huskies return to action this coming Friday, when they travel to Edmonton to face the University of Alberta Golden Bears.
Farewell to Dom
It was a result that can only be labeled as unfair.
On Thursday, Dominic Rooney, who was less than a month and a half away from his third birthday, passed away after almost a two-year battle with acute myeloid leukemia. Dominic was the son of Sean and Trish Rooney of Medicine Hat, and Sean was my sports editor at the Medicine Hat News.
During Dominic’s battle with cancer, Sean documented his family’s journey with a spectacular and heart-wrenching blog. After doctors said Dominic’s condition was terminal, he defied the odds by continuing to live for 36 weeks.
Just hours after Dominic’s passing, Sean crafted one his best pieces ever to report his son’s final moments. That specific post can be found here.
As the Rooney family went through their journey, they were warmly supported by the citizens of Medicine Hat through a variety of fundraisers. In his valiant fight, Dominic inspired many and brought out the best in the Gas City.
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