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Bisons return to playoffs with win... barely

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The No. 10-ranked University of Manitoba Bisons football team defeated the UBC Thunderbirds 37-31 in the final game at U of M Stadium on Saturday.

With the win, Manitoba (4-3) clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2007 when the Bisons won the Vanier Cup.

The new Investors Group Field next door is expected to open in time for next season.

"Because of the delays in the (new) stadium, we got a second chance to bring something forward in terms of heritage from this field, this program, this stadium to the new one," said Bisons head coach Brian Dobie.

"We won that (last) day and we bring it in. We start our culture by ending our culture right here."

The Bisons led 30-4 at the half and suffered a collossal collapse in the fourth quarter for a third straight game.

UBC scored four touchdowns in the second half, including three in the fourth quarter, taking a 31-30 lead with about seven minutes left in the game.

With 5:38 left to play, Manitoba's Anthony Coombs' eight-yard touchdown (no convert) and Nick Boyd's 85-yard kickoff single gave the lead back to the Bisons.

But unlike their last two games, which saw them suffer losses in the dying seconds, Manitoba's defence held UBC in check at the end.

UBC had the ball for all but 10 seconds of the last 2:41 of the game before turning the ball over on downs.

UBC quarterback Billy Greene passed for 428 yards.

Manitoba will end the 2012 Canada West conference regular season next weekend in Calgary against the Dinos.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @WFPAshleyPrest

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