The University of Manitoba Bisons football team travelled to Calgary Nov. 9 in hopes of nabbing the Western title and 77th Hardy Cup, but they were unable to bring home the win.
The University of Calgary Dinos continued their unstoppable regular season by defeating the Bisons 43-28.
Bisons head coach Brian Dobie knew his team could have pulled off an upset victory.
"We’ve been a really good second-half team all year, we’ve been a scrappy, fighting second-half team," Dobie said, "So I felt that if we could be close at halftime, I liked our chances."
But it wasn’t meant to be. With less than five minutes left in the second quarter and the score at 9-7 for the Dinos, Calgary scored 17 consecutive points before halftime.
"They put an emotional, or psychological, nail in the coffin," Dobie said. "For me I left the field (at halftime) somewhat frustrated and angry and just the opposite of how we needed to finish that half. That’s when the game was lost."
In a press conference leading up to the game, the Bisons were quietly confident.
"We have to have a good week of practice," quarterback Jordan Yantz told The Sou’wester. "We can’t rely on coming out in the fourth quarter and having some reckless comeback like we’ve had a couple of times. We have to play four quarters of football."
The weekend before, receiver Nic Demski scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter at home against the University of Saskatchewan, making him confident about the future.
"As an offensive (team) I think we’re pretty confident that we’ll be able to make some plays, we’ll be able to move the ball and score some points on these guys," Demski said.
Offensive lineman Alex McKay was still pumped after the close 37-36 win over the University of Saskatchewan Huskies on Nov. 1 in the Canada West semifinals.
"There’s a really cool energy that’s going around our stadium right now," McKay said. "So we’re going to have a really good week of practice and we’re going to come out firing."
Though his team’s season is over, Dobie was very happy with the overall season.
"The field product was exciting to coach and it was motivating to coach," Dobie said. "The season experience, wow… It feels like a culture change on campus.
"You can’t match or replicate that season ever again."