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Game Story: Huskies 32, Alberta 0

This game promised to be a close, defensive struggle between two veteran defences and two young offences. And in the second half, it delivered.

The Huskies take the field (photo by Derek Mortensen for Electric Umbrella)

In the first half, however, the Huskie offence delivered. While not looking like world beaters just yet, they looked ready for the challenge ahead of them, executing plays and putting points on the board. Of course, getting excellent field position from the returners didn’t hurt, nor did the dominance displayed by the defence almost the entire night.

Offensive story: The Huskies’ first offensive drive lasted 10 plays and covered 58 yards, resulting in a Cole Samson field goal. The second drive lasted only five plays, ending in a Jeremy Andrew touchdown. Not bad for an offence with a quarterback making his first regular season start and a starting running back with four carries to his name, two years ago.

Running back Jeremy Andrew (photo by Derek Mortensen for Electric Umbrella)

While the offence wasn’t perfect, with a few high passes and a couple stuffed runs that resulted in two-and-outs, they put things together again in the second quarter for a 47-yard touchdown pass-and-run engineered by veteran receiver Braeden George and an eight-play, 67-yard drive that resulted in a Drew Burko touchdown sneak. Things looked good heading into the half.

The second half was a different story, as Burko started overthrowing receivers while roaming more from his pocket of protection. He wasn’t able to find a rhythm like he did in the first quarter, throwing a couple interceptions (one which wasn’t his fault) before being spelled off by Chase Bradshaw. As the Huskies were up by over three touchdowns, they wanted to test out the three backup running backs they had available, and each received at least one touch. The Huskies only came away with one field goal in the second half, but with the game sewn up, experience and game video became the bigger need in the second half.

While Jeremy Andrew and his 72 yards on 14 carries and Kit Hillis with his six catches for 85 yards were impressive, the most impressive part of the offence was the play of the offensive line. They opened up big holes for the running backs, with both Andrew and Devin Logan taking advantage. They also gave the quarterbacks tremendous pass protection, finishing the night without surrendering a sack to a very tough Alberta front seven. Coaches Travis Serke and Bart Arnold must be very proud of this unit, as they look to be well ahead of where they left off last season.

Defensive story: Utter domination. That’s the story in a nutshell.

The defence was tremendous, with the pass rush of the veteran defensive line too much for Alberta’s offensive line to handle from the beginning whistle. The Huskies sacked the Bears’ quarterbacks seven times on the night, with Zach Hart, Ben Rush, Levi Steinhauer and Richard Zacharias each credited with at least one sack. The pass rush was relentless, with Joel Seutter regularly beating his blocker clean and with Dane Bishop sneaking through to force the quarterback to take off.

Cornerback Travoy Martinez (photo by Liam Richards for Electric Umbrella)

The Huskies finished the night giving up only 211 yards of net offence. They almost gave up a touchdown, but first-year cornerback Travoy Martinez made a leaping interception to keep the Bears off the board. Martinez would add another interception, a near interception that he was able to knock down, and added two huge hits in his second half performance at boundary corner that stole the show. Martinez, a native of Dallas, Texas, was named player of the game, and deservedly so.

Special teams story: The special teams had a very good night, giving up only only one big play, a 37-yard rush by Alberta kicker Stephen Fabien on a botched snap on a punting play. The swarming, downfield pressure by the punt and kickoff cover units was tremendous all night, while big returns by Martinez, who returned a kickoff 48 yards, and Luke Thiel, who finished the night with 106 yards on nine punt returns, gave the offence excellent field position most of the night.

Luke Thiel returns a punt (photo by Liam Richards for Electric Umbrella)

Samson was good on three of four placekicking attempts, with the only miss being from 43 yards on a night with a stiff east-southeast breeze blowing accross the field. He also averaged 61.6 yards per kickoff, outkicking his opponent, who Alberta Head Coach Jeff Stead said had the best leg in the conference. Denton Kolodzinski had an strong night punting the ball, averaging 39.7 yards on seven kicks. If the kickers can stay at this level consistently, it will benefit the team significantly down the line.

Play of the game: The top play has to be the Braeden George touchdown. He bobbed and weaved his way through the defenders after catching the ball in the flat, making them miss and separating himself just enough to dive into the endzone. It was a veteran play, one which showed George will be going out with a bang in his fifth year.

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This was a very encouraging game to watch. We saw new players step up and contribute in big ways and we saw veterans taking their games to the next level. We also saw few turnovers, with no fumbles at all, which is the first time in a long time that I have seen that. It was also nice to see that the team came out of the game healthy, with the only concerning injury coming to Jeremy Andrew, who had his left eye gouged. He will be fine and should be good-to-go next week, along with a few veterans who sat out this game.

The Huskies will have to continue this progression next week in Winnipeg, which will be a much tougher test than tonight. Going on the road could be beneficial for this team, getting them away from the spotlight of the media and allowing them to come together as a team.

Statistics:Team Statistics (Final)
2012 Canada West football
Alberta vs Saskatchewan (Aug 31, 2012 at Saskatoon, SK)

Team Totals AB SASK
FIRST DOWNS 18 21
Rushing 1 9
Passing 12 10
Penalty 5 2
NET YARDS RUSHING 57 113
Rushing Attempts 23 28
Average Per Rush 2.5 4.0
Rushing Touchdowns 0 2
Yards Gained Rushing 75 120
Yards Lost Rushing 18 7
NET YARDS PASSING 178 230
Completions-Attempts-Int 21-39-2 17-31-2
Average Per Attempt 4.6 7.4
Average Per Completion 8.5 13.5
Passing Touchdowns 0 1
TEAM LOSSES -24 0
TOTAL OFFENSE YARDS 211 343
Total offense plays 69 59
Average Gain Per Play 3.1 5.8
Fumbles: Number-Lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties: Number-Yards 16-119 8-102
PUNTS-YARDS 10-382 7-278
Average Yards Per Punt 38.2 39.7
Net Yards Per Punt 26.7 28.4
Inside 20 1 1
50+ Yards 0 0
Touchbacks 0 0
Fair catch 0 0
KICKOFFS-YARDS 1-60 5-308
Average Yards Per Kickoff 60.0 61.6
Net Yards Per Kickoff 12.0 46.4
Touchbacks 0 0
Punt returns: Number-Yards-TD 7-79-0 10-115-0
Average Per Return 11.3 11.5
Kickoff returns: Number-Yds-TD 5-76-0 1-48-0
Average Per Return 15.2 48.0
Interceptions: Number-Yds-TD 2-5-0 2-25-0
Fumble Returns: Number-Yds-TD 0-0-0 0-0-0
Possession Time 35:55 24:05
1st Quarter 9:26 5:34
2nd Quarter 7:29 7:31
3rd Quarter 11:40 3:20
4th Quarter 7:20 7:40
Third-Down Conversions 3 of 6 1 of 1
Red-Zone Scores-Chances 0-0 3-3
Touchdowns 0-0 2-3
Field goals 0-0 1-3
Sacks By: Number-Yards 0-0 7-24
PAT Kicks 0-0 3-3
Field Goals 0-1 3-4

Individual Statistics

Individual Statistics (Final)
2012 Canada West football
Alberta vs Saskatchewan (Aug 31, 2012 at Saskatoon, SK)

Alberta

Saskatchewan
RUSHING No. Gain Loss Net TD Lg Avg.
Stephen Fabian 2 37 8 29 0 37 14.5
Joel Mukendi 12 19 3 16 0 5 1.3
Ryan Schwartz 1 7 0 7 0 7 7.0
Curtis Dell 4 6 2 4 0 3 1.0
Tyler Lewis 3 6 5 1 0 5 0.3
Jess Valleau 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
Totals… 23 75 18 57 0 37 2.5

RUSHING No. Gain Loss Net TD Lg Avg.
Jeremy Andrew 14 75 3 72 1 22 5.1
Drew Burko 4 21 0 21 1 12 5.2
Devin Logan 3 13 0 13 0 7 4.3
Jarvis James 4 11 3 8 0 7 2.0
Drew Bexon 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
Chase Bradshaw 2 0 1 -1 0 0 -0.5
Totals… 28 120 7 113 2 22 4.0

PASSING Cmp-Att-Int Yds TD Long Sack
Curtis Dell 16-33-2 147 0 20 3
Ryan Schwartz 5-6-0 31 0 9 4
Totals… 21-39-2 178 0 20 7

PASSING Cmp-Att-Int Yds TD Long Sack
Drew Burko 13-24-2 187 1 47 0
Chase Bradshaw 4-7-0 43 0 19 0
Totals… 17-31-2 230 1 47 0

RECEIVING No. Yds TD Lg
Yembeh Moiba 6 55 0 20
Jess Valleau 4 33 0 20
Dillon Prince 3 27 0 15
Casey Sherwood 3 25 0 12
R. Richardson 3 22 0 9
Tyler Lewis 1 9 0 9
Joel Mukendi 1 7 0 7
Totals… 21 178 0 20

RECEIVING No. Yds TD Lg
Kit Hillis 6 85 0 32
Braeden George 2 59 1 47
Gilbert-Knorren 2 31 0 19
Brydon Ozmun 2 13 0 10
Drew Bexon 1 12 0 12
Charlie Power 1 12 0 12
Jeff Moore 1 7 0 7
Mitch Stevens 1 6 0 6
C. Gottenbos 1 5 0 5
Totals… 17 230 1 47

PUNTING No. Yds Avg Long In20 TB
Stephen Fabian 10 382 38.2 43 1 0
Totals… 10 382 38.2 43 1 0

PUNTING No. Yds Avg Long In20 TB
D.Kolodzinski 7 278 39.7 46 1 0
Totals… 7 278 39.7 46 1 0

Punts Kickoffs Intercept
ALL RETURNS No Yds Lg No Yds Lg No Yds Lg
Yembeh Moiba 0 0 0 1 11 11 0 0 0
Dillon Prince 5 46 11 3 47 20 0 0 0
Joel Mukendi 0 0 0 1 18 18 0 0 0
Randon Ralph 1 19 19 0 0 0 0 0 0
Brent Krawchuk 1 14 14 0 0 0 1 5 5
Brandon Foster 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Totals… 7 79 19 5 76 20 2 5 5

Punts Kickoffs Intercept
ALL RETURNS No Yds Lg No Yds Lg No Yds Lg
Gilbert-Knorren 1 9 9 0 0 0 0 0 0
Luke Thiel 9 106 37 0 0 0 0 0 0
Travoy Martinez 0 0 0 1 48 48 2 25 25
Totals… 10 115 37 1 48 48 2 25 25

ALL PURPOSE Rush Rcv KR PR IR Total
Dillon Prince 0 27 47 46 0 120
Yembeh Moiba 0 55 11 0 0 66
Joel Mukendi 16 7 18 0 0 41
Jess Valleau 0 33 0 0 0 33
Stephen Fabian 29 0 0 0 0 29
Casey Sherwood 0 25 0 0 0 25
R. Richardson 0 22 0 0 0 22
Brent Krawchuk 0 0 0 14 5 19
Randon Ralph 0 0 0 19 0 19
Tyler Lewis 1 9 0 0 0 10
Ryan Schwartz 7 0 0 0 0 7
Curtis Dell 4 0 0 0 0 4
Totals… 57 178 76 79 5 395

ALL PURPOSE Rush Rcv KR PR IR Total
Luke Thiel 0 0 0 106 0 106
Kit Hillis 0 85 0 0 0 85
Travoy Martinez 0 0 48 0 25 73
Jeremy Andrew 72 0 0 0 0 72
Braeden George 0 59 0 0 0 59
Gilbert-Knorren 0 31 0 9 0 40
Drew Burko 21 0 0 0 0 21
Devin Logan 13 0 0 0 0 13
Brydon Ozmun 0 13 0 0 0 13
Drew Bexon 0 12 0 0 0 12
Charlie Power 0 12 0 0 0 12
Jarvis James 8 0 0 0 0 8
Jeff Moore 0 7 0 0 0 7
Mitch Stevens 0 6 0 0 0 6
C. Gottenbos 0 5 0 0 0 5
Chase Bradshaw -1 0 0 0 0 -1
Totals… 113 230 48 115 25 531

FIELD GOAL ATTEMPTS
Stephen Fabian 2nd 11:47 41 yards Returned

FIELD GOAL ATTEMPTS
Cole Samson 1st 08:47 24 yards Good
Cole Samson 2nd 08:17 28 yards Good
Cole Samson 4th 06:59 43 yards Returned
Cole Samson 4th 03:20 29 yards Good

KICKOFFS No. Yds TB OB Avg.
Stephen Fabian 1 60 0 0 60.0

KICKOFFS No. Yds TB OB Avg.
Cole Samson 5 308 0 0 61.6

FUMBLES: Alberta-None. Saskatchewan-None.