“I’ve never had my blood pressure go so high and so low in the same game,” a pumped up David Rybinski said after the Dogs finished off their 44-39 comeback victory over Manitoba. The fifth year defensive tackle then added “I’ve never been so proud of my teammates.” Depite allowing two long touchdown runs, the Huskie defence was solid for the large majority of the game. They held Manitoba well below their average yards/game and only surrendered 13 first downs. Three veteran members of the defence spoke with Huskie Outsider about the game, and the push towards the post season.
“We did some good things out there,” remarked safety, Bryce McCall. “This defence is getting better every week. When push came to shove we did a great job of buckling down. This is big; not only did we win, but we came back. We still have work to do though – we’re far from perfect.” Showing leadership, Bryce shouldered some blame for a 70 yard touchdown run by Anthony Coombs of the Bisons. “The one long touchdown run…I should have had that. I’m a fifth year guy and I’ve got to make that tackle; that’s on me and I’ll take full responsibility for it. I’ve got to be better, and I’ll be better next week.”
Fourth year halfback, Luke Thiel, talked about the big play potential that Manitoba’s backfield possesses. “They’ve got some athletes in the backfield that can definitely make plays; thankfully, we limited the number of them that we allowed.”
Even with the mistakes that were made, Rybinski sees the defence improving. “Those are little mistakes on the big plays. It’s frustrating to be making the same mistakes again and again, but the good news is that we’re making fewer of them.”
The players could sense that the tide was turning in the fourth quarter of the wild game. “You could feel the momentum, and the plays, start to go our way,” remarked McCall. “We have the utmost confidence in our offence, and they have confidence in the defence.”
Rybinski added that the players believed in themselves throughout the game. “There was never a point in that game, even when we were down by 16 points, where I had any doubt in my teammates to pull this one out.”
Even though the comeback was incredibly exciting, and has perhaps provided a boost to the team moving forward, Thiel says that the team can’t be putting themselves in this position. “We played with urgency in the fourth quarter,” he remarked. “That’s something that we’ll have to do for the whole game if we’re going to make a playoff run.”