The Rams scored a major early in the third quarter to go up 14-11, but those would be the final points they'd put up in the game. Calgary scored 27 unanswered points to regain the lead and pull away from the visitors, giving No. 3-ranked Calgary its fifth consecutive Canada West championship. The Dinos will move on to play McMaster in the Mitchell Bowl next Saturday for a berth in the Vanier Cup.
Eric Dzwilewski led a Calgary offence that piled up 672 net yards in the win. Dzwilewski completed 33 of his 46 passes for 381 yards and a touchdown, with Jake Harty collecting 15 of those passes for 168 yards. Chris Dobko was also impressive for Calgary, ending up with 10 catches for 101 yards. Richard Snyder had four catches for 94 yards, including a 35-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter.
Steven Lumbala had a massive game on the ground for the Dinos, ending up with 22 rushes for 251 yards.
Rams quarterback Marc Mueller was 26-for-40 for 316 yards and a touchdown, with Landon Buch as the team's top receiver for the second game in a row. Buch had seven catches for 144 yards, while Addison Richards matched him with seven receptions.
Kirby Kezama led Regina's defence with a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions, while Alex Meldrum had six solo tackles and five assisted tackles. Justin Edralin also had a pick for the Rams.
Wyatt Getty led Calgary's defence with a fumble recovery, an interception, a pass breakup, and six solo tackles.
Calgary scored the only five points of the first quarter, grabbing two on a conceded safety by the Rams eight minutes in and adding three more on a 13-yard field goal by Johnny Mark in the final minute of the opening period.
Early in the second quarter, the Rams' Ryan Wellman tipped a Dzwilewski pass at the line. The deflected ball was brought in by Edralin for the interception, setting up a Rams drive that would see Mueller hit Jared Janotta and Buch to get inside Calgary's 10-yard line. A penalty by the Dinos gave the Rams first-and-goal from the five-yard line, but Michael Kiapway fumbled on the next play and the ball was recovered by Calgary in the end zone.
Mark added a 25-yard field goal to give put the Dinos up late in the half, but the Rams responded just before halftime. Mueller drove the team downfield with passes to Richards, Buch, Janotta, and Dillon Dawson and capped it with a seven-yard touchdown toss to Richards to cut the Calgary lead to 8-7 going into the half.
After Calgary opened up the third quarter with another Mark field goal, the Rams drove downfield and took the lead for the first – and as it would turn out, only – time. Mueller made three key passes on the drive, highlighted by a diving catch by Buch on Calgary's two-yard line. Buch finished off the drive himself, taking over as short-yardage quarterback and punching it in from one yard out to put Regina up 14-11.
Calgary replied four minutes after Buch's major. Steven Lumbala reeled off a 53-yard run and followed that up with a 17-yard rumble to put Calgary on Regina's two-yard line. Dzwilewski finished off the drive with a one-yard plunge on third down, restoring the Dinos' lead. After forcing a two-and-out on the ensuing Rams possession, Calgary struck again. This time it was Snyder catching a Dzwilewski pass from 35 yards out to increase the Dinos' advantage to 25-14.
Johnny Mark's field goal early in the fourth quarter made it 28-14 in Calgary's favour. The Rams had a few brief glimmers of hope following Kezama's two interceptions, but turned the ball over twice themselves in the final frame. Calgary added one last touchdown after another big Lumbala run set up a short plunge for a major by Dzwilewski and a field goal by Mark with just over two minutes left capped the scoring.
Calgary and McMaster will kick off the Mitchell Bowl at Ron Joyce Stadium in Hamilton, Ont. next Saturday at 4 p.m. (EST).
(Courtesy U of R Athletics)