Photo credit Ivan Tam - Saskatchewan
EDMONTON - Third-year receiver Jade Etienne, who hails from Deer Lake, SK, hauled in six passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns as the visiting University of Saskatchewan Huskies burned the No.7 University of Alberta Golden Bears 33-9, Friday night at Foote Field in Edmonton.
Veteran Huskies' quarterback Laurence Nixon, originally from Richmond, BC, connected on 25 of 34 attempts for 423 yards and three touchdowns in the win, with sophomore receiver Mitch Stevens also catching a major, and running back Ben Coakwell finding paydirt as well. Saskatchewan, who recently fell out of the national top 10 ranking for the first time since 2007, also scored five points through singles and a safety.
Alberta's lone touchdown came late in the fourth, when freshman quarterback Curtis Dell, subbing for starter Julian Marchand, found receiver Laine Rogers in the end zone for his first CIS scoring drive.
The Golden Bears now fall to 2-2 on the season, having won their first two of the season, but now losing two straight.
Saskatchewan, meanwhile, improves to 2-2 after losing a shocker last week to the now 1-3 UBC Thunderbirds.
The Huskies certainly were in charge right from the get-go on this night, taking it to their hosts early and often.
Following two singles, the Huskies forced a turnover when defensive back Bryce McCall intercepted a Marchand pass and returned it to the Alberta 53.
On the very next play, Nixon tossed a rainbow along the right field sidelines, with Etienne acting as the pot of gold, as he streaked behind the Golden Bear coverage and scampered into the end zone for a 9-0 Huskies' lead.
Fourth-year Alberta kicker Hugh O'Neill closed the gap when he nailed a 28-yard field goal that was set up by some nice passing by the Bears. Marchand hit Jess Valleau for a 21-yard gain, and then rookie Ryley Richardson for a 37-yard gain, getting Alberta down to the Saskatchewan 21 before an unnecessary roughing penalty moved Alberta back and stalled their momentum. Running back Matt Jarvis managed to get them back to the 21-yard line, but three points was all the offense could muster.
Early in the second quarter, Coakwell capped off a six-play, 85-yard drive with a two-yard scoring run, giving the Huskies a 16-3 lead at half.
It didn't take Saskatchewan too long to increase their lead even further, as Etienne once again blew past the Golden Bear coverage, soaking up another Nixon rainbow, this time for a 41-yard TD, just 1:23 into the third.
Nixon connected once again before hitting the sidelines, as he marched the 'Dawgs on a 13-play drive, finding Stevens in the Alberta end zone from five yards out at 6:19 of the fourth quarter, for a 31-3 score.
Marchand finished the night 17-for-28 with 236 yards and three picks, but often found his offense deep in their own zone and working in a deficit all game long.
Dell, a freshman from Calgary, entered the game late in the fourth for Alberta and engineered a seven-play, 67-yard drive that culminated with the QB finding Rogers all alone in the corner of the Saskatchewan end zone for Alberta's only major of the game at 12:18 of the fourth.
Jarvis, who was averaging 100 rushing yards per game prior to tonight, finished with 12 carries and 59 tough yards. Valleau and Richardson were Alberta's top receivers, as Valleau caught five passes for 97 yards, while the freshman reeled in four passes for 105 yards.
Defensively, the Bears did record four sacks on the night, but, despite having the top-ranked conference defense against the pass, surrendered 423 passing yards, as well as 125 rushing yards.
Coakwell finished with 21 carries and 98 yards, while also rambling for 41 yards on passing plays.
Alberta is now 1-2 in their last three games against Saskatchewan and have been outscored 79-39...tonight's win was the Huskies' first in Edmonton since 2007...O'Neill punted nine times for an average of 43.2 yards...He also finished 1-2 in the field goal department, missing just wide on a 55-yard attempt as the half-time buzzer blew. The Ross Sheppard grad certainly had the leg, putting the attempt five yards deep in the end zone, but missed wide to the left...Safety Jason Hetherington recorded an interception late in the fourth quarter, giving him three this season, and 13 all-time, which is three behind the all-time Golden Bear record of 16.
Alberta Sports Info