The University of Regina Rams are still hunting for their first win

Autumn McDowell
Sports Editor

With two quarterbacks down for the count, true rookie Frankie Gray got the start on Sept. 17 for the University of Regina Rams against the top-seated team in Canada West: the Calgary Dinos.

Following his team’s embarrassing 51-1 loss to the visiting Dinos, Gray said, “Our defence started off really strong, but our offense lacked today. I am new at this and we just didn’t produce enough to even come close today.”

Not even close could be considered an understatement. The Rams’ effort was there, but inexperience and undisciplined play ended up being the two difference makers in the contest.

Calgary is notorious for having the Rams’ number in recent meetings. The Dinos are on the better end of a 7-0-0 record against Regina dating back to 2008. But the Rams,  looking to both stop their losing skid to Calgary and pick up their first victory this season, actually came to play early in the game – on defence, that is. Regina held the visitors to just three points in the opening quarter, which was highlighted by a sack courtesy of Regina’s Logan Brooks.    

But just minutes after the sack, Regina’s Chris Bodnar had his punt blocked, giving the Dinos favourable field position. The defence made up for the error, as the Dinos received no points as a result of the block. However, a costly turnover by the Rams with just minutes left in the first allowed Calgary to gain its first points of the game when Johnny Mark hit a 26-yard field goal.

Barely into the second quarter, the Dinos were able to put the ball through the uprights again, extending their lead to 6-0. The Rams defence held their ground for the majority of the second quarter, until Dinos pivot Eric Dzwileski was able to connect with Chris Dobko in the end zone. The major came with just 16 seconds left in the half and put the Dinos up 13-0 going into the break.

Calgary’s first touchdown of the game would prove to be the icebreaker for the Red and White, as it went on to score three more majors in the third quarter, including a second one to Dobko.

The Rams were facing a 37-point deficit going into the fourth quarter, which quickly became a 44-point mountain to climb after Dobko caught his third touchdown reception of the game, this time from quarterback Andrew Buckley. Calgary’s fourth touchdown of the game would come within the first minute of play in the final frame.

Regina would put up one point on scoreboard, as Bodnar sailed a punt through the end zone to get the goose egg off the board. Calgary would put the final nail in the Rams’ coffin, scoring another major with just a minute left in regulation as Denzel Morrison scampered 16 yards into the end zone.

The Rams managed to enter the history books, as Sept. 17, 2011 will now be known as the day the Rams suffered their worst loss ever – not exactly something to be proud of.

The Rams’ other loss this season, that of starting quarterback Marc Mueller, seems to have really shaken the team and fans have noticed.

“Get your head into the game instead of out of the game,” yelled one drunken fan as the time ran down.

Gray has not been exempt from feeling the pressure of Mueller’s absence. In fact, Gray never imagined he would be starting his CIS career so soon.

“I am not even sure I am ready for it,” he said. “It is a big step, but I will just have to deal with it, I guess.”

The Rams are to travel to Alberta on Saturday to take on the Golden Bears: the only other team in Canada West at 0-3-0. It is a clash where someone’s 0 has got to go.

1 comment

  1. Dave 22 September, 2011 at 22:02

    Why is McCrystal still coaching this team? Saskatchewan's senior high school players have won the Canada cup two of the past three years. We have some of the (if not the best) players in the country here, that much is obvious. Brian Towriss at the University of Saskatchewan is about to become the winning-est coach in CIS football history. Frank's 44-54-1 record in his time at the U of R as head coach is beyond embarrassing. How many years in a row now have the Rams bragged pre-season about fielding their 'best team ever' with lackluster results every season. The winds of change will (hopefully) come soon.

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