Gains but no payoff for Manitoba Bisons in playoff rematch

They say nothing can be certain in life but death, taxes and the University of Calgary Dinos winning football games. The latter at least felt true Friday as the U of M Bisons football team dropped a 24-10 decision to the Dinos in Calgary.

A first quarter safety got the herd off on the right foot with a 2-0 lead, but from there the Dinos woke up and took over the game.

Calgary quarterback Adam Sinagra found Tyson Philpot with a 36-yard pass and Niko DiFonte knocked down the conversion for a 7-2 Dinos lead at the end of the first quarter.

Manitoba never again took the lead.

After another Bisons safety to open the second quarter, Dallas Boath snagged a pair of short-yardage passes from Sinagra — with a Calgary safety tucked in between — to extend the Dinos lead to 24-4 before Manitoba could respond.

In the waning seconds of the opening half, Bisons kicker Matt Riley sent a 28-yard kick through the uprights for a field goal, cutting the Calgary lead to 24-7 at halftime. Manitoba picked up another safety in the third quarter as Calgary cruised to a 24-9 victory.

The results on the scoreboard Friday masked a tight game, with the Bisons winning the yardage game. Manitoba quarterback Des Catellier foiled his rival Sinagra in the rush for passing yards with 271 yards to Sinagra’s 207.

The herd also outpaced its prehistoric opponent 124-120 in rushing yards.

Defence was a difference maker with Calgary picking up three interceptions on the day while Sinagra was perfect against the herd. Calgary was able to keep the Bisons at bay when it counted, while capitalizing on its own opportunities.

Both Boath touchdowns came in the Manitoba red zone, with the first coming off a snap at the Bisons 11-yard line and the second off a snap at the eight-yard line.

Manitoba, meanwhile, was largely kept to its own side of the field, with seven of the club’s 15 drives ending in friendly territory.

The herd drove as far as the Calgary red zone just once, making it to the Dinos 13-yard line on the team’s second-last possession of the night.

The loss drops the Bisons to 1-1 on the season, while Calgary improves to 2-0 on the year so far.

The Dinos have now gone undefeated in regular-season competition since the start of the 2017-18 season, posting an impressive 11 wins.

Calgary’s last loss came Oct. 28, 2017, against the University of Alberta Golden Bears in a lopsided 53-3 affair.

The Bisons will journey back to Alberta next week to take on the University of Alberta Golden Bears on Sept. 13. Kickoff is 8 p.m. CDT at Foote Field in Edmonton.