The Vanier Cup ends with a loss for the Huskies; Western wins national football final

It was the Huskies’ fifth appearance at the Vanier Cup and their fifth loss since winning in 1998.

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CITY OF QUEBEC – It was a slippery eel from a football game, the grass both slippery and hard as granite.

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The other team celebrated the end of the game by winning the Vanier Cup, as they reflected on a lost opportunity.

“One of the craziest games I have ever played,” said all-Canadian Huskies defensive lineman Nathan Cherry after the Huskies’ 27-21 loss to the Western Mustangs in the national football final university at the Telus stadium in Laval. “You take two steps and it felt like you were falling on your butt every time. Both teams were playing on it, so no excuse anyway. They had to face it just as much as we did. “

Heavy rains on Thursday, followed by freezing temperatures, forced the two teams to rush to local sporting goods stores on Friday, in search of shoes with traction suited to the unusual conditions. The game was played in a minus-14C wind chill, and the Mustangs handled the reduced traction area and conditioning six points better than their Western counterparts.

“Maybe I’ll bring my skates next time,” joked Western defensive back Brendan Murphy.

“It’s unfortunate that both teams had to play on this surface, but it’s still football,” said Huskies head coach Scott Flory. “We’ll play anytime, anywhere, anyway. We just didn’t adapt and adjust well enough, because we didn’t play enough.

The Huskies returned home on Saturday night without the Vanier Cup.

The big trophy last touched the Huskies’ hands in 1998. They have played in five Vaniers since and have lost all five.

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Saskatchewan Huskies' Kyle Newton and Colton Klassen react to their loss to the Western Mustangs at the Vanier Cup in Quebec City on Saturday.
Saskatchewan Huskies’ Kyle Newton and Colton Klassen react to their loss to the Western Mustangs at the Vanier Cup in Quebec City on Saturday. Photo by Jacques Boissinot /THE CANADIAN PRESS / Jacques Boiss

“It’s tough,” said fourth-year Huskies quarterback Mason Nyhus, who completed 28 of 40 passes for 303 yards and a touchdown. “No ifs or buts about it. It’s hard. But after a few days, maybe a week, who knows? – we’ll start to think and understand that a lot of good things have happened, and we did a lot of good things, but it’s pretty hard to watch them right now.

A big third quarter turned the game in Western’s favor.

The Huskies were leading 12-10 at halftime, but Western’s Griffin Campbell cut off any momentum they might have taken with 50 and 17-yard touchdown receptions in the third quarter. The first of those major tournaments came immediately after the Huskies failed in a third bet on Western’s 42-yard line.

The Mustangs were leading 24-14 after three, and Brian Garrity’s 37-yard field goal early in the fourth increased the lead to 13.

Saskatchewan’s Josh Ewanchyna scored from a one-meter dive with 28 seconds left, but the game was effectively over when they couldn’t get the side kick that followed.

The Mustangs edged the Huskies on ground 209-83, and amassed 476 total yards of attack at 370 for Saskatchewan.

“A few chances were missing in the third quarter, and we couldn’t find our balance or our traction – figuratively and literally – at the end of the third before the fourth,” said Flory. “We have to give them credit. They made a few plays.

The Huskies, both big and physical, crushed the teams in the third and fourth quarters throughout their run to the Vaniers. But they couldn’t do the same with Western.

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The Mustangs started the game quickly, starting a 70-yard five-game run that ended with a 25-yard run from Trey Humes before the game lasted three minutes.

But that impressive ground-chewing introduction didn’t deflate the Huskies. They gradually retreated.

David Solie scored 26 and 24 yard baskets in that first half – the latter on the last play of the second quarter – and Daniel Perry received 22 yards into the end zone.

Western’s Garrity netted his own 23-yard field goal, which brings us to that 12-10 halftime lead and a third quarter the Huskies would love to regain.

Western Mustangs win the Vanier Cup after beating the Saskatchewan Huskies on Saturday in Quebec City.
Western Mustangs win the Vanier Cup after beating the Saskatchewan Huskies on Saturday in Quebec City. Photo by Bernard Brault /THE CANADIAN PRESS / Bernard Braul

“I remember telling our kids before our first game at McMaster, we don’t know if this thing is going to be shut down,” Mustangs head coach Greg Marshall said, referring to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 . “Let’s play like it’s our last game. Every game, like it’s our last game. The fact that we had a season and a Vanier Cup, and that we are the champions after going through the pandemic… it is a testament to the resilience of our team. “

“Disappointing,” Cherry said. “It was so close. The Huskies haven’t won him since 1998, and we really wanted to bring him back to Saskatchewan. But I’m still very proud of how far we’ve come, and we had a hell of a team this year. We will get back to work and prepare to reload in 2022. ”

The Mustangs entered the game 9-1 in the regular season and playoffs. The Huskies, who played in their first Vanier since 2006, were 8-1.

The Vanier Cup wrapped up a two-year odyssey that saw the 2020 college football season canceled by COVID-19 and the 2021 campaign shortened.

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“We will have to take the time to think it over. It’s important, ”said Flory, who won two Vanier Cups with the Huskies in the 1990s before embarking on a career in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame with the Montreal Alouettes who scored three rings in the game. Gray Cup. “It’s also important to feel that. It’s important to understand that feeling, and that all of our guys are able to understand what it sounds like. I don’t think we can turn the page too quickly; we have to be able to understand and think, and not want to reproduce that feeling. I think it is important.

“Unfortunately, that sucks. As an athlete, I’ve been there on that side, and I’ve been on the other too. I think you like the other side, when you feel that side. proud of our guys, of the way they fought, and this one will stick around for a bit. “

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  1. University of Saskatchewan Huskies head coach Scott Flory addresses players during practice in Quebec City on Friday, December 3, 2021. The Western University Mustangs and Huskies will play for the Vanier Cup on Saturday December 4 at Laval University.

    After two long years, Klassen of the Huskies qualified for the Vanier Cup

  2. Western head coach Greg Marshall, left, chats with Saskatchewan Huskies head coach Scott Flory as he stands behind the Vanier Cup trophy Thursday in Quebec City.

    Vanier Cup: Huskies expect close game against Western Ontario

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