Connor Hood, Alberta Golden Bears and Pandas
EDMONTON - The visiting Manitoba Bisons scored two majors in the final three minutes, earning a 37-27 win over the Alberta Golden Bears Friday night at Foote Field.
The Bisons held a lead for a majority of the game, but fell behind Alberta 27-22 late in the fourth quarter. A Des Catellier touchdown pass to Trysten Dyce with 2:21 left in the fourth gave Manitoba a 30-27 lead, before Victor St. Pierre-Laviolette sealed the win with a 55 yard rushing TD with 13 seconds left.
The win is the Bisons second straight over Alberta, as they improve to 2-2 this season. With the loss, Alberta remains in the bottom spot in Canada West with a 0-4 record.
Catellier finished with a game-high 303 passing yards and four touchdowns, completing 32 of his 39 pass attempts. Canada West receiving leader Dylan Schrot hauled in nine of those passes for 100 yards, while St. Pierre-Laviolette churned out 139 rushing yards.
"We love our quarterback. Des Catellier is the real deal. He is a winner." said Bison head coach Brian Dobie. "I think he throws a really good ball, and has a really high football IQ. But above all, his compete level is through the roof. And he channeled that in the second half, and led our offence."
On the opposing side, Brad Launhard completed 12 of his 36 pass attempts for 243 yards and one pick, while also adding 54 rushing yards and a pair of rushing touchdowns. Rookie tailback Jonathan Rosery tallied 102 rushing yards on just 11 carries, his second-straight 100-yard rushing game.
The Golden Bears took an early 6-1 lead on Manitoba thanks to a pair of field goals from Brent Arthur, in a first quarter dominated by each teams defence.
The Bisons jumped ahead early in the second, as Shai Ross hauled in a 32-yard TD pass from Catellier, before Catellier hit defensive lineman Kent Hicks for a two-yard trick-play touchdown. Launhardt cut the Bison lead down to two before halftime, as he scampered in for a seven-yard TD run in the final minutes of the first half.
The Bisons opened the third quarter with an incredibly well executed 110-yard drive, chewing off eight minutes of game time. Catellier found a wide open Trysten Dyce for the first of his two receiving touchdowns, giving Manitoba a 22-13 lead.
"That doesn't happen very often. It was as perfect of a drive as you can get in U SPORTS Football." said Dobie. "But Alberta wouldn't fold. They didn't quit. And then they responded and started taking over the game. It was their game to win, and we had to find a way to escape."
Trailing by five late in the fourth, Catellier led another long Bison drive, capped off by his fourth TD pass of the game to Dyce, giving the Bisons a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
"It was definitely a back-and-forth affair." continued Dobie."It was a crazy game, and I'll be honest, I thought the University of Alberta did more right things than we did, and we were fortunate to win the game."
The Golden Bears will host the UBC Thunderbirds next Friday night at Foote Field in the Canada West Football Showcase game. The Bisons, meanwhile, will return home to Winnipeg, as they host the 2-2 Regina Rams.