Connor Hood, Golden Bears and Pandas Athletics
EDMONTON - Needing just 309 yards entering Saturday, fourth-year Dinos quarterback Adam Sinagra completed 23 of his 37 passes for 355 yards, setting a new single-season Canada West and U SPORTS passing yards record in the Dinos 52-6 win over the Alberta Golden Bears.
Sinagra surpassed the previous record of 3,186 set by Regina Rams pivot Noah Picton, who set the mark in 2016. After his stellar performance on Saturday, the new passing yards record stands at 3,233.
"I just came into this game wanting to execute properly. It's exciting getting the record, but it feels even better finishing the season 8-0." said Sinagra. "I'm really proud of our guys. The entire team was fantastic. Offence moved the ball well, and our defence made some big plays. We have a really confident group."
Sinagra also tossed for two touchdowns, including the record-setting 11-yard TD pass to Dallas Boath midway through the third quarter. Boath finished with five receptions for 67 yards and two scores, as the Dinos finish their conference season with a perfect 8-0 record. Calgary will host one of two Hardy Cup semifinals at McMahon Stadium next weekend.
Canada West receiving leader Hunter Karl also finished the regular season with another superb performance, hauling in a game-high six catches for 113 yards.
"Any time you have a quarterback who has the season that Adam has, you just have to be really pleased with him and the whole offence." said Dinos head coach Wayne Harris. "Credit to the offensive line, the receivers, and Adam for completing those passes. Just an outstanding season, and hopefully it continues."
The loss for the Bears is their sixth, as they conclude Canada West play with a 2-6 record, missing the playoffs for the sixth time in seven seasons.
In a rotation of players for Alberta at the quarterback position, starter Brad Baker completed four passes for 44 yards, with Brad Launhardt adding 107 yards on five completions.
Calgary jumped ahead early, and never looked back in the convincing win at Foote Field. A pair of Niko DiFonte field goals coupled with a five-yard rushing TD from Josiah Joseph gave the visitors a 13-0 lead at the half.
DiFonte would end up making seven field goals in the game, tying the Canada West single game record.
DiFonte added another two field goals in the second, along with a 10-yard TD pass from Sinagra to Boath. Boston Rowe also capitalized on a Calgary strip-sack, picking up the fumble and racing 70 yards for the defensive touchdown.
Alberta made a lone 36-yard field goal in the second, trailing 34-3 at the half.
Sinagra's record-setting pass to Boath highlighted the third quarter, as Calgary added another nine points to take a 43-6 lead.
DiFonte went three-for-three on his field goal attempts in the fourth, hitting from 23, 37, and 28 to seal the Dinos convincing win.
"Hopefully our guys know that if they play the right way, that have an opportunity to do something special, and win football games." concluded Harris. "There are no second chances in the playoffs, we have to be on our toes each week, there are some really good teams in this conference."
The undefeated, and No. 3 ranked Dinos will host the Manitoba Bisons next Saturday at McMahon Stadium in the Canada West semifinal.