TORONTO, ON – The 2023 U SPORTS football season hit its third week, with some of the top programs emerging as true contenders across the country, featuring dominant performances and thrilling finishes in the latest round of the Canadian university game.
Saskatchewan Huskies dominate Regina in front of 10,000
While the rest of U SPORTS football played in week three, Canada West played out their second round, shedding light on potential 2023 Hardy Cup contenders.
In front of over 10,000 fans in Saskatoon, the University of Saskatchewan Huskies have proved they are still the team to beat in Canada West football. Though he threw one interception, quarter back Anton Amundrud recorded 391 passing yards and four touchdowns, three to receiver Rhett Vara in the first half — to lead his Huskies to a 40-6 victory over the University of Regina Rams.
The University of Alberta Golden Bears and University of British Columbia Thunderbirds won their respective games handedly, too.
Despite turning the ball over four times, Alberta held the Manitoba Bisons to 16 points while scoring 37 of their own.
UBC faced a strong air attack from the University of Calgary Dinos, but limited them to two touchdown passes — one from starting quarter back Dom Britton, who passed for 256 yards, on their way to a 45-15 victory.
After two weeks of play in Canada West, Alberta, Saskatchewan and UBC all hold perfect 2-0 records.
OUA: Battle of the birds — and horses and lions
Wilfred Laurier University Golden Hawks quarter back Taylor Elgersma was the story of the week in U SPORTS and Ontario University Athletics (OUA), throwing for 440 yards, six touchdowns and a rushing touchdown to boot in the Golden Hawks 60-21 rout of the Guelph Gryphons. The fourth-year quarter back tied a Laurier single-game passing touchdown record with his six scores in the air.
Don’t look now, but the Golden Hawks are coming for the Western University Mustangs’ status atop the OUA.
“We knew we were a good offensive football team. We just weren’t getting the breaks we needed here and there. Well, today the floodgates opened,” Laurier head coach Michael Faulds said after the game. “We scored a touchdown on that first drive and kept our foot on the gas.”
The Western University Mustangs also had another close game against a winless team on Saturday night when they escaped the capital city after a second half comeback to beat the Carleton Ravens 31-21.
The Windsor University Lancers and Queen’s University Gaels both blew out their competition this weekend, with a 37-0 win over the University of Waterloo Warriors, and a 42-9 victory over the University of Toronto Varsity Blues.
Windsor remains undefeated, alongside Western and Laurier, while Queen’s win marked their first of 2023.
Finally, excitement in the RSEQ
(Concordia Stingers Athletics)
It took two overtime periods in week three for the Concordia University Stingers to find themselves in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) win column in 2023, narrowly defeating the Université de Sherbrooke Vert et Or 30-27.
Sherbrooke boasted a 21-0 lead at halftime, but Concordia came back with 17 consecutive points in the second half. The Stingers tied the game at 24-24 with just under two minutes to spare after a five-yard touchdown run from running back Frank Tchembe, who finished the day with 102 rushing yards on 16 carries.
Concordia and Sherbrooke traded field goals in the first OT, but a missed 52-yard kick in the final moments from Sherbrook’s Louis Tardif handed the win to the Stingers.
The Université Laval Rouge et Or returned fresh from their week two bye the only way they know how – with a ferocious victory, as quarterback Arnaud Desjardins threw for 322 yards and two touchdowns in their convincing 48-7 win over the McGill University Redbirds.
Laval and the Université de Montreal Carabins sit tied atop the RSEQ with 2-0 records.
St. Francis Xavier continues run in Atlantic Canada
The St. Francis Xavier X-Men are running away with the Atlantic University Sport Conference (AUS), holding the lone perfect record at 3-0.
On Saturday, the X-Men pushed past the Mount Allison University Mounties 43-8, as kicker Ben Hadley stole the show with six successful field goals, breaking the program’s single-game record. Hadley also scored a five-yard touchdown run on a fake field goal, as well as two rouge points and three one-point conversions, bringing his game total to 29 points.
The Saint Mary’s University Huskies won their first game of 2023 campaign with a close 13-5 road victory over the Acadia University Axemen.
The game saw just one touchdown when Huskies fullback Trent Price recovered an Axemen punt return fumble with just over four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Acadia had a chance to come back in the final minute of play with just 33 yards separating them from the endzone, but Axemen quarter-back Dante Tabacu threw three straight incomplete passes just outside the red zone, allowing Saint Mary’s to kneel out the rest of the clock.