With U Sports football semifinal season upon us, Canadian University football programs are on a national platform. For Saturday’s Mitchell Bowl, the AUS and Canada West divisions are on display. The tenth seeded St. Francis Xavier X-Men and sixth seeded Calgary Dinos faced off in Calgary, Alberta to determine which team would face the Laval Rouge et Or in the Vanier Cup. The Bowl was set on a national stage in the Dinos’ own McMahon Stadium, which they share with the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL. Calgary Dinos win Mitchell Bowl 2016 by a score of 50-24 over the X-Men. The bowl victory was broadcast across Canada on Sportsnet 360.
Calgary Dinos Win Mitchell Bowl, Face Laval in Vanier Cup
The Calgary Dinos have been faring well with backup quarterback Adam Sinagra, who has been standing in for injured starter Jimmy Underdahl since mid-October. Despite Underdahl’s return to the lineup for the Mitchell Bowl, Sinagra was given the nod to start. St. F.X.’s offence were starting at full force with the presence of quarterback Tivon Cook and running back Jordan Socholotiuk. These two players were among the key elements that led to the X-Men winning their second consecutive Loney Bowl.
With AUS teams struggling on the national stage for nearly a decade, the Dinos of Canada West would entered Mitchell Bowl as favourites to win. That said, the 2016 X-Men are one of the most dominant AUS teams in recent memory. Under the lead of head coach and St. F.X. alumnus Gary Waterman, the X-Men boast an undefeated record against their division in 2016. Cook and Waterman received major accolades for a historic season, and the X-Men are far from slouches. However, the Mitchell Bowl title against the Dinos was a tal hill to climb.
The Calgary Dinos looked to take control of the game early, with their first big drive taking them just outside the end zone. On a 3rd and goal, St. F.X. free safety Dylan Bell forced a turnover to keep Calgary’s lead at an early single. A pair of team safeties would allow Calgary to rack up the small scores on the X-Men, taking an early 5-0 lead. Cook found sophomore receiver Dejuan Martin in the end zone for the first touchdown of the game. After the extra point, the X-Men closed out the first quarter with a 7-5 lead over Calgary. Both teams traded fields goals to bring the score to 11-11. Calgary scored their first touchdown with Sinagra finding Joel Van Pelt to secure the lead for the remainder of the matchup. One more X-Men field goal ended the half 18-14.
Underdahl made his return to the field as the starter for Calgary in the second half. He made an impression quickly, scoring two touchdowns in quick succession through Hunter Karl and Jack McDonald. The game closed out with more traded field goals and each team trading a touchdown. Jeshrun Antwi punched in a one-yard run for Calgary’s final touchdown, and the last gasp for the X-Men was Cook finding Martin in the endzone once more. One more score saw the Dinos’ Cole Kussmann getting in with a one-yard run. Calgary secure their spot in the 2016 Vanier Cup with a 50-24 Mitchell Bowl victory over the St. F.X. X-Men.
The 2016 Vanier Cup will take place in Hamilton, Ontario on November 26th. This 52nd Vanier Cup will feature a showdown between the Calgary Dinos and the Laval Rouge et Or. This sees the final national matchup consist of RSEQ and Canada West as AUS and OUA teams have been eliminated. Each team boasts decisive victories in their respective Bowls to qualify for the national title.