After a record-setting performance, quarterback Eric Dzwilewski would have been forgiven for taking all the credit in leading the Calgary Dinos to victory at the 75th Hardy Cup.
Dzwilewski ran for four touchdowns to lead the Dinos to a 62-13 win over the UBC Thunderbirds in the Hardy Cup on Friday night, but deferred credit to his teammates after the win.
“The (offensive line) had a spectacular game so credit to them,” said Dzwilewski, who became the first quarterback in Canadian university football history to run for four touchdowns in a playoff game. “They played out of their minds.”
Dzwilewski also thanked running backs Steven Lumbala and Matt Walter for their efforts in the blowout win. Lumbala carried the ball 22 times for 198 yards, while Walter had 10 carries for 54 yards.
“(UBC) paid attention to the running backs and that opened things up for me,” Dzwilewski said. “I'm just blessed to have a night like this.”
Calgary coach Blake Nill said he knew his quarterback had it in him to scramble and find the end zone on a consistent basis.
“He's an option quarterback, so running is something that comes natural to him,” Nill said. “Throughout the year we were sort of a little hesitant to let him run because we had to get through the season with him. Now the games are more important. It's time to bring our full package to each and every game.”
Dzwilewski also threw a touchdown pass to Chris Dobko, while backup quarterback Andrew Buckley got in on the action by tossing a TD pass to Adam Osterling.
John Kadiebwe and Wyatt Getty both had interception returns for touchdowns, while Johnny Mark added a pair of field goals.
The No. 2-ranked Dinos will now host the Mitchell Bowl next Friday (7:30 p.m., MT) against the winner of Saturday's Dunsmore Cup between the No. 7 Montreal Carabins and the No. 1 Laval Rouge et Or. The winner of the Mitchell Bowl will qualify for the Vanier Cup at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver on Nov. 25.
It's the fourth straight Hardy Cup triumph for the Dinos, who became the first team to pull off that feat since the Saskatchewan Huskies won four straight Canada West titles from 1934-37.
Jordan Grieve had a receiving touchdown for the No. 6 Thunderbirds, while Billy Pavlopoulos kicked two field goals.
“All in all we didn't make enough plays today,” said second-year UBC coach Shawn Olson. “We didn't tackle well enough. We weren't consistent enough on offence. I think it's a testament to where we are as a program. We're not good enough just yet.”
Starting UBC quarterback Billy Greene went 10-for-29 for 175 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.
“I made some bad decisions personally,” Greene said. “It's probably one of the worst games I've had and it couldn't come at a worse time. We just couldn't get clicking today and we let it get away from us.”
The Dinos opened the scoring at 3:05 of the first quarter when Mark kicked a 32-yard field goal, before Pavlopoulos responded with a field goal of his own from 29 yards out.
Dzwilewski then led Calgary on a 75-yard drive and finished it off with a seven-yard touchdown run. The Dinos rushed the ball on all seven plays of the drive.
The Thunderbirds responded on their next drive as quarterback Greene tossed an 87-yard touchdown pass to Grieve. Calgary defensive back Jamahl Knowles fell down on the play leaving Grieve wide open to haul in the pass from Greene and ramble into the end zone.
After Mark kicked a 40-yard field goal at 1:52 of the second quarter, Pavlopoulos replied with a 24-yard field goal to tie up the game at 13-13.
Dzwilewski then ran for a three-yard TD late in the second quarter. Once again, the Dinos chose to run the ball all eight plays on the 75-yard drive.
UBC started the second half with great field position at the Calgary 38-yard line thanks to a 70-yard kickoff return by Mitch Shuster. Two plays later, the Thunderbirds lined up to kick a 44-yard field goal, but instead attempted a trick play when Greene tossed the ball downfield to receiver Joey Gabrich. The throw was on the money, but Calgary defensive back Mike Edem was right there to make sure Gabrich couldn't make the catch.
Dzwilewski then ran for a five-yard touchdown to put the Dinos up 27-13. Chris Dobko caught a 25-yard pass from Dzwilewski on the five-play, 55-yard drive, while Steven Lumbala had a 21-yard run to get Calgary deep into UBC territory.
Dzwilewski ran for a seven-yard score early in the fourth quarter before he tossed a 12-yard TD pass to Dobko.
After Kadiebwe intercepted an errant pass by Greene and ran it back for a 50-yard touchdown, Osterling hauled in a pass from Buckley and ran into the end zone for a 12-yard score.
Getty then picked off a pass by backup UBC quarterback Carson Williams and ran for a 70-yard touchdown.
Notes: Over the previous three seasons, Calgary defeated Simon Fraser (2008), Saskatchewan (2009) and Alberta (2010) to win the Hardy Cup. ... Greene was named the Canada West most-valuable player after throwing for 2,558 yards, 20 touchdowns and four interceptions in the regular season. He was picked off three times by the Dinos on Friday as both Knowles and Chudi Nzekwu also had interceptions.