Erik Glavic is getting his first true crack at the Vanier Cup.
The last time he quarterbacked a team to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport football final — the Saint Mary’s Huskies in 2007 — he was forced to sit on the sidelines after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in the Uteck Bowl.
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This time, he’ll be fully healthy when he leads the Calgary Dinos into PEPS Stadium in Quebec City on Saturday.
“In ’07, not being able to play in it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through,” said Glavic, who is nominated for the second Hec Crighton award of his career after transferring from Saint Mary’s to Calgary in January.
“To have redemption, to know I can go out there and play in the Vanier Cup, is an unreal feeling.”
Glavic survived an injury scare early in the Uteck Bowl against the Huskies when he went off with a hand injury in the first quarter. But he returned shortly thereafter.
“I was a little banged up, but I feel good,” Glavic said afterward.
The 23-year-old is one of six former Huskies on the Dinos’ roster, not to mention head coach Blake Nill, who held the same post at Saint Mary’s for eight seasons. The Dinos face the Queen’s Golden Gaels, a team with four Nova Scotians on the roster, led by receiver Blaise Morrison of Bedford.
The Dinos lived up to their billing as the nation’s No. 1 rushing team in last week’s Uteck Bowl, piling up 426 yards on the ground and slicing through the Huskies’ defence.
The Golden Gaels, buoyed by a prolific passing attack and quarterback Danny Brannagan, stunned the No. 1-ranked Laval Rouge et Or in the Mitchell Bowl.
“I know he’s a great quarterback,” said Glavic, who was teammates with Brannagan on Team Canada at the 2005 NFL global under-19 championship.
“They have great receivers, a great offence and their defence is pretty solid, too. It should be a good matchup and I’m just excited to play in it.”