Matt Walter poured salt in a wound opened by Erik Glavic and Blake Nill.
With the attention focused squarely on the homecoming of Glavic and Nill to Huskies Stadium, it was Matt Walter, the Calgary Dinos’ dynamic tailback, who turned in an MVP performance in a 38-14 victory over Saint Mary’s in the Uteck Bowl on Saturday.
Walter churned up the turf for 235 yards and two touchdowns while the Dinos, who boasted the nation’s No. 1 rushing attack coming in, torched the Huskies for a devastating 426 yards on the ground.
“The more they talked about Glavic, the more they were putting a target on him,” Walter said afterward. “That just opens up the run game for me and I knew if we were able to run the ball, we’d be successful. I was really happy about SMU turning a blind eye to our run game.”
The Huskies had a golden opportunity to stick it to Nill, the Dinos’ head coach, and Glavic, the club’s star quarterback.
Nill resigned from Saint Mary’s in 2006 after eight seasons and two Vanier Cups. He ruffled some feathers at Saint Mary's when Glavic bolted the Huskies to join him this past January after winning the Hec Crighton as national player of the year in 2007.
Both were lightly booed by the home crowd of 5,735.
But the Dinos came out flying and had a 19-0 lead after the first quarter. Glavic, a Hec Crighton nominee again, passed for just 77 yards and a touchdown and gained 25 more yards on the ground.
“I had a feeling that was gonna happen,” Glavic said with a grin. “They might have game-planned too much around me and might have forgot about Matt. He’s one of the best if not the best backs in the league and he showed that today … That kid’s a workhorse.”
Steven Lumbala also did plenty of damage on the ground for the Dinos, particularly in the second half. He finished with 156 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.
The Huskies put all their points on the board in the second quarter, getting a one-yard rushing touchdown from Devon Jones and an eight-yard reception from Jahmeek Murray. Quarterback Jack Creighton threw three interceptions and finished with 199 yards and a major.
“We had some good plays, then we’d make a mistake and we’d get thrown off,” said Creighton, in his sophomore season. “They have a really good offence and they countered our mistakes.”
The Huskies lost potential all-Canadian defensive lineman Dan Schutte to a calf injury in the first series of the first quarter. Schutte was a big part of the Huskies' defensive game plan.
“We scrambled to fill that void,” Huskies head coach Steve Sumarah said. “There was a level of frustration as the game went on.
“We couldn’t get into that rhythm we wanted and it was frustrating. And kudos to them … They took us out of that rhythm.”
The Dinos move onto the Vanier Cup against the Queen’s Golden Gaels, who beat the Laval Rouge et Or 33-30 in the Mitchell Bowl.