After a good start to the season defeating the University of British Columbia’s Thunderbirds by 44-19, the University of Alberta Golden Bears headed to their next game against the Manitoba Bisons to try to win their first two games of the conference — something that has not happened since 2015.
Despite a sold-out Foote Field and momentum from their previous win, it did not seem to be their night. After an explosive start and an incredible night by Bisons receiver Gavin Cobb, Manitoba jumped out to an early lead of 14-0 with less than four minutes left in the first quarter.
The second quarter was much of the same and the Golden Bears’ effort to try to break through the Bisons’ defence was overshadowed by a 91-yard rushing touchdown by none other than Gavin Cobb who was, without a doubt, the player of the game. The Bisons got to score one more time by converting a 20-yard field goal, giving them a confident 24-2 lead.
The Bears, however, decided to wake up and went on a drive of their own, finally figuring out how to break through the stout Bisons’ defence. With 52 seconds left in the half, they were pushed back from a holding penalty to a second and 20 at their own 25-yard line. Brad Launhardt then threw a dart to Jonathan Rosery for a huge gain, putting the Golden Bears in a position to score.
However, the play was called back due to offside on Alberta. The Bears went into halftime down big but with the confidence and energy to try to turn the game on its head.
The Golden Bears started the second half just like they ended the first. Starting from their own three-yard line, Alberta proceeded to march down the field on a 10 play drive, punctuated by a touchdown run from quarterback Zach Montgomery. The Bisons, however, did not want to make it easy and negated the Bears touchdown with one of their own with 1:48 left in the quarter.
The Bears wanted to continue the comeback, and finished off another long 13 play drive, with a rushing touchdown from quarterback Brad Launhardt to cut Manitoba’s advantage to 15 points with nine minutes left on the clock.
The crowd was excited and pushed the Bears into two more drives that were close to score, the first one ending with a failed field goal and the second one with a touchdown pass that was neglected by a penalty on Launhardt for “objectionable conduct” followed by unsuccessful drives and more penalties, thus, ending with Alberta’s hopes
of a comeback who fall to the Bisons by 31-17.
The Golden Bears are on the road starting October 16 when they visit the University of Saskatchewan Huskies and the arch-rival the University of Calgary Dinos on October 24, both holding the same record (1-1) as Alberta in the ongoing conference season.