2015 Canada Cup: Alberta defeats Manitoba in game 1, advancing to semi-finals on Thursday
Photo credit: James Hajjar
In the opening game of the 2015 Football Canada from Cégep Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu’s Alphonse-Desjardins Stadium, Alberta defeated Manitoba 39-8, advancing to the semi-finals on Thursday. Alberta will play the winner of game 4 between Ontario and Quebec-White in Thursday’s semi-final at 4 p.m. ET.
Alberta took an early 19 point lead on a pair of touchdowns passes by quarterback Desmond Catellier. First the QB out of Calgary’s St. Francis connected with Landon Rose on a 37-yard pass followed by a 66-yard touchdown strike to Ben Pasiuk.
Manitoba replied late to close out the first half as quarterback Bryson McNeil found Liam Grace 38-yard touchdown strike. Manitoba successfully converted the 2-point conversion to make the score 19-8 at halftime.
Starting near Manitoba’s 25-yard line, Dan Pasiuk caught his second touchdown from Catellier to widen the Alberta lead 26-8.
Catellier who doubles as Alberta’s kicker added a pair field goals from 14 and 21 yards. A Matthew Lucyshun pick-6 made the final score 39-8.
“I thought for our first game of the tournament, that is was a good game. It was good in the fact that we won the game, number two we did some really good things and number three we are going to get some stuff off of the film that we can correct because we did make some mistakes that we want to make sure we correct and prepare for our next game.”
On Desmond Catellier’s performance:
“Desmond is a second year guy for us. He was here last year [at the Canada Cup]. He stays calm and controlled and threw the ball extremely well. He reads well and makes some great plays that way. He missed a few but again as an opening game performance, we’re really happy. Not only is he an important part of our offense but in the kicking game, he’s got an unbelievable leg. We’re fortunate to have Des.”
– Bryan Brandford, Alberta Head Coach
“Obvious [the game’s result] was a disappointment. We’ve been in this position too many times in the past, finishing in that fifth spot. We came across a very strong fourth seeded team; it’s been a few years in a row of coming across that first game against a very talented football team. Again we just don’t quite get it done where we need to. I don’t think the scoreboard quite reflected the game today but we needed to be a bit better today. I was very happy with what we did today, we just needed to finish a little stronger.”
On players that stood out despite the result:
“Shae Weekes was very explosive right off the top. He had a nice interception and came up very well up top on a few tackles for us from the safety position. He’s an all-around fantastic football player. Brody Williams at our MAC linebacker is great, Jalen Burley got player of the game and rightfully so. Liam Grace had a great play at the end of the first half. Josh Newransky kept getting things done, just running so fluidly. Bryce McNeil overcame a lot of adversity today dealing with the heat and humidity, trouble gripping that ball. I liked how he was able to respond.
– Dan Washnuk, Manitoba Head Coach
Players of the Game
|Offensive||#5 Liam Grace, REC||#15 Desmond Catellier, QB|
|Defensive||#55 Jalen Burley, DL||#95 Tyrese Best, DL|
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