Huskies Hunger for Vanier Cup
By Brooke Grantham
The Huskies football team looks poised to make another leap for the Vanier Cup this year, according to head coach Brian Towriss and his players.
They made it all the way to the final at the Skydome last year, only to suffer a disappointing 50-40 overtime loss to the University of Western Ontario Mustangs. Quarterback Brent Schneider, returning for his fifth season, said the loss just makes the players hungrier for the cup this year.
"The experience of it was so good that it just makes you want to go back so bad," he said.
The team's rock-solid defence has been carried over almost intact from last year, with only two new half-backs. And the year of experience against western conference rivals is a big asset, according to defensive leader Steve Cornish.
"We know all their bread and butter plays, and we can react to them better this year because we have a year of experience under our belts," the 1994 CIAU all-Canadian linebacker said.
The key to the team's offensive success is the return of Schneider, a two-time Hec Crighton nominee.
"It's easier to get the receivers in the right spots than it is to find a guy who can get it to them all the time. If they're open, he's going to hit them." Schneider, a second-generation CIAU quarterback, can read defences like a book. "He sees everything, and he can afford to be a bit more patient this year," said Towriss.
Like the defence, the offensive line in front of Schneider is also largely unchanged. There's only one new face, the team's top new recruit, Ian Hundeby.
The Huskies weak point last year is where the greatest improvement is expected this year: kicking.
"We have the ability to kick field goals from the 45 and in this year, maybe a little further on the turf," said Towriss.
"Last year we didn't try from further than 30."
The experienced foot of Greg Moe from the Saskatoon Hilltops junior football team is the kicking difference. By all accounts, he's a good punter and a solid place kicker.