Manitoba-Calgary named one of 2019’s best college football games by ESPN

A wild performance featuring a pair of Canada West rivals has drawn the attention of college football analysts down south.

ESPN is in the process of releasing its list of the top 100 college football games of the 2019 season. At No. 100 is this year’s National Championship Game between Clemson and LSU and the list goes on to feature many top-tier programs from large NCAA conferences.

One game leaps off the page at No. 41, embedded in a portion of the list dedicated to small schools. It is the Hardy Cup semifinal between the Manitoba Bisons and Calgary Dinos — a shocking game that featured an epic comeback attempt by the visiting Herd.

Below is an excerpt from the ESPN article.

The craziest game of college football all season didn’t take place in America. In the third meeting of the year between the Calgary Dinos and the Manitoba Bisons (this one in the Canada West semifinals), Calgary took a 33-16 lead into the fourth quarter before all hell broke loose. The teams traded 97-yard special-teams touchdowns, and Manitoba scored 30 points in the final stanza. Down 47-40, Manitoba drove 96 yards in 31 seconds, with the final 50 coming on a Hail Mary pass from Des Catellier to Trysten Dyce. A 2-point conversion pass for the win fell incomplete, however, and Calgary held on.

Though it wasn’t successful, head coach Brian Dobie and the Bisons deserve credit for attempting a two-point conversion while trailing by one. The ball was nearly caught by Trysten Dyce — son of long-time CFL coach Bob Dyce — before it was intercepted by 2019 Calgary Stampeders’ sixth-round draft pick Nick Statz.

It’s rare that USports is recognized south of the border, though there’s no doubt the 2019 Hardy Cup semifinal deserved a spot on ESPN’s list. Calgary went on to win the Vanier Cup.

David Onyemata is a product of the University of Manitoba who continues to excel in the NFL, while USports alumnus Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is set to start in the Super Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs.