The Mustang football team defeated the Saskatchewan Huskies in a 27-21 game, giving Western its eighth Vanier Cup.
Led by head coach Greg Marshall, the Western team used a combination of ground game and aerial passing to advance the ball to the end zone, as they emerged victorious in the U SPORTS national championship.
“I’m extremely proud of this group, everything we have been through. I am just so happy we got here and got this done,” said Marshall. “The fact that we got through this pandemic, and we are the champions speaks to the resiliency of our team and I could not be happier or prouder of this group.”
The Mustangs opened the game with a five-play drive that began and ended with running back Trey Humes, a fifth-year management student at King’s University College. He started with a 25-yard kick-off return; four plays later, he took the hand-off from quarterback Evan Hillock, a second-year criminology student, and went 25 yards for the touchdown, giving Western the 7-0 lead.
“All week I’ve just been feeling that the way we’ve been preparing felt like destiny,” said Humes. “When we got that ball, went down and we scored on the first drive in the first half, I just knew we were going to get it done.”
The Huskies responded in the second quarter as their quarterback Mason Nyhus passed to Daniel Perry to take the lead at 9-7. Saskatchewan extended its lead, 12-10, into the break at halftime.
The Mustangs regained momentum in the second half, with a 50-yard catch and run to Griffin Campbell, a fifth-year management and organizational studies student, that gave them the lead back at 17-12.
“That was exactly how we drew it up, honestly. I came across the middle and there was no one within 10 yards of me. Ev (Evan Hillock) gave me a perfect ball and I just took it to the house,” said Campbell, recalling the touchdown moment. He then scored another touchdown just as the third quarter was finishing, extending the Mustang’s lead at 24-14.
“That was a big play for sure but I’ve got to give it up to our defence holding them to only seven points in the second half,” said Hillock. “Griff (Griffin Campbell) made a couple of big plays today and those were definitely the turning points.”
Final score was 27-21 Mustangs.
Defensive back Daniel Valente Jr., in his fourth-year in the bachelor of arts program at King’s, was named defensive player of the game as he made 8.5 tackles in the game for the Mustangs. Hillock was named game MVP.