November 25, 2022

Eyes On The Vanier Cup

The Vanier Cup takes place Saturday between the University of Saskatchewan Huskies and the Laval Rouge et Or.

Laval is back in the Vanier Cup for the first time since 2018 when they beat the Western Mustangs 34-20. Meanwhile, the Huskies booked their ticket back to the championship courtesy of a 36-19 win over the St. Francis Xavier X-Men in the Uteck Bowl.

And there’s a certain Stamps fullback who will be keeping a close eye on the championship game Saturday (11 a.m. MTN) – and rooting for his alma mater.

“I’ll certainly be tuning in,” said Charlie Power, the Okotoks product who played college football for the Huskies from 2009-2013.

“I’ve followed along this year,” he chuckled. “They won me a bunch of money in the locker-room between betting with the U of C guys and (quarterbacks coach) Marc Mueller with the Rams.

“They’ve had a successful year and I’m excited to be able to watch them again in the Vanier.”

During his time as a Huskie, Power played linebacker and then transitioned to slotback in 2012. He recorded 18 receptions for 231 yards and two touchdowns that season. In his final year, he tallied 143 yards and a touchdown off of 14 catches.

“It was a great organization,” reflected the 31-year old. “Our head coach Brian Towriss, he’s a legend in Saskatchewan football.

“We had some really good teams and some tough breaks in the playoffs, but it’s a place to play where they love college football in Canada.

“I have nothing but good memories playing there.

“It’s an amazing organization and any young kid that’s looking for a place to play other than Calgary should consider U of S and play for that group of guys.”

In 2021, the U of S made it all the way to the big game but fell short 27-21 to the OUA champion Western Mustangs.

Powered by fifth-year quarterback Mason Nyhus, the Huskies led Canada West in scoring with 335 points, and points per game with an average of 30.6.

The Canada West Player of the Year led the conference in passing completions (266), passing yards (3529) and passing touchdowns (22) this season. The fourth-year quarterback was tops in the country in passing yards per game, averaging a monster number of 348.

But, Nyhus won’t be the only offensive superpower taking the field on Saturday.

In his second season with the Rouge et Or, 23-year old receiver Kevin Mital led U SPORTS in receptions (58), receiving yards (751) and touchdowns (12) in eight games this season and was named the RSEQ’s Most Outstanding Player.

We know who Power is rooting for, but what are his predictions for the outcome of the game?

“Once you get to those championship games you have two really good teams facing each other and two really good programs and two really good head coaches between Scott Flory and Glen Constantin,” he said.

“I think it’s going to be a close game,” he said. “I think the (Huskies) getting there last year, that (experience) will certainly help them but, I think with Laval’s track record, they’ve been there a lot over the years, it’s going to be a good game.”