Bears can the Clan

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:06 AM ET

The University of Alberta Golden Bears turned their season opener from a clang into a bang in a hurry.

Overcoming a sluggish start, the No. 4 Bears kicked off the Canada West campaign by coming alive in the second half, scoring four touchdowns and piling up 361 yards of offence over the final two quarters to post a 40-18 over the Simon Fraser Clan yesterday in Burnaby, B.C.

"At halftime, I addressed the guys and told them that was the exhibition game that we didn't have and it was time to play and execute at full speed like we know we can," said Bears head coach Jerry Friesen.

"The first one is always the toughest, and we were on the road and we were playing a team that we couldn't prepare for, other than by our history against them."

Alberta makes its home debut Saturday against the Calgary Dinos, who were thumped 51-10 by Manitoba.

The Bears held a 9-8 edge at the break and trailed twice in the third quarter before scoring on five of their next six possessions. Andrew Ginther caught his second touchdown pass of the game, and quarterback Darryl Salmon followed that with a three-yard dart into the end zone.

Salmon later hooked up with Luke Lavorato for a 69-yard scoring play and Jarred Winkel, making a return to the lineup following major off-season knee surgery, rumbled six yards for another TD. Winkel, the conference's nominee for the Crighton Trophy in 2003, was slated to be used sparingly behind starter David Bissett, but racked up 82 yards on 10 carries.

"That was more than we anticipated," said Friesen.

"He's the type of back that doesn't need the line to sustain its blocks for very long before he creates some gaps. He told us all week that he was feeling more confident every time he handled the ball, but we're still going to stay on pace with his recovery."

Bissett still accounted for 105 yards on 12 carries while Lavorato and Matt Burrows combined for nine catches and 203 yards.


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