Winnipeg’s Oliveira And Bennett Lead UND Win
WINNIPEG, MB. — Brady Oliveira ran wild on Saturday.
The former Oak Park Raiders star from Winnipeg carried 16 times for a game-high 164 as he led the UND Fighting Hawks to a 34-0 shellacking of the Missouri State Bears in the 52nd Potato Bowl.
The 5-foot-10, 215-pound power back who is nicknamed “The Manitoba Moose,” at UND, almost reached his career-high mark of 171 rushing yards set last year. It was the sixth time in his UND career that the 20-year-old junior has rushed for 100 or more yards.
The Fighting Hawks completely dominated the game, racking up 526 yards of total offence. Quarterback Keaton Studsrud went 22-for-31 for 273 and two touchdowns. Receiver Noah Wanzek caught seven passes for 117 yards and both TDs.
Last year, a 5-foot-10, 235-pound Oliveira, finished the regular season with 156 Carries for 837 yards (76.1 yards per game) and had five games with 100-yards rushing or more.
This year, he’s dropped 20 pounds. He’s faster, quicker and can move more adeptly. He credits a new diet for his new size.
“I’ve gone vegan and it’s working for me,” he said. “I’ve never felt this strong or explosive in my life. I’ve learned in my two full seasons here, that you really have to watch what you eat.”
While Oliveira was grinding out the yardage on offence, former Vincent Massey Winnipeg linebacker/defensive end, Mason Bennett was leading the defense. In the opening UND game of the season, a loss at Utah, Bennett was the best defensive player on the field with four tackles and one tackle for loss. On Saturday, the junior had three tackles.
Bennett was thrilled to play in front of a Potato Bowl crowd of 12,047 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks.
“It was exciting,” Bennett said. “Especially on third down. It was great to have that support.”
Oliveira, who led Oak Park to the Winnipeg High School Football League championship four years ago while Bennett was one of the top players on some very good Vincent Massey (Winnipeg) teams from 2012-2014.
UND returns to action next Saturday at South Dakota. Game time is 2 p.m. CDT in Vermilliion, S.D.
—Scott Taylor, MyToba Sports
Photos – Russell Hons Photography/Grand Forks