REGINA, Sask. - The University of Regina Rams advanced to the Hardy Cup with a 31-9 victory over Saskatchewan on Friday night in a Canada West semifinal at a snowy Mosaic Stadium.
The two teams were separated by just one point at halftime as the U of R held a 10-9 lead through two quarters, but the second half was all Rams. Regina scored three touchdowns in the span of just over 11 minutes and didn't allow a single point in the game's final 30 minutes.
Normally used almost exclusively as a quarterback in short-yardage situations, Friday's breakout star was slotback Landon Buch. He came into the game with two catches in his career, but exploded for six catches and 130 receiving yards in Friday's win. He also scored two touchdowns, one of which came on a two-yard plunge in the third quarter after stellar Buch catches extended the U of R's drive twice, and the other on a 63-yard catch-and-run that essentially sealed the victory midway through the fourth quarter. If that wasn't enough, Buch was also credited with a fumble recovery on the kickoff following his first touchdown.
Marc Mueller completed 21 of his 32 passes for the Rams and ended up with 393 yards and three touchdowns. Buch led the U of R in both receptions and receiving yards, and Kolten Solomon finished with five catches for 97 yards including a 59-yard touchdown reception on the last play of the third quarter. Jay Smith had four catches for 68 yards, while Addison Richards had three catches for 76 yards.
Michael Kiapway led Regina's ground game with 74 rushing yards.
Ryan Wellman led the U of R's defence with a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and a pass breakup. Chris Sciog had a team-high five total tackles, while Stefan Charles had the team's lone sack. It was the second consecutive game that the Rams' defence hasn't allowed a point, as Saskatchewan's nine points came on a fumble return touchdown and a conceded safety.
Saskatchewan quarterback Drew Burko completed 11 of his 28 passes for 134 yards. Kit Hillis led the team's receiving corps with four catches, while Shane Buchanan had a team-high 69 rushing yards for the Huskies.
The Rams will now prepare for their fifth appearance in the Hardy Cup, as they'll square off with the winner of Saturday's semifinal between Calgary and Manitoba. The conference championship game will be hosted by Calgary if the Dinos advance, and will be at Mosaic Stadium in Regina if the Bisons get through the No. 3-ranked U of C.
The Hardy Cup is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 10 at 2 p.m.
(Courtesy U of R Athletics)