After both teams scored majors in the first overtime, the No. 8-ranked Rams got a big break in the second overtime when Brent Arthur’s field goal attempt for Alberta from 41 yards out glanced off the right upright. That meant the Rams only needed a single point to win it, and they got three when Daniel Scraper punched a 26-yard field goal right down the middle to put an end to the third highest-scoring game in Canada West history.
The win improves Regina’s record to 4-2 on the season and the Rams lock up a postseason berth thanks to Calgary’s win over Manitoba.
“They’re a formidable opponent and we knew they were going to be with the way they can run the ball,” Rams head coach Steve Bryce said. “Records be damned, we knew we were in for a battle and that’s exactly what happened today. Our boys played tough for four quarters and beyond, and hats off to the U of A because their players did as well.”
Not surprisingly given that it was the most combined points ever scored in a game involving the Rams and the most points they’ve ever scored on the road, a monumental list of individual accomplishments piled up during the afternoon. Atlee Simon became the University of Regina’s all-time touchdown king after a career-long 53-yard rush for a major in the first half, and Mitchell Picton passed Chad Goldie as the school’s all-time leader in touchdown catches after hauling in the 22nd of his career for the Rams’ first points of the game. Noah Picton tied former Rams quarterback Teale Orban for Canada West’s all-time lead in completions and and also needs just 18 more passing yards to surpass Orban for first in conference history in that category as well.
Simon had a huge outing for the second consecutive game, finishing with 25 rushes for 206 yards as well as catching five passes for a total of 59 yards to set a new career high with 265 all-purpose yards in the win. Two of his catches were for majors and the fourth-year running back added one more touchdown on the ground, marking the sixth time in his Rams career he’s finished with at least three scores.
Noah Picton, who completed 34 of his 45 pass attempts for a total of 386 yards and four touchdowns while also running one in himself, hit Mitchell Picton and Ryan Schienbein for majors in addition to the two to Simon. Schienbein was the team’s top receiver with 10 catches for 112 yards, while Picton had six catches for 102 yards and Kyle Moortgat accumulated 90 yards on his nine catches.
In perhaps the unlikeliest touchdown scored by the Rams in recent years, they also scored a third-quarter touchdown on a pass from short-yardage quarterback Frankie Gray to defensive lineman Eric Wicijowski. It was Wicijowski’s first career touchdown, and Gray’s first touchdown pass since he connected with Connor Haas in a game way back during the 2012 campaign.
The Rams forced five turnovers in the victory, three of which came off interceptions by Nick Cross, Polis Koko, and Braedy Will. Nicholas Dheilly had a big late forced fumble for the second consecutive game, knocking the ball loose from Ilnicki deep in Rams territory and into Cole Benkic’s hands with under five minutes to go. The Rams also had a turnover on special teams when Ryder Varga – playing his first career game – knocked the ball loose from Alberta’s Nathan Rowe on a punt return with Will there for the recovery.
The Rams will now prepare for a showdown against No. 2-ranked and unbeaten Calgary next Saturday afternoon (2:00) at Mosaic Stadium. The Dinos improved to 6-0 after their tight 36-27 win over Manitoba today.
(Braden Konshuh/U of R Athletics)