Manitoba scored a touchdown with just under a minute and half to go to get within five points, then got the ball back after forcing a two-and-out by the Rams. Completions to three different receivers by Bisons quarterback Jamie Ybarra got Manitoba down to Regina’s 25-yard line, but Ybarra’s pass to the back of the end zone with no time left on the clock fell incomplete to seal the win for the Rams.
“We’re taking a lot of positives out of that game,” Rams head coach Steve Bryce said following the win. “Noah (Picton) is as composed as he’s ever been and looks finely tuned and ready to play. Atlee Simon, Kyle Borsa, and Tyree Range were all impressive at running back and I thought our o-line was solid all game in both run block and pass protect. Defensively, we showed team speed all over the field and a few young players really caught our attention – Josh White, Jaxon Ford, and Tanner Schmekel among them.”
Picton was 6-for-8 for 105 yards and a touchdown before exiting the game following the team’s first possession of the second quarter. Seb Britton played the rest of the second and all of the third, finishing 9-for-17 and ending up with 85 yards and one touchdown. Britton also had a 20-yard scramble, while Colton Hippe finished the game under centre for the Rams and was 3-for-6 for 40 yards.
Borsa led the Rams on the ground with nine rushes for 47 yards and a touchdown, while Range had 19-yard and 10-yard rumbles on his first two touches and ended up with four carries for 36 yards. Simon had seven runs for 26 yards and a touchdown. Bennett Stusek had a team-high four catches for the Rams, while Daniel Scraper had two catches for a team-leading 49 yards and Ryan Schienbein caught three passes for 47 yards.
First-year linebacker Josh White had a spectacular game defensively for the Rams, leading the team in tackles (5 solo, 1 assisted) while also collecting an interception and forcing a fumble that was scooped up by teammate Robbie Avram. Jack Louisdort had a big second-quarter interception in the end zone to snuff out a Manitoba drive, while Tyler McStravick collected the game’s lone sack. Aidan Anderson, Ryan Jensen, and Eric Wicijowski were also credited with tackles for loss in the win.
For Manitoba, Somto Anyadike and Victor St. Pierre-Laviolette both had 65 rushing yards. Starting quarterback Des Catellier was 11-for-16 and finished with 15) yards and touchdowns to both Macho Bockru and Jesse Walker. Trysten Dyce was the game’s leading receiver with four catches for 81 yards.
Shae Weekes led the Bisons in tackles (5 solo, 1 assisted).
Both teams will now prepare for the Canada West schedule, which kicks off next weekend. The Rams host Calgary on Friday, Aug. 31 at Mosaic Stadium (7:00 PM), while Manitoba will travel to the West Coast for a Saturday, Sept. 1 game at UBC.
(Braden Konschuh/U of R Athletics)