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Saturday, September 29, 2018

RAMS TOP BISONS 32-31, PICTON MAKES HISTORY

WINNIPEG - Cole Benkic's pass breakup on a two-point conversion attempt in overtime sealed a thrilling 32-31 overtime win for the University of Regina Rams over the Manitoba Bisons on Saturday afternoon at Investors Group Field.

The Rams hit paydirt on their first possession of overtime after Noah Picton found a streaking Kyle Borsa for a 35-yard touchdown that not only gave the U of R the advantage in the extra session, but also made Picton the all-time passing yards leader in Canadian university football as he overtakes former Sherbrooke quarterback Jérémi Roch.

"It just speaks volumes to the quality of athlete and leader he is on the football field, and how long he's been playing at such a high level for," Rams head coach Steve Bryce said. "It's been tough to think about because it's the middle of the season and there's still so much left to accomplish this year, but it's absolutely something that I'll look back on and be proud to be a part of."

Following the Borsa touchdown, Manitoba marched downfield and Des Catellier found Shai Ross in the end zone on third and short from 16 yards out. The Bisons chose to go for two – and the win – but Benkic made a great play to knock down Catellier as he attempted to find Trysten Dyce on a slant route.

"We knew coming in that Manitoba was a very good football team and loaded with talent," Bryce said. "We assumed it was going to be a battle from start to finish and it turned out to be exactly that. They showed a lot of perseverance too, but our guys were able to hang tough and finish when we needed to."

Borsa had a monstrous game for the Rams, rushing 16 times for 128 yards and a touchdown and catching five passes for 97 yards including that overtime major. He also returned four kickoffs for 68 yards to finish with 293 all-purpose yards, the fourth highest single-game total in U of R history and the most since Neal Hughes had 300 back in an October, 2003 game at Alberta.

Picton finished 20-for-30 for 296 yards and two touchdowns while also scrambling four times for 47 yards. Schienbein was the game's leading receiver with seven catches for 113 yards.

The Rams' defence forced three turnovers, including Jaxon Ford coming up with his first career interception. The line recovered two fumbles, with Austin Lund pouncing on a ball deep in Rams territory late in the first half and Grey McKen coming up with a loose ball that gave the U of R a short field and led directly to Seb Britton's one-yard touchdown on a quarterback sneak. Ryder Varga collected his first career sack, while Eric Wicijowski and Robbie Lowes also combined to bring down Catellier.

The Rams enter the bye week in third place in the Canada West standings, but have an identical 3-2 record to second-place Saskatchewan after Calgary's win over the Huskies on Saturday. After two consecutive road games, the Rams will play next on Friday, Oct. 12 against Alberta at Mosaic Stadium.

(ReginaRams.com)

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