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Saturday, October 13, 2018

RAMS UPEND GOLDEN BEARS 32-17

Suddenly facing elimination from the Canada West playoff race after having to forfeit three wins due to an ineligible player, the University of Regina Rams stayed alive with a 32-17 victory over Alberta on Friday night at Mosaic Stadium.

The Rams not only had to push aside the emotions from last Friday's announcement, but they also had a new face at quarterback as two-time All-Canadian pivot Noah Picton missed the game due to a lower-body injury. Seb Britton got the start for the Rams, throwing a pair of touchdowns and rushing for one more.

"I'm exceptionally proud of the guys with all the stuff we've had to deal with this week," Rams head coach Steve Bryce said. "They had the opportunity to do something unique and test themselves through adversity, and they really showed what they're made of tonight."

Cord Delinte had a superb outing for the Rams' defence, becoming the first U of R player in over two years to collect two interceptions in a single game. But his most crucial play came late in the fourth quarter, with Alberta riding a wave of momentum and threatening to make it a one-possession game with three minutes still to play. With the Golden Bears facing third down and goal from the six, Brad Baker tried to find Tyler Turner for the pair's second touchdown of the contest but Delinte knocked down the pass to essentially seal the win for the Rams.

"Cord got our hard hat award in the locker room and really, it's not just tonight," Bryce said. "He's been so consistent all year long. Those two picks were huge for us, and he also had some great hard hits out there."

Britton completed his first nine pass attempts and finished 18-for-32 for 273 yards in his first career start. Ryan Schienbein was the game's top receiver, catching seven passes for 89 yards. Britton's touchdown passes were to Bennett Stusek and Daniel Scraper, with the toss to Scraper giving the third-year receiver his first career major. Atlee Simon returned to the lineup for the first time since being injured in Week 2 and rushed 17 times for 87 yards.

Besides Delinte's monster outing, the Rams' defence also had a solid performance from Layne Hull who led the team in tackles (four solo, three assisted) and also had an interception. Eric Wicijowski had a sack and recovered a fumble, while Brandon Brooks and Danny Nesbitt both had a tackle for loss.

The Rams also forced two fumbles on special teams. Grey McKen had one that was knocked out of bounds by Wicijowski for the recovery, while Brayden Wagg knocked out a ball that was collected by Lucas Nurkowski on the opening kickoff of the second half.

The Rams (1-5) will hit the road next week to face Calgary, which clinched the Canada West regular season title with its win over Manitoba on Friday night. Alberta (2-4) will also be on the road, as the Golden Bears will head to Vancouver to try for a season sweep over UBC (3-3).

NOTES: Friday marked the first time Picton missed a game in his Rams career, ending his consecutive games played streak at 40 ... prior to tonight, the last time a quarterback other than Picton started for the Rams was back on Oct. 25, 2014 when Cayman Shutter got the start at Manitoba ... Schienbein surpassed Cory Olynick on the U of R's all-time receptions list and is now tied with Jordan Sisco for fifth in school history with 141 catches in his four-year career.

(ReginaRams.com)

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