Photo courtesy of Jake Bradley Photography
What a weekend of junior football across the CJFL!
Regina Thunder 29
Saskatoon Hilltops 21
It was another classic game between these two rivals on Saturday night as the Thunder beat the Hilltops in overtime at SMF Field in Saskatoon.
Running back Ryland Leichert took the handoff and followed his talented offensive line to paydirt in the overtime session to give the Thunder the victory. Just before that however quarterback Carter Shewchuk found Isaiah Woodley from 31-yards out with 17 seconds to go in regulation to tie it before the overtime heroics. It was the only touchdown Shewchuk threw in the game after completing 27 passes for 328 yards.
As a matter of fact, the first touchdown the Thunder scored wasn’t until the third quarter when Keane Szabo punched it in from a yard out.
The Hilltops drop their second straight game but were very balanced throughout the contest. Quarterback Damon Dutton threw for 221 yards on 19 completions and found Tanner Szakacs wide open in the end zone for a touchdown. Meanwhile on the ground Boston Davidsen was terrific with 128 yards on 24 carries.
The highlight of the game came in the early stages of the fourth quarter when rookie Charles Sawi returned a missed field goal 125 yards for a touchdown. His return gave the Hilltops a 10-point lead with just over 11 minutes to go.
This weekend the Thunder (4-0) and Hilltops (2-2) will meet again, but this time the scene will shift to Regina on Saturday night.
Winnipeg Rifles 31
Calgary Colts 28
It was a game with plenty of excitement, points and offensive yards as the Rifles win their second straight and move into a second-place tie with the Hilltops.
The Rifles did most of their damage through the air as quarterback Bryson McNeil threw for 314 yards on 18 completions and found Luke McMillan for a pair of touchdown passes for his only two receptions of the game. Brady Meeks scored twice on the ground, both in the first quarter as the Rifles held a 21-3 lead after the first frame.
Despite giving up those 21 points in the first quarter the Colts did start to chip away and battle back. Their defence settled down and didn’t allow a point in the second quarter while their offence scored 10 points. Ultimately, they fell short, but their ground attack was solid gaining 278 yards. Alan Xiang was the main driving force behind the offensive line galloping 191 yards on 20 carries and scored a touchdown. Roy Outh also got into the endzone on the ground.
In the fourth quarter Nick Kennedy found Adley Mayala for a 10-yard touchdown strike to bring his Colts to within three, but they were held after that and fall for the second time this season.
On Sunday the Rifles (2-2) will be back on the road and play at the Edmonton Wildcats (0-4). The Colts (2-2) will also stay on the road and be in Edmonton to meet the Huskies (2-2).
Edmonton Huskies 25
Edmonton Wildcats 22
It was the first meeting of the season between these two city rivals and was a solid defensive match-up. The Huskies were led by Nahome Giorgis who had six tackles and a sack and Cedric McCallum who picked off a pass, had two knockdowns and three tackles. Roman Iwuc also came up with an interception as the Huskies forced five turnovers.
The Wildcats forced two interceptions as Callum Noonan and Carter Parker came up with the turnovers.
Offensively the Huskies threw touchdown passes to Alex Gayle and Carver Trapp while Jermaine Watkins sprinted 40 yards for another Huskies score.
On the other side Wildcats quarterback Caleb Taylor threw for 232 yards and ran for 117. Back-up pivot Devin Desormeau hit Travis Heggart for a four-yard TD pass and Nathan Zacharias punched it in from a yard out.
This coming weekend both teams stay in Edmonton as the Huskies (2-2) welcome the Calgary Colts (2-2) and the Wildcats (0-4) say hello to the Winnipeg Rifles (2-2).