Photo courtesy of Wanda Harron Photography
Regina Thunder @ Saskatoon Hilltops – Sunday October 22, 1:00pm – SMF Field | WATCH HERE
The battle of Saskatchewan will determine the Prairie Conference champion on Sunday when the Hilltops welcome the Thunder in a 1 vs. 2 match-up.
The Hilltops have been unbeaten all year, a trend they are hoping to keep when the Thunder come to town. They quieted the Thunder in both games this year beating them 36-6 in Regina, before a 19-10 victory in the rain in Saskatoon at the end of September.
In both wins the Hilltops’ run game was dominating behind an impressive offensive line. Prairie Conference Outstanding Offensive Player Boston Davidsen carried the rock a combined 57 times for 251 yards and had a touchdown. Meanwhile the Conference’s top quarterback Trey Reider was good when he needed to be, completing 27 passes for 373 yards and threw three TD strikes to Noah Flaman.
Despite the offence getting most of the glory, this Hilltops defence has been simply stellar all season including the two match-ups with the Thunder. They have forced five turnovers, have had unstoppable pressure on the Thunder quarterback and held All-Star running back Ryland Leichert in check for the most part. In the seasonal series he’s run 42 times for 210 yards and does have a touchdown.
This defence was the stingiest all season, holding teams to an average of six points a game.
The Thunder will try and draw from their experience last year when they beat the Hilltops in the Conference final. Interestingly enough that was the last time the Hilltops lost a game. The Thunder will need to find success running the ball if they have any hope of leaving Saskatoon with a victory. They too have an outstanding defence which could slow the Hilltops down, but if they can’t find a way to move the ball and get into the endzone it could be the end of the road for the defending Conference champions.
This game has all the makings of another classic between these two powerhouses and no one will be surprised if it is a low scoring defensive struggle. The winner hosts the St. Clair Saints, the Ontario Conference champion in the CJFL National Semi-Final game next weekend.
Head-to-Head (includes last week’s playoff win)
Records: Thunder 7-2 – Hilltops 9-0
Avg Points For: Thunder 31.3 – Hilltops 43.1
Avg Points Allowed: Thunder 18 – Hilltops 5.8
Passing Leaders: Carter Moberg – 91 of 171 for 1449 yards and 13 touchdowns (Thunder) – Trey Reider – 108 of 167 for 1571 yards and 16 touchdowns (Hilltops)
Rushing Leaders: Ryland Leichert – 152 carries for 1017 yards and 8 touchdowns (Thunder) – Boston Davidsen – 170 carries for 1184 yards and 9 touchdowns (Hilltops)
Receiving Leaders: Isaiah Woodley – 41 receptions for 677 yards and 5 touchdowns (Thunder) – Drake Douglas – 42 receptions for 591 yards and 4 touchdowns (Hilltops)
Leading Tacklers: Stephen Smith – 42 tackles (Thunder) – Matt Wist – 22 tackles (Hilltops)