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Hilltops Win Prairie Conference

By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters), 10/23/23, 5:15PM PDT


The Saskatoon Hilltops are back on top of the Prairies

Saskatoon Hilltops 21
Regina Thunder 13

The Saskatoon Hilltops are back on top of the Prairie Conference after a 21-13 victory over the visiting Regina Thunder on Sunday afternoon.  The Hilltops advance in the CJFL Canadian Bowl Playoffs.

Heading into the fourth quarter the Thunder held a slim 13-9 lead in a defensive struggle, before the Hilltops scored 12 points in the final frame to secure the victory. 

Offensively the Hilltops rode the horse that helped them finish undefeated as running back Boston Davidsen took advantage of the outstanding blocking of the offensive line.  He galloped to 161 yards on 21 carries and scored two touchdowns, including the game winning score with just over two minutes to play in the contest.   Quarterback Trey Reider kept the ball moving with 12 completions for 165 yards finding six different receivers. 

Defensively the Hilltops pitched a fourth quarter shutout leading to the victory with Matt Wist turning in an incredible performance.  He made nine solo tackles and assisted on eight others.  Riece Kack also came up big with 1.5 sacks, five solo tackles and two assisted stops.  On the game’s final play All-Star Dalton Urban intercepted a Thunder pass at the Hilltops four-yard line to seal the deal.

The Thunder offence found it difficult to move the ball against the Hilltops defence, particularly in the fourth quarter.  Without quarterback Carter Moberg, backup Ethan Hugg got the start and played well completing 18 passes for 220 yards and found Austin Wood for a touchdown.  Running back Ryland Leichert rushed for 98 yards on 23 carries. 

The defence played well but couldn’t hold down the Hilltops in the fourth quarter.  Stephen Smith collected a team high seven solo tackles and Payton O’Conner recorded two sacks.

The Hilltops advance to the CJFL National Semi-Final game and will host the Ontario champion St. Clair Saints on Sunday afternoon in a game that features two head coaches with the longest tenure in the CJFL; Tom Sargeant for the Hilltops and the Saints Mike LaChance.  Kick-off is set for 1:00pm local time.