The Saskatoon Hilltops remain on top of the CJFL after a thrilling 11-6 victory over the Langley Rams on Saturday in the 112th Canadian Bowl.
The game was dominated by the defence. As a matter of fact the Rams didn’t allow a Hilltops touchdown and held them to only three points in the entire second half. The Hilltops gained 230 total yards while the Rams collected 209.
For the Hilltops All-Canadian kicker Rylan Kleiter hit two field goals in the second quarter and the Rams conceded a safety for their only scoring in the first half and led 8-0 at halftime.
In the third quarter the Rams finally got on the board with the game’s only touchdown. Maximilian Joseph scored on a one-yard touchdown run after a terrific drive by the Rams offence which also saw them convert two-third down plays.
In the fourth quarter Kleiter hit a 31 yard field goal to give the Hilltops a five point lead. The make was his third of the game and turned out to be the dagger.
Hilltops running back Ben Abrook was the main source of offensive punch carrying 27 times for 130 yards and was named the Offensive Player of the Game. Their passing attack never really got going collecting just 96 yards.
Over on the defence the Hilltops were fast to the ball on almost every play. Tristan Hering was named the Defensive Player of the Game with 2.5 sacks, had an assisted tackle and forced a fumble while Jesse McNabb had 1.5 sacks and two tackles. The CJFL Defensive Player of the Year Jadyn Pingue was also a force with six tackles and recovered a fumble. In all the defence collected five sacks.
The Rams meanwhile had opportunities in the second half however a pair of untimely holding calls stalled their offensive drives. They needed to use a pair of back-up quarterbacks after it was announced Duncan Little was unable to play due to an injury he suffered in the regular season. Colby Peters was excellent finishing 12 of 16 for 135 yards finding Jesse Walker six times for 93 yards all in the second half. He also rushed six times for 15 yards.
On the ground the CJFL Outstanding Offensive Player of the Year Andrew Pocrnic carried 16 times for 74 yards and didn’t get a chance to get into the open field.
The Rams defence was simply outstanding holding the Hilltops out of the end zone. Nathan Murray and Nick Sorace each had five tackles and Colton De Jong picked off a pass in the first quarter. No fewer than 10 players had at least two tackles and held the Hilltops passing game to just 96 yards.
The Hilltops era of dominance continues winning their sixth straight CJFL title and have won 12 national championships under head coach Tom Sargeant.
This is the lowest scoring Canadian Bowl since 1979 when the Ottawa Sooners beat the Regina Rams 13-9.
The 113th Canadian Bowl will be hosted in Ontario on November 14, 2020 and planning for the new CJFL season is already underway.