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Recent Prairie Conference News

Prairie Conference Schedule

By Ryan Watters 03/12/2024, 6:00pm PDT

The 2024 PFC schedule opens on August 11

Photo courtesy of Louis Christ Photography

The CJFL and Prairie Conference (PFC) have released their 2024 schedule that will see the six-member Conference open the CJFL season on Sunday August 11, 2024 with a full slate of games.

The defending Canadian Bowl and Conference champion Saskatoon Hilltops begin their title defence that afternoon at 1:00pm when they host the Edmonton Huskies.  The Regina Thunder who finished as the second seed last year will visit the Winnipeg Rifles on the same day and the Calgary Colts welcome the Edmonton Wildcats.

The teams are scheduled to play an eight-week regular season concluding on October 6th.  The Conference playoffs will open the following weekend with a pair of semi-finals before the Conference title game scheduled for Sunday October 20th.

The winner of the Prairie Conference will host the winner of the BC Conference in the CJFL national semi-final game the following week, Sunday October 29th.   The winner of this game will then travel to Ontario and play for the 2024 Canadian Bowl and a national crown on Saturday November 9th.    It will be the first national final host by the Ontario Conference since 2021 in London.

The BC and Ontario Conferences continue to work on their schedules and do anticipate releasing them in the coming weeks.


23 In 23

By Ryan Watters ryan2tswatters 01/19/2024, 11:15am PST

It was a magical run for the Saskatoon Hilltops

Photo courtesy of Louis Christ Photography

It was another outstanding season for the Saskatoon Hilltops in 2023.

Following their Prairie Conference final loss the season before, the Hilltops came back with a vengeance in 2023 and left every opponent in their dust en route to the national championship title.

They put together one of the most impressive seasons in CJFL history with an offence that could score points and a defence that didn’t give up much.  They had weapons on both sides of the ball that could take over a game at any moment.

The offence averaged over 41-points a game and was led by their All-Canadian running back Boston Davidsen.  Running behind a big, talented offensive line, Davidsen rushed for 1184 yards on 170 carries good for a seven-yard average.  He tallied nine touchdowns on the ground while also making four receptions.  Overall as a team they rushed for 1753 yards, well above the league average of 1234. 

In the Canadian Bowl, Davidsen was just as dominate galloping 158 yards in the pouring rain on 25 carries and scored a third quarter  touchdown.  He was named the Offensive Player of the Game. 

During the regular season the play of quarterback Trey Reider gave the Hilltops much more then a one-dimensional offensive push.  He completed almost 65% of his passes for 1571 yards and threw a Conference high 16 touchdowns and had a passer efficiency rating of 114.6.  He completed passes to 15 different receivers during the regular season, but by far his favourite target was Drake Douglas.  The veteran made 42 receptions for 591 yards and caught four touchdown passes.  Noah Flaman was also an important piece of their puzzle making 21 receptions for 422 yards and had a team high six majors and had a score in the Canadian Bowl. 

That’s just the offence.

Over on the defensive side, they turned in one of the most dominating performances of all-time.  In eight regular season games they gave up 51 points, an eye-popping average of 6.3 points a game.  Including the Canadian Bowl playoffs, the defence pitched two shut outs and three times kept a team at 2-points or under. 

They were simply scary to play against.  Their speed, talent and anticipation made them very difficult for an opposing offence. On average they kept teams to under 100 yards a game on the ground and under 150 yards through the air.  

Unbelievably the Hilltops offence ran for more yards then their defence allowed in passing!

They forced teams on average to turn the ball over 5.1 times a game.  In total they took the ball away 41 times, including 20 interceptions led by Dalton Urban’s five. 

Up and down their defensive roster, players contributed.  Riece Kack had 7.5 sacks in the regular season, then in the national semi-final against the St. Clair Saints, he finished with six, setting a new CJFL playoff record.  Matt Wist had a team high 22 solo tackles and was incredible during the Canadian Bowl making nine tackles and had three interceptions tying a national championship record.   He finished the game with 36 defensive points setting a new record and was named the Defensive Player of the Game.  Oh, and he also doubled as the punter. 

It was indeed a magical run for the undefeated Hilltops who looked destined to win their 23rd national title in 2023 behind the magnificent career of head coach Tom Sargeant.

Now the question is, will they go for more in 2024? 


History In 2023

By Ryan Watters @ryan2twatters 01/16/2024, 10:00pm PST

The CJFL is blessed to have some incredible officials

The 2023 season was filled with memorable moments, incredible plays and outstanding team victories.  Players reached new personal highs and fans were treated to thrilling comebacks, high scoring games and plenty of on field drama.

None of these moments and memories are possible without a group of individuals who are often taken for granted…the officials.  Game in and game out, they lace them up just like the players and arguably are more important than any other personnel that hit the sidelines.  Without officials, the games aren’t played.

Where players, coaches and staff on the field celebrate milestones, so too do the officials and 2023 was no different will several memorable moments.

Tracy Paluzzi (pictured) worked her first game as a head referee on July 29th in a game between the Langley Rams and Valley Huskers in the BC Conference. In doing so, she made history becoming the first woman to referee a game in that Conference within the CJFL.  She did such a great job, she worked three additional games in BC on August 19th, 26th and October 14th.

She follows in the footsteps of Sharon Airey who became the first female head referee in a CJFL game on September 24, 2022 when she worked the Edmonton Huskies-Edmonton Wildcats crosstown rivalry tilt.  Sharon worked her second CJFL game on September 17, 2023 when the Wildcats hosted the Saskatoon Hilltops.  She has been an official in the Prairie Conference since 2017 and has been assigned to multiple regular season games, playoff match-ups and was on the field during the 2022 Canadian Bowl in Regina. 

In addition to these incredible talents, Emily Clarke worked as the head referee on August 20, 2023, and was one of three CFL officials who worked as a referee in the Prairie Conference this past season as part of a pilot program for the development of officials in the referee position.  She and Quebec’s Georgina Paul are the first two females to ever work a CFL game which took place in 2019. 

Every football level and league across the country is looking for committed people to become an official.  You can travel the province, the country and even the world being involved as a referee in football and get paid while doing it.  Find out all the perks through Football Canada’s “Become an Official” program.  Click HERE for more information.