Saturday, October 31, 2015

Canada West Week 8 Football Recap

The University of Regina Rams led by 23 points late in the third quarter, but were unable to hang on and suffered a 38-37 defeat to Saskatchewan on Friday night at Mosaic Stadium.

Saskatchewan took its first – and only – lead of the game with 20 seconds left after Jarvis James punched it in from one yard out to cap an eight-play, 73-yard drive that was set up mainly by a 43-yard screen pass to Andre Lalonde.

The win will likely send the Huskies to the postseason and a date with No. 1-ranked Calgary in the conference semifinals, barring a monumental upset of the undefeated Dinos by Alberta tomorrow.

Mitch Hillis piled up 224 all-purpose yards for the Huskies, catching 10 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown and also returning five punts for 46 yards. Kyle Siemens made his second consecutive start for Saskatchewan at quarterback and finished 23-for-41 for 422 yards while connecting with both Hillis and Julan Lynch for touchdown passes.

James ended up with 109 rushing yards for the Huskies, while James, Siemens, and Lalonde each had a touchdown run. Saskatchewan's defence was led by Donovan Dale, who forced a pair of fumbles and essentially sealed the win with a sack on Picton after James' game-winning score.

Noah Picton completed 26 of his 33 pass attempts for the Rams, with his 78.7% completion rate setting a new school record. He finished with 315 passing yards including touchdown passes to Mitch Thompson and Riley Wilson. Atlee Simon had 155 rushing yards and a touchdown, while linebacker Michael Stefanovic set a school and Canada West record with a 108-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the third quarter.

The first half was all Rams, as the home side forced a turnover on the very first play from scrimmage when Mason Rossler jarred the ball loose following a completed pass to James and Zack McEachern scooped it up. The Rams took advantage of the field position, needing to go only 25 yards and getting most of it on Picton's 13-yard pass to Thompson for the first score of the game.

(University of Saskatchewan)


Fifth-year quarterback Andrew Buckley set a new CIS single-season passing record as the University of Calgary Dinos completed a perfect regular season with a 64-28 win over the Alberta Golden Bears.

Playing just one drive deep into the third quarter before taking a seat, Buckley completed 20 of 27 passes for 463 yards and three touchdowns, giving him 3,162 passing yards on the season – enough to break the week-old national record of 3,136 set by Ottawa's Derek Wendel. The reigning Hec Crighton Trophy winner completes the regular season with 177 completions on 246 attempts with 19 touchdowns and just one interception – which he tossed early in this contest at Foote Field.

All three of Buckley's touchdown passes went to Simonise, who had a career day himself with nine catches for 272 yards and three majors, beginning with a 99-yard bomb 10 minutes into the first quarter. That was the third-longest passing play in school history, and it made it 14-0 Calgary.

Amidst the major news for Buckley, Dinos kicker Johnny Mark added 19 more points to his CIS-record career total, ending his career with 535. Additionally, he was good on all four of his field goal opportunities, adding his name to another CIS record with 26 on the season – tied for the most in one year with Guelph's Daniel Ferraro's 2014 campaign.

The top-ranked Dinos wrap up the season at 8-0 for just the second time in school history, the first coming back in 2013. They will embark on the playoff trail by hosting the Saskatchewan Huskies in a Hardy Cup semi-final next Saturday, Nov. 7 at McMahon Stadium, with kickoff at 1 p.m. The winner will advance to the 79th Hardy Cup Nov. 14.

(University of Calgary)


The No. 9-ranked UBC Thunderbirds football team escaped with a 24-10 win over the No. 8-ranked Manitoba Bisons on Saturday afternoon in the regular season finale, earning the right to host next week's Canada West playoff semifinal against the very same Manitoba squad.

Saturday's contest was a defensive show of force for the 'Birds, as their stop unit was led by linebacker Terrell Davis' (Victoria, B.C.) 9.5 tackles (six solo, seven assisted) and a forced fumble. In the secondary, defensive back Stavros Katsantonis (Bakersfield, Calif.) had his second straight week with two interceptions, as he forced Manitoba quarterback Foster Martens into bad decisions all day.

On offence, it was an up-and-down day for UBC quarterback Michael O'Connor (Orleans, Ont.). The freshman completed just 17-of-30 passes for 219 yards and two interceptions, but also contributed 62 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Tailback Brandon Deschamps (Prince George, B.C.) had a solid outing, picking up 119 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. Marcus Davis (Victoria, B.C.) was his usual two-way terror, catching five passes for 94 yards, and adding a 14-yard rushing score on his only carry of the afternoon.

Manitoba was also led by its defence, and it was linebacker Brett McFarlane who led the way. The fourth-year player forced two fumbles on the afternoon, to go along with 4.5 tackles. Defensive back Jayden McCoy also had a solid afternoon, with three tackles, an interception, and a fumble recovery.

The 'Birds and Bisons will square off in the Canada West playoff semifinals next week, as the two teams finished at No. 2 and No. 3 in the conference. The win this afternoon means that the playoff showdown will be held at David Sidoo Field at Thunderbird Stadium, with the opening kickoff set for 12 noon PT.

(University of British Columbia)


Depth Charts for Riders-Stamps Game

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Friday, October 30, 2015

This and That

 It's Friday meaning its time for the weekly set of thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always they are in no particular order.

--There are two games to go in the regular season and the only thing left for the Saskatchewan Roughriders is whether or not interim head coach Bob Dyce is going to explode. He might!  I was told of Dyce holding his tongue in the post-game scrum after the loss to Edmonton on Friday and he bit his tongue again on Tuesday when asked if the Junior Mertile play in that game could be blamed on coaching. ????  Blaming Bob Dyce for that play is like blaming John Gibbons for not getting the tying run across the plate in Game 6 of the ALCS.  Dyce had no clue what Mertile was going to do on that awful play, but to blame that on coaching is a little over the top if you ask me.  I loved the fact Dyce defended Mertile's play saying no one is perfect, but the fact the defensive back won't play Saturday in Calgary may be an indication he has seen his last game.  Cutting a player now doesn't really accomplish anything.

--People have asked me if I think Dyce has a chance at being the head coach in 2016 and my answer is I really don't know.  He was given the role to try and clean up the mess left behind by Corey Chamblin and Brendan Taman and I'm not sure he really wanted the job in the first place. That may be the deciding factor. Does he want this job and if so, who does he want to retain on the coaching staff and who does he want to replace? If he does want the job, I am sure he has let Craig Reynolds and company know, but has he publicly come out and stated he wants it. If he has, I missed it.  There are many more questions as well that need to be asked and one has to also look at what candidates may be out there. Does the team want to give someone their first HC experience like they did with Chamblin or do they want to find someone with some games under their belt.  It is one of many questions that needs to start getting answered sooner than later and making the announcement that Jeremy O'Day is the full time GM moving forward right after the Grey Cup is handed out would start us on that process. Once that is done, name a new HC and do it well before free agency so guys who might look at coming here can see what the structure is before they move forward.

--The Riders will finish up their season in Calgary and Montreal meaning they will face Jerome Messam and Kevin Glenn. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? It would only just heap onto the season it has been if Messam and Glenn both have huge days against the green and white and the way that defense has played this year, I wouldn't bet against it.   Messam said this week he has been practicing against the Riders all year, but now they are going to feel the boom for real. I get the feeling that Messam and Jeff Knox Junior may be renewing acquaintances several times on Saturday.

--The U of R Rams have one last chance to win a football game Friday night as they will take on the University of Saskatchewan Huskies at Mosaic Stadium. It has not been a good year for Mike Gibson and crew as they have not gotten the bounces they need at a crucial time. Do those bounces come their way tonight. You earn those bounces sometimes so we will see what happens. Game time is 7 o'clock at Mosaic and there will be a simulcast of the SHAW/Access game on sportscage dot c-a as I will have the play by play alongside Luc Mullinder. With Rod on his way to Calgary, I will also host the Friday sportscage live from Mosaic Stadium. A couple of people are upset with the fact that this game is being played at the same time as A) a Pats game just down the street and B) High school football playoffs. To those people I ask, when would you like to play this game. Saturday afternoon wouldn't work because of the Riders game and Saturday night wouldn't work because of Hallowe'en and Canada West does not play football games on Sunday. Sorry if your schedule is impacted, but that is the way things go.

Week 8 NFL Lock of the Week  --- Carolina over Indianapolis
Week 8 NFL Upset of the Week --- Denver over Green Bay 

--The hue and cry started the moment referee Rob Martell announced it was no goal Sunday night in Edmonton.

Connor MacDavid appeared to have scored in the dying seconds to send a game against the L-A Kings into overtime, but Martell said no goal. The instant replay showed the glove over the line which presumably had the puck inside, but because you could not see it, you could not call it.  It has people wondering about goal-line technology. If curling can have a sensor in the stone to make sure it doesn't go over the hog line, can there not be a sensor in the puck or would it go off everytime the puck crossed the goal line even if it was in the corner. A camera placed inside both goal posts showing the line wouldn't have worked in this case. Could a camera be put under the ice on the goal-line? I don't know the answer to that, but one would think there has to be something allowing for us to tell when a puck has or hasn't crossed the goal-line completely. 

--The city of Halifax is trying to decide if the donair should be made its official food. Cities have official foods? If so, what would Regina's official food be? Put me down for voting Prime Rib!

--I can't help but think Alex Anthopoulos wanted the world after he what did for the Toronto Blue Jays and that the organization called his bluff.  A five year contract extension is something Anthopoulos should have jumped at, but he didn't making one wonder just what more he wanted. He either wanted more and the Jays weren't willing to give it to him or the organization with Mark Shapiro now in control wanted to inexplicably go in another direction. Whatever it is, AA is gone because he didn't think the new situation with new president Mark Shapiro would fit.  Shapiro has had some success as the GM of the Cleveland Indians, but Blue Jays fans will tell you he is starting his tenure in Toronto on the wrong foot and they will wonder if John Gibbons will be back. I'm guessing he isn't.  The brakes have definitely been applied on the great run of the baseball team, but I think they will be fine.

--Former Phillies and Mets outfielder admitted this week to Fox Sports' Colin Cowherd he hired private investigators to follow around umpires and then used the information he had on them when they worked behind the plate. Dykstra believes this is the reason he led the league in walks for two years. This might also explain why Wally Buono was never ever penalized for walking out halfway on the field constantly when he wasn't supposed to. 

--Does anyone even care that the Raptors season has started? Talk about a team and a league for that matter flying under the radar.

--Have a great Hallowe'en! Here's hoping the Riders masquerade as the team from 2013 and beat the Stampeders in their backyard. Wouldn't that be sweet!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Week 8 NFL Capsules

Tom Brady and the Patriots look to stay perfect on the season as the NFL week starts with New England playing Miami in an AFC East affair. A complete look at that game and others can be seen by clicking here

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Week 18 CFL Stars of the Week


The Eskimos receiver had a huge nite at Mosaic Stadium catching 12 passes for over 200 yards and a touchdown as Edmonton won their 7th in a row and stayed atop the West with a victory over the Riders


The Lions knew they needed to have a big effort at home against Hamilton to improve their playoff chances and that is what they did. The Lions came up with arguably their best defensive effort of the year and it was led by the BC linebacker who had 9 tackles and a sack in the 40-13 win over the Tabbies.


The Lions running back was instrumental in the 27 point win at home over Hamilton as he ran for 117 yards and a touchdown and perhaps solidified himself as the West's top Canadian if not the league's


The Alouettes kicker/punter had five punts for a just under 44 yard average while more importantly kicking two field goals and converting three of four PAT's in the Alouettes one sided win over Toronto

All the World Series Info You Need

The New York Mets and Kansas City Royals will get the World Series started tonight in Kansas City. With a preview of the Fall Classic, click here

Monday, October 26, 2015

NHL Stars of The Week

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            Kuznetsov paced the NHL with six assists and nine points – and also shared the League lead with a +5 rating – as the Capitals (6-1-0, 12 points) won all three of their games. He began the week with three assists, matching a career high, in a 6-2 victory over the Calgary Flames Oct. 20. Kuznetsov then picked up the primary helper on Alex Ovechkin’s tiebreaking goal with 4:55 remaining in regulation in a 3-2 triumph over the Vancouver Canucks Oct. 22. He capped his performance with 3-2—5 and a +4 rating, establishing single-game highs in goals, points and plus/minus, in a 7-4 win over the Edmonton Oilers Oct. 23. In doing so, Kuznetsov became the first Capitals player to record a five-point game since Dec. 10, 2013 vs. TBL (Nicklas Backstrom: 1-4—5). The 23-year-old Chelyabinsk, Russia, native has 17-40—57 in 104 career NHL outings, including 3-8—11 in seven appearances this season.
            Markov shared first among defensemen with 1-5—6 as the Canadiens (9-0-0, 18 points) won all three of their contests to extend the franchise’s best start in its 98-year NHL history. After being held off the scoresheet in a 3-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues Oct. 20, Markov registered 1-4—5 and a +4 rating, setting single-game highs in assists and points and equaling a personal best in plus/minus, in a 7-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres Oct. 23. In doing so, he became the second defenseman in Canadiens history to post a five-point game on the road (also Sheldon Souray: 1-5—6 on Jan. 10, 2004 at PIT). Markov closed the week with one helper in a 5-3 triumph over the Toronto Maple Leafs Oct. 24. The 36-year-old Voskresensk, Russia, native – who has spent his entire career with the Canadiens – ranks third in franchise history among defensemen with 109-393—502 in 855 NHL games, including 1-9—10 in nine outings this season.
            Quick posted a 2-0-0 record with a 1.00 goals-against average, .971 save percentage and one shutout as the Kings (5-3-0, 10 points) extended their winning streak to five games. He stopped all 40 shots he faced to pick up his 38th career shutout in a 3-0 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes Oct. 23. In the process, Quick improved to 8-0-2 in 10 career games when facing 40 or more shots on goal. He finished the week with 26 saves, including 14 in the third period, in a 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers Oct. 25. The 29-year-old Milford, Conn., native owns a 216-142-46 record in 414 career NHL appearances (2.27 GAA, .915 SV%, 38 SO), including four consecutive wins (0.99 GAA, .966 SV%, 1 SO) following a 0-3-0 start to the season.

Something to Mitch About

Calgary was the destination for this blogger as I headed to the Stampede City to do the Rams-Dinos game and then stayed behind to visit some family.

After Friday's column where I talked about no one watching the CFL because of the Blue Jays, many thought it was just a Saskatchewan thing because of the Riders poor performance.  I can tell you this, if there are Calgary Stampeders fans out there, I'd like to know where they are because they were nowhere to be seen this weekend and either was the CFL.

As the plane taxied down the runway at the Regina airport many were not happy with the fact the satellite TV on Westjet did not have Sportsnet meaning they could not watch the Blue Jays game and many were quite excited to hear upon landing that Jose Bautista had just tied the game.  We took a cab to our hotel and then U of R Sports Information Officer extraordinaire Braden Konschuh (whom many in Canada West should try to emulate for the work he does to get the Cougars/Rams message out there) suggested we hit up a Boston Pizza right by the hotel. Off we went just as the rain delay ended. There were six TV's in the establishment---all six were on the ballgame even though the Ti-Cats-BC game was still going on. No one cared.

On Saturday, the Rams-Dinos game ended about 430 and by 530 I was at Crossiron Mills to have some post-game frosty beverages. We walked into an establishment where there were at least 10 TV's, but even with the team battling Calgary for first in the West on the field at Mosaic Stadium, all 10 TV's were on Hockey Night in Canada and not one was on the Eskimos-Riders game. No one cared!  While walking past a Jersey City at Crossiron, there was very little if any Stamps gear to be sold.  I asked a guy in the store where all his CFL stuff was and his response----our CFL stuff doesn't sell! No one cares!

Walking through downtown Calgary on Sunday afternoon, we didn't see huge crowds, but no one was wearing Stamps gear. No hats, no shirts, no jerseys, no nothing. This is a team that is the defending Grey Cup champion and is currently 12-4. No one seemingly cares!

Contrast this to Regina. I don't have to tell you what it is like from one corner of this province to another. The /=S=/ is on display everywhere whether it be on a hat, a coat, a jersey, whatever.  The team sucks this year, but the Rider Nation continues to show how much they love their team by wearing the colours and it isn't just on game day.  There is no doubt this year, the fan has been the MVP of this team for the way they have continued to come out and support their team.  I wasn't at the game Saturday for obvious reasons, but when the attendance says 30,488 it means 30 thousand seats were sold for the game and while the number of sold tickets compared to the number of fans in the seats varies greatly, people were still buying tickets when this season has been over. It was the last time they would see their football heroes in green do their thing live on Saturday night until next year. They trudged out of Mosaic feeling down like they have so many times this year, but they were there because they care and despite the loss, I am guessing many had on something with the /=S=/ today because they care.   Yes, I am guessing many will put on something red or something with the horse logo on it next Saturday as they head off to MacMahon, but they apparently take it off quite quickly and hide it in the closet until the next time, because they aren't waving the colours in a place where they should be.  As I waited for my flight to Regina, I couldn't help but shake my head as five passengers on a fairly full flight were wearing something with the beloved /=S=/ on it.  It says a lot and there is no doubting where the heartbeat of the CFL is.

So let's go to the game. I didn't see it. All I saw was one highlight and it has got be a lowlight in the career of defensive back Junior Mertile.  His massive brain-cramp even made it to highlight reels south of the border and it wouldn't surprise me if before Monday Night Football, we hear Cris Carter, Keyshawn Johnson, Mike Ditka or Steve Young going CMON MAN!!!! as that play is shown, WTF was that I screamed as I saw the play for the first time on Sunday morning. That's inexcusable! Mertile hasn't made much of an impression during his time here and that won't help.  YEESH!!  What happened? The Riders were up 21-3 and it looked like an upset would happen, but it didn't. A win would have been so gratifying for the fans in the home finale, but instead they got the same thing they have seen all season long and that is another frustrating performance. There's just two more weeks to go and then we can flush this season away. It is so funny because after the Riders won the 2013 Grey Cup on that magical Sunday November night at Mosaic Stadium, no one wanted the off-season to end and there was a tinge of sadness when training camp opened to start 2014 because it was officially over. Fast forward to now and everyone just wants this season over with so they can start working on 2016.  I can't blame them.  The news won't stop in Riderville in this off-season as a new GM is needed and likely a new head coach as well. Who will go? Who will stay? Can this team rebound and be a contender in 2015 and of course what will Darian Durant's status be and who will his backup be. Brett Smith and Keith Price perhaps showed they don't want another veteran coming in here to be an "insurance policy".  I expect once the 103rd Grey Cup has been handed out that your Saskatchewan Roughriders will be dominating the off-field headlines for the rest of this calendar year and into free agency.

Before I left Regina, I had someone ask me what it would take to perhaps lure former CFL quarterback Tom Clements to Saskatchewan as a possible head coach. I told him to keep dreaming.  He's the associate coach of the Green Bay Packers. He isn't going anywhere unless it is to have Mike McCarthy's job.


To the Rams and what happened on Saturday wasn't surprising as the University of Calgary Dinos laid another solid beating on a Canada West foe beating Mike Gibson's guys 57-7.  Did the Rams cover the spread? As I strapped on the headset to call the game, I was hoping it wouldn't be another 72-8 debacle like it was at Mosaic Stadium, but when Calgary jumped out to 1-0 lead on the opening kickoff and quickly made it 15-0, I was going uh-oh!! Those guys don't take any prisoners and while a lot of young guys played for Calgary, they still kept quarterback Andrew Buckley in for three and a half quarters which was about a quarter and a half too long as far I was concerned and many guys on defence played the whole game too.  There will be a lot of Dinos names called in the CFL draft and  there are a couple of guys the Riders should take a good hard look at because they have players who will be impact players in the CFL for years.  What the Dinos have done to their Canada West opposition this year has been amazing and somewhat embarassing for the conference because of the one-sided games.  It just makes me hope the Jim Mullin/David Dube Northern 8 proposal starts gaining some steam across this country because a game between Calgary and McMaster or Calgary and Montreal would be far more entertaining and far more rewarding for both teams than a Calgary-Regina or Calgary-anyone in Canada West game right now.


The World Series will begin Tuesday night in Kansas City and the interest of Canadians from coast-to-coast has waned considerably after what was an amazing game Friday night as the Blue Jays went down to defeat. Many took to social media to criticize John Gibbons for the fact Toronto could not get the tying run across with a man at 3rd and no one out. ?????  I will be the first guy to sit here and tell you that I don't think John Gibbons is a great manager and that guys like Terry Francona, Paul Molitor, Joe Maddon, Terry Collins and many others are guys who could get the current Toronto lineup over the top, but to criticize Gibbons for the way Friday ended is wrong. It isn't Gibbons' fault that neither Dioner Navarro or Ben Revere could get the bat on the ball when they had to and it isn't Gibbons' fault that the American League MVP could only get a slow roller to third to end the game. It was Gibbons who likely called the Dalton Pompey steal of 2nd AND 3rd with that second call being as risky as hell. In the end, the Toronto bats did not come through with runners in scoring position and as is the case in most playoff series, the team that has the better pitching wins and that is what Kansas City had.  Is this a one and done for Toronto. I don't think so, but they do have some work to do when it comes to their starting rotation. The team that captured Canada's hearts this summer will be back next April and I am guessing there will be some who just might pick them to knock off the Royals as two time American League champs and perhaps bring that title back to Rogers Centre in 2016.  One other thing, don't get on Gibbons' case for the way Game 6 ended, but please remember it was some poor managerial decisions in the last week of the season that caused that Game 6 to be played at Kauffmann Stadium and not the Rogers Centre as it could have been had the Jays not played  that "we are happy to be here card" after winning and seemingly acting very casual about having the best record in the American League.


Is Daniel Murphy of the Mets this year's Madison Bumgarner? Still with the Mets, if they don't win this year, they aren't going away either. Their oldest starter is Jacob DeGrom at 28. They are this generation's version of Glavine, Smoltz, Maddux and Avery. They just keep coming at you with one talented young arm after another.


I just want to make sure I am correct when I state the Cincinnati Bengals and Carolina Panthers are 6-0. The Bengals and Panthers?  No one is saying we are going to have an all-Cats Super Bowl are we?


Did you get up at 730 Sunday morning to watch the Bills and Jaguars on YAHOO? Either did I. Don't you find it interesting the league made this move for people to watch on their smartphones or laptops instead of watching it on a big screen TV the way most of us like.  The times are changing my friends.....the times are changing.


As the last game ended Sunday in the NHL, Connor MacDavid was one goal behind the league-leaders. What everyone has said about the kid appears to be accurate and watching the Oilers play as I do, he is becoming more and more confident with each shift.  Oiler fans, the team may not make the playoffs this year but the decade of darkness is close to being officially called over. Thank god!


It doesn't hurt me at all to see the Calgary Flames early season struggles. Yes, the season is still early, but I thought last year something was being done with smoke and mirrors with that team and this start only validates that thought.  On the flip side, the Habs are 9-0 and I am guessing some are wondering if they have started inscribing the team's name on the Stanley Cup yet. Avid Montreal fans wouldn't do that would they?


Has Regina caught a dose of Pats fever? Judging by Sunday's crowd they have as over 5-thousand poured into the Brandt Centre to see Regina lose 2-1 in overtime to an over-achieving Prince Albert squad.  The Pats are a very exciting team this year, and you won't be disappointed to see them live.


While my weekend was spent in Calgary, my thoughts were in Regina on Friday night as the legendary "Principal Richard Pound" was inducted into the High Impact Wrestling Hall of Fame. Principal Pound or John Cozman as he is more commonly known was one of the best characters I have seen in all my years of watching Stampede and now High Impact Wrestling. His shtick and his mike time were classic. Health has caught up to Cozman and it is why the Principal is not dishing out his form of education any more. I understand it was a very memorable night as High Impact honored Pound/Cozman for what he has done. I wish I had been there to show the man some respect, but I made sure the message got through.


Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Week 7 Canada West Football Recap

The No. 9 ranked UBC Thunderbirds and their big play offense outlasted the University of Saskatchewan Huskies 41-36 Friday night at Griffiths Stadium in PotashCorp Park.

UBC had scoring plays of 47 and 89 yards in the first half and a number of others in the win, helping them improve their record to 5-2. Saskatchewan is dealt a blow to their playoff hopes with the loss as they drop to 2-5.

The Huskies had help on Friday night from the Manitoba Bisons who knocked off the Alberta Golden Bears 29-7 to keep Saskatchewan tied with Alberta, battling for the final Canada West playoff spot.

UBC returns home for a meeting with the Manitoba Bisons next weekend. The winner of that game will host a Canada West semifinal as the conference's second seed. Saskatchewan will travel to face Regina next weekend where a win and an Alberta loss would slot the Huskies into the fourth and final playoff spot.

Huskie quarterback Kyle Siemens in his first CIS start posted historic results. Siemens threw for 520 yards, the fourth highest single game total by a Huskie. His 44 completions and 67 attempts both set Huskie single game records.

(U of S)


In the final conference regular season football game at home, #8 Manitoba Bisons won 29-7 against the Alberta Golden Bears at the Investors Group Field on Friday, October 23 for their fourth consecutive win by Manitoba.

With the victory, the Bisons improve to 5-2 in 2015 while the Bears fall to 2-5 and now on a five game losing streak.

Manitoba churned up 351 rushing yards (seventh most in team history) and did not have a turnover while not allowing a touchdown, for the first time this season, at home. Alberta finished with 492 offence yards.

The Bisons were led by a surprise start at quarterback as Foster Martens made his CIS debut. Martens, in his second year of eligibility, managed the game in an efficient 13-20 for 165 passing yards and 17 rushing yards.

"I was prepared and thought we did a good job on offence tonight," stated Martens. "Our OL stepped up in the second half and give them a lot of credit for the win."

The Bisons were paced with fullback touchdown runs by graduating player Matt Hallock with three yard and one yard plunges in the first quarter for a 14-0 lead. Another graduating fullback Andrew Barry had a 13 yard run to end the scoring in the fourth.

In between major scores, Alberta received field goals by Stephen Fabian from 13 and ten yards and rouge off a 35 yarder miss. Bison kicker Ryan Jones kicked his career high with a 49 yard field goal early in the fourth and added a 41 yarder with a safety given up the Bears to round out the scoring.

Individually for the hosts, Alex Christie had a game-high 103 rushing yards for Manitoba while seven different Bisons had a reception. Jamel Lyles added to his all-purpose totals with 181 yards (92 rush; 58 kickoff; 26 punt return; 5 receiving). David Onyemata had a game-high 9.5 total tackles with 1.5 sacks while Christian Turner added 7.5 tackles with 2.5 sacks in his first start for the Herd.

Alberta had a strong game from quarterback Ben Kopczynski as he went 17-28 for 321 yards and registered 36 rushing yards on six carries. Ed Ilnicki added 94 rush yards and Jimmy Ralph went for 152 receiving yards with six grabs. Ryan Migadel and Brendan Friesen were top defenders with seven total tackles each.

For the Bisons, they finished 2-2 at home while Alberta was 1-3 on the road in the 2015 campaign.

Alberta ends their regular season at home against #1 Calgary Dinos on Saturday, October 31 at 1 p.m. MT while the showdown for second place will happen when Manitoba plays at #9 UBC in week eight on Saturday, October 31 on 1 p.m. PT.

(University of Manitoba


The No. 1-ranked University of Calgary Dinos are one step closer to an undefeated season after dispatching the Regina Rams 57-7 Saturday afternoon at McMahon Stadium.

Calgary (7-0) heads to Edmonton next weekend to wrap up regular season play against the Alberta Golden Bears (2-5) in one final tune-up before hosting a Canada West semi-final Nov. 7. The Rams (0-7), meanwhile, will look to play spoiler as they host the Saskatchewan Huskies (2-5) next Friday night at Mosaic Stadium.

It was a slow start for the Dinos in this one, but their third drive of the game – an 11-play, 79-yard march that ended in a Jimmy Underdahl touchdown plunge – set the tone for the rest of the afternoon as Calgary cruised to the 50-point win. Calgary's next two drives also resulted in points: a 1-yard TD by Imoreshi Dania, his first CIS touchdown, and a field goal by Johnny Mark. The 16-yards splitting of the uprights by Mark was his 85th career field goal, setting a new CIS record in the category. He added two more on the night, setting the new standard at 87 with one game remaining.

The Rams cut the deficit to 18-7 after Riley Wilson's touchdown reception in the second and it looked like it might just be a two-possession game at halftime, but Calgary scored two majors in the final two minutes to give the hometown Dinos plenty of momentum heading into the second half.

The second half was all Dinos, with Calgary scoring 12 points in both quarters to get up to its eventual 50-point margin of victory.

With the Dinos having already clinched first place and home field advantage throughout the Hardy Cup playoffs, the game was a chance for the Dinos to take a look at some of their younger players while managing the playing time of the starters.

(University of Calgary)

Friday, October 23, 2015

This and That

 It's Friday meaning its time for the weekly set of thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always they are in no particular order.

--The stark reality of what the Toronto Blue Jays have done to the CFL has hit home, and it is something the league must be worried about. The latest ratings show how Blue Jays fever has struck across Canada leaving everything in its wake including the CFL.

Yahoo's Chris Zelkovich tracks what we are watching and it is great news for Sportsnet and the Blue Jays, but terrible news for everyone else including TSN and its football package.

How about these numbers. For Monday's Game 3 of the ALCS, 3.64 million Canadians tuned in while at the same time, the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles drew 134-thousand for Monday Night Football on TSN.  It goes much further than that according to Zelkovich.  CFL games this year have averaged 575-thousand, but this past weekend saw just 350-thousand which is a 37 percent drop from that weekend one year ago.   Only 256-thousand watched the Stamps-Argos game which was the marquee game of the weekend, but was also on at the same time as Game 2 of the Jays-Royals which drew 3.86 million.  TSN and the CFL are hoping the ratings will come back once Toronto is gone from the playoffs which could be as early as tonight if they don't win in Kansas City. Will they though? When I put this info up on my Twitter feed, many responded saying the game has killed itself because it has become boring, there are too many penalties and the game has not been good this year. I can't argue that.  The putrid play of the Saskatchewan Roughriders could be a reason for many, but I have not been as invested in the CFL this season as I normally am and the reasons stated above are part of the reason.  The constant penalties at the start of the season really weaned my desire to watch the games and it has been tough to go back. Yes, the playoff appearance by the Blue Jays and the Cubs along with the CFL's desire to go up against the NFL has played a lot into it as well.

The sad thing for the CFL is I don't think the Blue Jays are going away anytime soon. They may come back to beat Kansas City and they could beat the Mets for the World Series or they could lose tonight or to the Mets, but they will be back.  As mentioned in an earlier column, the Blue Jays will have their position players back as Martin, Encarnacion, Goins, Travis, Tulowitzki, Donaldson, Pillar and Bautista will all be back. David Price could be back, but admittedly that would surprise me. I think the team can keep Marco Estrada and Marcus Stroman isn't going anywhere. This team will be good again in 2016 and it is something the CFL will have to be very cognizant of especially if the Blue Jays are showing us by the start of the football season they are contenders again.  Jeffrey Orridge, you and your member teams have some work to do.

--The 2nd to last year of Saskatchewan Roughrider football at Mosaic Stadium will come to an end Saturday night at around 8 o'clock. Sadly, I will be some place in Calgary watching the home finale as I will have the Regina Rams-Calgary Dinos game on CKRM2 ( for you in a game which starts at 1 o'clock.  I am glad this isn't the last game at the old girl seeing I won't be there and while I am guessing the University and CFL schedule may not match up next year and the possibility of missing the last ever regular season game at Mosaic is there, I keep my fingers crossed hoping I can be there to witness what will be a very emotional game on a variety of levels for everyone.  What do I expect from the Riders this weekend? Not a lot to be honest. They are putting out the best roster possible, but this is a chance for many young guys to show the organization if they have what it takes to be a part of this team in 2016 and beyond. It is an audition for them. Some will succeed, some will fail. Yes, they can beat the Eskimos on their home turf, but everything will have to go right for them and I mean everything. I just ask that this passionate fan base realize what is going on and accept the growing pains you are going to see over the next three weeks. It may not be pretty, but it will hopefully pay off in the long run. The Eskimos did it a couple of years ago and look at them now. A lot of work needs to be done between now and 2016 training camp, but there is no way this team will allow for a repeat of this year. Those days are over!

--Back to baseball.  The performance of the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series disappointed me greatly. The New York Mets basically shoved it right down Chicago's throat from the first inning of Game 1 until the final out in Game 4. They deserved it.  While I am not happy over a four game sweep, I am realistic enough to see what happened this year at Wrigley Field. Most baseball experts saw the Cubs being a team on the upswing on Opening Day, but very few had them making the playoffs much less being the 3rd best team in baseball record-wise. They thought 2016 would be the year they start contending. The plan became accelerated. Watching the Cubs play baseball until October 21 was something I never ever thought would happen back on April 1 and I can't wait to see what is done in the off-season as this team competes again to hopefully get eight more wins come playoff time and end the 100 plus year drought. Thank you Joe Maddon and Theo Epstein for bringing winning baseball back to Wrigleyville. How many days is it until Opening Day 2016!

--Is it safe to say it took Connor MacDavid a few games to get comfortable in the NHL? He is starting to show why so many have spoken so highly of him. In watching him, what impresses me is what he is doing away from the puck. He has that awareness that so few seem to have.  Let's just hope though Mark Messier stops bothering him and that Messier doesn't start showing him places in Edmonton where he used to go if you know what I mean! Is it just me or those ads extremely dumb!

--Heading to work on Wednesday, three women in their mid 20's to early 30's were walking past me with Tim's in hand talking away when one said.  I would love to (rhymes with puck) Justin Trudeau! There were pictures of him shirtless from women on Twitter and others were seemingly swept off their feet by our new Prime Minister. I hope women did not vote for Justin because of his looks. If they did, that's simply not sound.  Canadians said they wanted change Monday night and they wanted Stephen Harper out. Harper's demeanour and his approach to this election was something that didn't resonate with many. What was funny was that Harper came out and actually showed he had a personality in his concession speech. If we had seen that Harper during the 11 week campaign, I don't think we would have had a change at the top.  I don't agree with all of Justin's thoughts, but I didn't agree with everything Harper was doing and saying either. Let's see where we are in a year's time and let's go back to not attacking one another over their political affiliation. At the end of the day, we are still Canadian aren't we? By the way, if the women are swooning over Justin. does this mean the Conservatives will try and recruit Kate Upton to be their leader?

--Week 7 NFL Lock of the Week  Rams over Browns
   Week 7 NFL Upset of the Week  Saints over Colts

-- I was shocked Thursday afternoon to see a story from TSN saying Canadians no longer are the majority in the NHL as only 49 percent of opening day roster players are from the Great White North. It is great to see the game globally expand with players from several countries dotting NHL rosters, but does this mean hockey isn't our game anymore? I've never been a big fan of the CHL import draft because I think "internationals" are taking the spot of Canadian kids and I wonder when this stat sinks in if the CHL will look at perhaps doing something. Yes, you want the best players possible and I am sure NHL teams like the fact that Euros and Russians can be seen playing in the Ontario, Quebec or Western league, but let them learn their game at home. By the way, according to Hockey Canada, there were just under 635-thousand registered hockey players in Canada in 2014.

--There might not be a better stand-up guy in this city than Thunder coach Scott McAuley. As Rod Pedersen so eloquently stated on Wednesday during his weekly Sportscage Thunder segment, whenever the Thunder lost, he was on with us the next week to face the music, but whenever they won, an assistant coach would come on. Not only did Scott come on the Sportscage Wednesday, but he did double duty by coming on Locker Talk with Pete Paczko and myself Tuesday to talk about his team's tough end to the season. Many coaches in many different sports could learn a lesson or two from Scott. I hope the Thunder realize how lucky they are having this guy in charge, but I do wonder how much longer he will be because he has bigger fish to fry. It would not surprise me to see him end up with a CIS program and someday be a CFL assistant coach or work with a CFL team. It's in his DNA. I know many in the Regina football community would agree with that assessment.

--Are we all waiting for John Tortorella's first explosion as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

--Is a hot-dog a sandwich?

--That's all I got. Have a great week everyone. GO RIDERS!!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Week 7 NFL Preview


Jon Ryan and his Seattle Seahawks get the NFL weekend started tonight as they take on the San Francisco 49ers in Thursday night football. For a preview of that game and others in Week 7, click here

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Week 17 CFL Stars of the Week

With the CFL abandoning its "stars of the week" this year, I present to you as I have all year, the Week 17 CFL stars of the week. 


The Eskimos receiver had a monster night against BC as he hauled in 11 passes for 196 yards and a touchdown in the overtime victory 


The Calgary defensive back intercepted two Trevor Harris passes in the Stamps road win over Toronto including an early one that set the stage for the Stampeders to start rolling.


Laurent has had a great season which has been overshadowed somewhat in Hamilton. There may not be a better Canadian d-lineman in the league and he showed that in a victory over Montreal as he had 5 tackles and a couple of pressures on Kevin Glenn in what was the Tiger-Cats first win in Montreal in years. 


The Ottawa kicker had four field goals and added a pair of converts as the REDBLACKS beat Winnipeg to earn their first ever playoff spot.

Monday, October 19, 2015

NHL Three Stars of Week

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Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price, Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin and St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending Oct. 18.


Price went 3-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average, .963 save percentage and one shutout to backstop the Canadiens (6-0-0, 12 points) to three wins, leading the team to its best start in its 98-year NHL history. He began the week with 31 saves in a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins Oct. 13. With the win, the Canadiens became the third team in League history to begin a season with a 4-0-0 record, with all four of those wins coming on the road (also 1965-66 Chicago Blackhawks and 2001-02 New York Islanders). Price then stopped all 25 shots he faced to record his 35th career shutout (fourth in franchise history) in a 3-0 triumph over the New York Rangers Oct. 15. He closed the week with 21 stops in a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings Oct. 17. The 28-year-old Anahim Lake, B.C., native – and reigning Hart Memorial Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award, Vezina Trophy and William M. Jennings Trophy winner – has posted a 5-0-0 record with a 1.20 goals-against average, .957 save percentage and one shutout in his first five appearances this season.


Seguin tied for first in the NHL with 3-4—7 in three outings to power the Stars (4 1-0, 8 points) to a trio of victories. He registered one assist in a 4-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers Oct. 13. Seguin followed that performance with 1-1—2 in a 5-3 triumph over the Tampa Bay Lightning Oct. 15. He capped the week with 2-2—4, including the game-winning goal with 3:02 remaining in regulation, in a 4-2 comeback victory over the Florida Panthers Oct. 17. The 23-year-old Brampton, Ont., native – who has 3-5—8 in his first five contests this season – has 133-257—290 in 359 career NHL appearances, including 77-92—169 in 156 games since joining the Stars for the 2013-14 campaign.


Tarasenko notched 3-3—6 and a +6 rating in four games to lift the Blues (5-1-0, 10 points) to four consecutive wins. He collected one assist in a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames Oct. 13 and scored one goal in a 4-2 triumph over the Edmonton Oilers Oct. 15. Tarasenko then finished the week with a pair of multi-point performances: two assists in a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks Oct. 16 and two goals, including the decisive tally, in a 4-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets Oct. 18. The 23-year-old Yaroslavl, Russia, native has registered at least one point in each of the team's opening six games of the season, sharing the League lead in goals (5) and points (9).

Something To "Mitch" About

--Another weekend is in the books and it was a weekend without Riders football. I don't think anyone missed it.

--There are a lot of people bemoaning the fact the Riders are increasing ticket prices for next year saying how can you do that considering the season you have had. It's simple, it is business. The price of tickets doesn't go up or down depending on your performance. Hell if it was, the Edmonton Oilers would be playing for virtually nothing and the Cleveland Browns would be, well you know.  When you look at it, the tickets are still quite affordable  In fact, here's a breakdown when it comes to the most expensive single game ticket    

  • Saskatchewan Roughriders $80.50
  • BC Lions: $84 
  • Edmonton Eskimos: $85
  • Toronto Argonauts: $87
  • Hamilton Tiger-Cats: $80-$95
  • Ottawa Redblacks: $84-$115
  • Calgary Stampeders: $100
  • Winnipeg Blue Bombers: $95.75-$119.75
  • Montreal Alouettes: $105-125

Would you rather pay $120 to watch the Bombers?

--The Rogers Centre has definitely let their feelings be known when it comes to the Argos. They say there is no way they can change the configuration from baseball to football in a reasonable amount of time. It can be done for other teams that have building conflicts like the Oakland Athletics and Raiders so either the workers at Rogers Centre are damn lazy or they are just thumbing their nose at the Argos. It was suggested on the weekend the Argos should move their home playoff game should they get one so no revenues go back to Rogers Centre. I don't think Rogers Centre cares and yes, the Argos should look for a different place. Hell, come to Mosaic Stadium. Would you go to a CFL game not involving the Riders at Mosaic? I think I know the answer to that one.

--The great Dan Patrick threw out a rumour on Friday stating the vacant USC job might be offered to current Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh. That would not be good news for their current offensive co-ordinator Marc Trestman. With Jim Popp seemingly on the outs in Montreal, I ask you this Rider fans...if it could happen, would you take a Trestman-Popp duo here. They certainly had some magic in Montreal. As I have stated, I think Jeremy O'Day will be the general manager of this team on a permanent basis and that will happen before Trestman's season in Baltimore is over, but its worth throwing out there. 

--There are also some people out there who don't like the new Regina Pats uniform. ???? I love them. I think the blue ones are sharp and the white ones aren't bad either. To each his own I guess. 

--Max Domi had to have gotten those hands from his Mom, because his Dad never had hands like that. He has been very impressive to start the regular season and his play has taken the glare off of both Jack Eichel and Connor MacDavid. It would appear as if MacDavid has now gotten used to the pace of NHL hockey as he had a big weekend in getting Edmonton a couple of road wins. They still need a number one defenceman if they are going to make any noise though.

--Is there a better place in this city to get ribs than Jack Keatons? They are fannnnnn-tastic! The worst thing about that place is its location as I am hardly up in that area of the city. Can we get another one in the east end?

--Jake Arrieta is human after all as the New York Mets got to the 22 game winner in Game 2 of the NLCS to take a 2-0 lead over the Cubs. The Jays were oh-so-close to getting a split in Kansas City and then their defence let them down. Will either team come back from a 2-0 deficit?  

--It would appear as if when Dan Quinn left the job as Seahawks defensive co-ordinator he took that killer instinct with him as his Falcons are 5-1 and playing good football (Thursday night excluded) while the Seattle is a surprising 2-4 having lost another 2nd half lead. Many including myself predicted a Seahawks-Ravens Super Bowl. That isn't happening!

--How many people lost in their Survivor pools  yesterday? I was oh-so-close as I needed Green Bay to make a goal-line stop against San Diego otherwise I might have said sayonara. 

--If you watched the Sunday night game, can you please explain to me what the h-e double hockeysticks that 4th down call that was botched by the Colts was all about. That might have been the worst play call I have ever seen.

--Thunder coach Scott McAuley will be spitting nails for the next little bit. For the second straight  year, his team is done after losing a semi-final at home. The potent Thunder offence could do nothing against the Calgary Colts and lost 17-3. Losing starting quarterback Jaeden Marwick didn't help.

--If the Regina Rams could ever find a way to keep the other team's offence off the field, they would be alright. It looked like Mike Gibson was going to have his first ever win on Saturday afternoon as his team had a nice lead over the Manitoba Bisons in the 3rd quarter, but then the wheels fell off defensively and they lost 49-46 to drop their record to 0-6. I think the Rams have gained more yards than their opposition in 5 of their 6 defeats and have lost. That's not good! They go into Calgary to face a Dinos team that beat them 72-8 in Regina next Saturday. That's not good either!  With the Riders season being the way it has, the Thunder season now over and the Rams season basically done, it would appear as if the last game of meaning at Mosaic Stadium will be played before November 1 this year. 

--It's election day. This marathon 11 week campaign comes to an end. Thank god! Do the right thing and vote today. It doesn't matter who you support, just get out there and cast your ballot. Many have already done so in advance polls so keep it going. At the end of the night, I don't think we will see a majority government and that might actually be a good thing in some ways. Don't waste your opportunity to have a say by not casting a ballot.

--That's all I got. Have a great week!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Week 6 Canada West Football Recap

University of Calgary quarterback Andrew Buckley surpassed the 400-yard plateau for the fourth straight game to lead the No. 1 ranked Dinos to a 44-15 win over the University of Saskatchewan Huskies Friday night at Griffiths Stadium.

The fifth-year pivot finished the night 26-of-34 for 427 yards and four touchdowns. Buckley did it with his legs too on Friday night, rushing for 50 yards and a touchdown on seven carries.

Calgary improves to 6-0 and clinches first place in Canada West with two games remaining, while the Huskies drop to 2-4 with the loss. Calgary will now have home field advantage throughout the conference playoffs, beginning with a conference semi-final Saturday, Nov. 7 at McMahon Stadium.

Much like in their last meeting, Saskatchewan was able to keep pace with the Dinos in the early going. After falling behind early, Saskatchewan would answer with a score of their own and trailed 14-7 after the opening 15 minutes.

Calgary scored a pair of touchdowns in the third, taking advantage of a Huskie special teams miscue on the latter to jump out to the three score lead. The Huskies looked poised to cut into the deficit before half, but a late second quarter interception halted the scoring chance.

The proficient Calgary offense would pull away in the third with another two touchdowns while the Dinos defense held Huskie quarterback Drew Burko and the Saskatchewan offense in check.

Burko completed 13-of-23 passes for 193 yards and a touchdown on the night. In the process the fourth-year signal caller moved into first all-time on the Huskies pass completion list. Kyle Siemens came into the game and completed 8-of-15 passes for 125 yards and a major.

On the ground Tyler Chow led the Huskies with 42 yards on eight carries, while Calgary's Mercer Timmis rushed for 53 yards and a major on 13 attempts in his first game back from injury.

Saskatchewan hosts UBC next Friday night at 7 p.m. in Saskatoon. Calgary will also be at home next week, hosting the Regina Rams at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

(University of Calgary)


A late Ryan Jones field goal was the difference on Saturday afternoon as the University of Manitoba took a 49-46 win in a wild Canada West game at Mosaic Stadium.

No. 8-ranked Manitoba trailed by 15 points at one point in the third quarter after a Rams touchdown made it 37-22, but the Bisons scored on five of their next six possessions to regain the lead. The key Jones field goal - his fourth of the game - was from 41 yards out, breaking a deadlock with just 1:32 left in the game.

Bisons quarterback Theo Deezar completed 29 of his 39 pass attempts, including one to himself in the second quarter after a deflection. Jesse Walker had eight catches for 105 yards including a 28-yard touchdown in the fourth, and also added a 37-yard run for a major early in the game.

Alex Christie finished with 13 rushes for 93 yards for Manitoba, which improves its Canada West record to 4-2 with the win.

The Rams (0-6) had three huge individual performances that were overshadowed by the loss, including Mitch Thompson (pictured) catching 11 passes for 204 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Atlee Simon tied the school single-game record for the third time in his career with three rushing touchdowns, and finished with 29 rushes for a total of 198 yards. And Noah Picton completed 28 of his 37 passes, with his completion rate of 75.7% only surpassed three times in U of R history. Picton finished with 381 yards and three touchdown passes.

The Rams got on the board on the first play of the game with a 74-yard rouge by Daniel Scraper on the opening kickoff, and less than four minutes later Simon scored his first of the game on a 27-yard run which capped a quick four-play, 80-yard drive which included a 41-yard pass to Thompson.

But Manitoba replied with the longest drive of the game for either team, going 90 yards over the course of 12 plays while taking 5:20 off the game clock. That drive was finished off by a short pass to Dustin Pedersen from Deezar, and the Bisons struck again just 31 seconds later on a 37-yard run by Walker following an onside kick which was recovered by Jayden McKoy.

That gave Manitoba the lead, but the Rams then reeled off 22 unanswered points. Riley Wilson scored a major for the Rams after scooping up a loose ball in the end zone following a fumble by Thompson. Thompson then caught his first touchdown pass four minutes later, and the Rams took their biggest lead of the game five minutes into the second when Simon's 16-yard run finished off a nine-play, 80-yard drive and put the U of R up 30-14.

Manitoba added eight points before halftime on a safety and two Jones field goals, making the score 30-22 for the Rams at the break. Thompson caught a 33-yard touchdown on a third-down gamble five minutes into the third to put the Rams back up by 15, but Manitoba kicked its offence into gear from there.

The Bisons responded immediately with a touchdown reception by Trysten Dyce, then added another on a short Deezar pass to Matt Hallock. Jones hit a 21-yard field goal two minutes into the fourth to put the Bisons in the lead for the first time since the first, only to have the Rams reply with a seven-play, 75-yard drive that Simon finished off from 18 yards out.

The Rams were good on the two-point conversion to go up 46-39, but those turned out to be the final points of the game for the home side. Manitoba took advantage of short fields on both of their last two drives, starting from their own 52 on a drive which finished with a Deezar pass to Walker, and starting from their 51 on the drive that eventually resulted in the game-winning field goal by Jones.

Regina had one final chance to reply, but an incomplete pass and a fumbled snap forced the Rams into a third-and-long situation. Picton tried to find Thompson streaking up the right sideline, but the pass fell incomplete to seal the win for Manitoba.

Manitoba is at home next weekend against Alberta, while the Rams will prepare for a road contest against Canada West-leading Calgary.

(University of Regina)


In their most dominant showing of the season, the No. 9-ranked UBC Thunderbirds (4-2) overwhelmed the Alberta Golden Bears (2-4) in all facets of the game, winning by a final score of 54-10. With the result, the T-Birds officially locked up their spot in the Canada West playoffs, as, with just two games left on the schedule, they can finish no lower than fourth in the league standings.

Even after such a one-sided win from his squad, UBC head coach Blake Nill is always looking to take it one step further.

"We played well for large parts of the game, but there's still a lot of room for improvement, and the kids know that," remarked the coach. "But, the big thing is that we're winning games that we should win, and that's all you can really ask for.

It was the Brandon Deschamps (Prince George, B.C.) show on offence, as the fifth-year tailback racked up 176 yards and a career-high three touchdowns on 16 carries in just three quarters of work. Quarterback MIchael O'Connor (Orleans, Ont.) had a solid outing, completing 14 of 22 passes for 214 yards and a score. O'Connor also spread the ball effectively, with tailback Marcus Davis (Victoria, B.C.) (five catches for 63 yards), and receivers Alex Morrison (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) (two catches for 49 yards) and WIll Watson (Surrey, B.C.) (two catches for 49 yards) the primary beneficiaries.

After the contest, Nill addressed the prospect of a longer campaign, as his squad locked down a spot in the post-season.

"We know that we're now playing an extra week, we've gotta do a lot as coaches - we've got to manage our players, and players have to manage themselves," said Nill. We've got to try and stay healthy and get ready for when the games really count."

UBC will travel to Saskatoon, Sask., for a contest at Saskatchewan on Friday, while Alberta will play at Manitoba on Friday.

(UBC Athletics)

Friday, October 16, 2015

NLCS Series Preview

Image result for national league championship series 2015
The unlikely duo of the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets will meet in the best of 7 National League Championship Series which starts Saturday at CITI Field. For a preview, click here

ALCS Series Preview

The Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays are ready to do battle in the American League Championship Series. What can you expect? What should you watch for? Here's a preview